Visual Reflections: Nature Photography in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 38 (Hellebores Collage)

02 April 2018


Hellebores Collage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Hellebores Collage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.


“There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Is it possible that in order to see how light infiltrates, influences and inspires, we must see the dark and its role in the light? And light after the dark offers expansive solace in the world’s darkening days and nights. That ray or rays give energy and substance to our lives. Do we need to see the dark to see the radiance in ourselves?

The Lens section shows images that speak to my sense of light moving slowly, glacially releasing gestures of what it touches. They voice my emotions in those moments of seeing, where my relationship with light and dark surpasses the science of their energy.

Light and dark define my ability to circle nature and move inside her heart. And that translates through the waves of surface effects and its dance through space and time. Then my mind’s lens circulates as witness to other aspects of light and dark. Contrast and shadows emerge to seduce in direct and subtle ways.

Hellebores are one of spring’s first floral arrivals. Their visual presence forms groupings that pierce through seesaw temps during sunny, rainy and snowy days. As with snowdrops their heads hang downward as if to hide and shelter from the temperamental days and nights. That design keeps the sun’s light from their faces, hiding their inner beauty.

In the collage the bud and flower have their own character, which is seasoned with lights gentle presence. Because these flowers emerge in the woodlands near my pond, they are sprinkled with light that is seemingly silent as the sun is on its move. But it’s their bowing heads that keep them in the shadows. So I’ve shown what is missed of these stunning early bloomers.

Light is probably the singular element that is necessary for us to appreciate what we see, how we see, why we see it or do not. The stretch of a sunbeam can hold us so tightly. We learn to appreciate its expansive touch, and savior how it allows us to notice the seen or hidden through heartfelt awareness.

The luxury of seeing inside our own frame of reference helps to explain what is before us. It’s our biology plus psychological plus aesthetic appeal plus emotional sensibility.

Light urges self-expression, the desire to create: using its luminosity, its range of influences from morning to twilight, diffused to focused, shade to dark, filtered to medium-level, artificial to natural, moonlight to black of night, shadows to golden glow and so it goes.

The smallest of light source can be the key and the harbinger of the unnoticed. It shores the spirit with grace and promise. It pierces the senses with an alarm that adds to treasured memories.


I’ll going on vacation and will post next on 16 April 2018. Meanwhile here is a favorite Ansel Adams’ quote to ponder. His profound insights speak directly to me.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

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44 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 38 (Hellebores Collage)

  1. Beautiful photos as always, Sally. And the Adams quote is so full of wisdom about photography. I hope you enjoyed your vacation.

  2. Jane Lurie says:

    Love the rich colors and textures in both images, Sally. And, you’ve chosen favorite quotes by Cohen and Adams. Hope you have a lovely holiday.

  3. Beautiful images Sally. I love the first one…it shows the fragility of life.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Haven’t seen or even heard of these Sally, they’re beautiful and your text about the light works perfectly with them. Have a wonderful holiday

  5. Cristina says:

    Sally really love these two! The colors are amazing 🙂 And thanks for sharing that quote…it’s so true !

  6. Amy says:

    The lighting and colors are perfect and beautiful, Sally!

  7. The dark veins on the bud, the deep shadows, the crimson petals all beautifully render as fitting examples of your discussion about the intertwine of light and dark. Without one we could not realize nor understand the other. I think it is your appreciation of the balance between light and dark which allows you to create such intense collages.

  8. This is such a beautiful balance of light and shadows, brilliant use of light. You have mastered it all. Thank you for sharing, Sally.

  9. Suzanne says:

    This is a very profound musing on light and dark. I agree that we need the dark in order to see the light but I’m beginning to think that focusing on the light enables it to grow stronger both within ourselves and the world. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the dark at present. Finding our own inner light is imperative I think.

  10. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like the second photo, Sally. The splash of light on the green center is a ray of hope in this, the beginning of Spring.
    Safe travels,

  11. They’re each beautiful in their own way. I’m partial to the first, the way the light hits, reflects, and casts shadows. Have a wonderful vacation!

  12. DG MARYOGA says:

    Perfect use of light, it dynamically determined the outcome. Ansel Adams’ quote says it all.Indeed,profound his insights, he strongly believed that we don’t take a photograph,we make it. Enjoy your holidays.

  13. Oh! And have a lovely holiday, Sally! 😊

  14. Very beautiful! One of the leaves looks almost golden! And Ansel Adams is one of my favourite photographers too!

  15. Sue says:

    Oh, and have a great break!

  16. Sue says:

    I like the first best Sally..beautiful texture. As for the quotes, I love Cohen’s words, and Ansel Adams was quite right in suggesting that we bring a bit of ourselves to our best images.

  17. restlessjo says:

    Adams as a wise guy, as well as a heck of a photographer, Sally. Enjoy your break! 🙂 🙂 The hellebores in my garden are sagging beneath the rain at present. 😦

  18. pattimoed says:

    Wonderful images and quotes, Sally. I especially love Leonard Cohen’s “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” Beautiful. Have a great vacation!

  19. Lignum Draco says:

    Both lovely photos but I like the textures in the 1st better. Have a wonderful holiday.

  20. SoyBend says:

    Loved the Ansel Adams quote. He was a true master of his craft.

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