Visual Reflections: Nature Photography in an Age of Uncertainty: No. 35 (Almost Spring Photomontage)

12 March 2018


Almost Spring Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Almost Spring Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Almost Spring #2 Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Dotatello

Almost Spring #2 Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto each image to enlarge. Let me know which you prefer. Prints are available upon request.


The creative process has many ways to be executed. Over my lifetime I have explored a variety of artistic endeavors, many in the fiber arts. But the one mainstay has been photography, which I began when my children were infants. Today this visual medium is part of my identity, my sense of self.

Photography is a lens to our universe, a way to see and shield, and yet to be in it. Photography draws with light, uses nature’s wonders, and dwells within human’s natural affinity for creativity.

Photography, importantly, is a vehicle for storytelling. While it toys with light, stops action, plays with reality, captures the real, seizes the moment, discovers the unseen, and introduces the new among the old, it is singularly mysterious and wondrous in its ability to translate one image into a universal language. Regardless of one’s country of origin, a photographic image can be understood.

The photographic act is watchful optimism, the hope in the dark of humanity’s seesawing with our psyches. And I approach photography somewhat like I approach my gardens: with a slightly tamed wildness. My results may seem controlled, but they emanate from instinct and very much are sparked by the here and now.

For me there are no rules, just what is revealed before me: a playground of infinite possibilities, which find their core in nature’s majesty, simplicity and complexity. My images also are indicators of my emotions, moods and the layers of who I am at the moment of capture.

My latest experimentation with collage and photomontage is part of that wild character that sees beyond what is seen and blends the unseen, unnoticed that is always lurking in the shadows of our smiles.


“Faces/Places” is a 2017 French documentary (1 hour and 33 minutes, iTunes), which is an on-the-road film about a collaboration between artists 89-year-old Agnes Varda (artist of the French New Wave) and JR (French photographer and muralist). They take their creativity to French villages, where they make giant portraits of the villagers. They use JR’s truck that is outfitted with a photo booth to create the most telling of images that are mounted as murals on the walls of local buildings.  It is a charming and emotional view of the collaborative effort, which combines aesthetic sensibilities with artistic talents. It’s a joy to watch.

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34 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography in an Age of Uncertainty: No. 35 (Almost Spring Photomontage)

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Both are lovely Sally, but my favorite part of this post is your description of your approach to photography. Loved it.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Lovely artwork, Sally. I prefer the 1st one.That documentary sounds interesting. I’ll see if I can find it online.

  3. Angeline M says:

    My favorite photo is the first one with what seems like a reflection, but I know is part of the montage. I think. And your narrative is wonderful!! I love your description of your approach to photography as with a slightly tamed wildness…that made me smile. Excellent post.

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    I love these images Sally! I especially like the first one perhaps because of the darkness in the background. Have you worked in video at all? I haven’t done much but am really wanting to learn. I got inspired by watching others create video content in Kenya.

  5. Tiny says:

    Love your latest ‘experiment’, Sally!! It is gorgeous and mysterious.

  6. says:

    Both are exquisite!! My second love is flowers and then painting them. You have captured their depth and beauty.

  7. Cristina says:

    Love these little flowers, they are so beautiful in the garden 🙂 I like the second one just because it gives me that spring feeling 🙂 Have an awesome day Sally!

  8. I’m choosing to like them both equally, Sally. 🙂


  9. restlessjo says:

    Tough choice, Sally! One so soft and the other, crisper, more direct. The crocuses are all along our grass verges and they lift the heart. Hoping yours is a happy week. 🙂 🙂

  10. Su Leslie says:

    Interesting images Sally; I like the intensity. And your meditation on photography really resonates with me. Thanks for the heads-up about the film. An Agnes Varda film I saw in the 1980s had a huge impact on me, and I still find it one of the most memorable movies I’ve ever seen.

  11. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Your first photo gripped me from first sight, Sally. The deep shadows dramatically accentuate the dark purple color. Well done. Thanks for the tip on the documentary, it sounds fascinating.

  12. nexi says:

    I prefer the first one, I think the shadow area adds a note of mystery, and raises a question.

  13. pattimoed says:

    Lovely images, Sally. Hopeful and joyful. I will check out the video. It looks uplifting. 😊

  14. Amy says:

    Beautifully done, Sally! I have followed you many years, and I have noticed that you have explored a variety of artistic endeavors. Thank you for sharing your beautiful artistic works.

  15. Absolutely gorgeous, Sally! Love them both but I think I’m partial to the second one.

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