Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 12) with Trees (Series 1, No. 1)

07 January 2019


Taken in Camera+ and Polamatic; edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Coexistence with Trees Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2019 Sally W. Donatello

Coexistence with Trees Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2019 Sally W. Donatello

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


Melodramatic weather greeted the new year, bringing thoughts about the wondrous experiment called Earth. Our entire planet spins upon nanoseconds and eons of scientific interactions. But since the birth of human life, another factor entered the equation. The human condition has added to and taken from the evolution of what can be, what no longer is, and what is yet to be.

It is a continual kaleidoscope of possibilities—possibilities that have their joys and their sorrows. Today’s reality is staggering. The fate of nature and human nature is serious. And it’s a brutal commentary that we still have deniers who are more interested in making money than preserving the health of the very place that sustains life, their life. There are signs of a brighter beacon of hope: the latest climate accord and the America’s newly sworn House of Representatives who have climate change as a major policy initiative. Maybe now there will be a shift toward moral clarity about human rights, economic and social justice, and climate change (my top concerns).

As the new year unwinds, I continue my experiments that focus on the coexistence between nature and human nature. Over the last few weeks I have been completely enamored by the overwhelming artistry of trees. It’s as though the discovery of winter’s bare statues has brought a new way to see, really see, their extraordinary visual grandeur.

My emotions are heightened and an inner peace surges as the realization mounts: every tree and its various elements offer limitless aesthetics to uncover. And each discovery saturates the spirit with a new sense of life’s offerings. Those feelings are what binds us to nature, and what created an inextricable connection that can never be severed. This partnership, this interaction is necessary for a sustainable life tomorrow. That is the essential mission of humanity today and everyday.

In the Lens section is my new series that nestles inside the main series on coexistence. It’s an ode to trees, which remain one of the most important links to a healthy planet. As we learn more and more about their own ability to communicate within networks, we learn more and more about our own abilities. Trees are a clear and present force of nature’s role in our own future trajectory.

This image–a composite of two trees, one in spring and the other in winter–represents my vision of nature’s multiplicity and omniscience. This photomontage is the beginning of a series within the overarching idea of coexistence between nature and human nature.

On a recent walk through a local botanical garden, I spied numerous varieties. From crepe myrtle to hibiscus (mallow family, Rose of Sharon) to Vitebsk (verbena family, Chasetree) to St. Johnswort (‘Gemo,’ Garcina family) the afternoon was devoted to the omnipresence of winter’s bare trees: those stalwart symbols of nature’s seasonal pledges of abundance, interdependence and survival.

But there is another aspect to a tree’s role as one of nature most familiar of progeny: they provide an intangible and tangible sanctuary to dwell. Trees of winter are shelters for my soul. They coerce me to pay attention, asking me to examine their nakedness, and call upon their quiet, statuesque form and stark eloquence.


The New York Times and its campaign about truth continues.

From a 2018 poster, click on image to enlarge.


This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Design, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 12) with Trees (Series 1, No. 1)

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Stunning Sally. Did you use high pass or were they this white? Either way it’s a beauty. Yes, hope and optimism as we do what we can to bring attention to nature’s fragility

    • Tina, I appreciate your response. The image is a composite of two, essentially a double exposure. It’s how I compose a photomontage. See you soon. Mostly, keep being an advocate for Mother Mother. We are compatriots in that quest.

  2. Tiny says:

    Fully agree, too! Loved your vision of nature’s omniscience and examining the image I thought a book I recently read ” The Secret Life of Trees”. Happy 2019!

  3. thirdeyemom says:

    Beautiful Sally. I never know anymore what to say about the atrocities we are doing to our planet. It makes me sick. When I talk to my children about it they get so fed up and want to fight. Perhaps the future generation will be our hope! I know it will be late to fix the damage done but I have hope in them. Gorgeous photos as always.

  4. restlessjo says:

    I think that you can only be hopeful, Sally. Negative thoughts don’t benefit anyone, least of all yourself. We are surrounded by so much beauty. Am I being purely selfish in enjoying it to the full? 🙂 🙂

  5. Amy says:

    Thank you for introducing the beautiful trees and remind us concerns about the climate change.

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Your montage clearly shows your love of trees and the beauty and potential you see in them. It’s interesting that nature doesn’t ever lie; it gives us complete truth if we care to stop and understand..

  7. pattimoed says:

    I love this quote and your concept for the photomontage–“It’s as though the discovery of winter’s bare statues has brought a new way to see, really see, their extraordinary visual grandeur.” Lovely! The contrast of the 2 seasons and the black and white is visually and intellectually appealing. One thought: I was wondering if you thought of shooting the same tree in 2 seasons instead of different ones. Sending you my wishes for a terrific 2019.

  8. I love this photomontage, Sally!


  9. smilecalm says:

    enjoyed your poetic
    coexisting of nature
    & humanity cohabitating
    this new year 🙂

  10. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful, Sally; both your words and photography. The trees are as stark as winters, and also indicate the planet’s current precarious state.

  11. Sally, I absolutely love this photomontage. The transitions between fine lines, to layered silhouettes, to pen & ink washes is masterful. I had a freehand drawing professor in college who was a firm believer that if you can draw a tree, you can draw anything and I did just that for a year. This image brings back a lot of fine memories and episodes of personal growth. Thank you.

    Happy New Year,

  12. Dina says:

    I so agree with every word on this poster!
    Your tree capture is beautiful, Sally. Very nice editing.

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