Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 27): Trees – The Parts as the Sum of the Whole

29 April 2019


Taken in Camera+ and Polamatic. Edited in Snapseed, Stackables and Pixlr.

Parts of the Whole Collage; Sally W. Donatello 2019 All Rights Reserved

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


If we’re fortunate the first sighting of the day includes something in the natural world. While sipping a hot cup of morning inspiration, wouldn’t it be uplifting to spy upon a forest of trees, or at least one grandmother of a tree.

As I slowly awakening, I inhale another day, another chance to be mesmerized by the universe. And to savor elements  of nature that always includes a singular tree or groupings. 

After my intentions for the day’s are achieved, I inject a mark upon my ongoing experimentation with creativity and the creative process. These aesthetic adventures  swing from photography to writing, re-designing inner and outer spaces, plunging into new and old ideas, challenging my standards of illusion and reality, discovering the unexpected, piercing the unknown. And my attention to explore photographic images has resides in the continuum that nature offers. 

My allegiance to nature has been more than a bonus of noticing; it literally has saved me in times of the good, the in-between and the not-so-good. Every day this partnership surges with spiritual renewal that shores the ebb and flow of my existence.

In the Lens section is a collage of six variations on one of the most important of Mother nature’s progeny: the tree. Recently, I’ve been foraging for trees that represent their symbolism as community partners with and among other trees. But I also am fascinated with the way that the seen and unseen affects the outcome of my final image.

Pre-spring offers opportunity to truly see parts of arboreal elements that are clothed in spring, summer and autumn: the parts as sum of the whole. It’s a chance to marvel at the aesthetic qualities that seem less worthy of our eyes when they feature such incredibly significant parts.


I’m about to start Nathaniel Rich’s new book, Losing Earth, 2019, one of a number of recent and well-reviewed publications about climate change and the health of the planet. Here is a quote from the book that speaks volumes about Earth, humanity and our future:

“Everything is changing about the natural world and everything must change about the way we conduct our lives. It is easy to complain that the problem is too vast, and each of us is too small. But there is one thing that each of us can do ourselves, in our homes, at our own pace — something easier than taking out the recycling or turning down the thermostat, and something more valuable. We can call the threats to our future what they are. We can call the villains villains, the heroes heroes, the victims victims and ourselves complicit. We can realize that all this talk about the fate of Earth has nothing to do with the planet’s tolerance for higher temperatures and everything to do with our species’ tolerance for self-delusion. And we can understand that when we speak about things like fuel-efficiency standards or gasoline taxes or methane flaring, we are speaking about nothing less than all we love and all we are.”

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

18 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 27): Trees – The Parts as the Sum of the Whole

  1. Prior... says:

    Like the tree featured here and imagining you sipping morning happiness was such a lift.

  2. I really like this hextych of images. It’s just fun to let the eyes jump from the different stems and trunks and their various shapes.

  3. pattimoed says:

    Beautiful collage, Sally. The whole encompasses all of these disparate parts…a universe in itself. And the quote at the end is marvelous too.

  4. I very much like this collage, Sally. Somewhere I found mention of a book I just got from the library. It reminded me of you. It’s called “How to Read Nature: Awaken Your Senses to the Outdoors You’ve Never Noticed”, by Tristan Gooley. It didn’t remind me of you because you don’t do this, but because it’s something dear to your heart. I haven’t started it yet, but I think I’ll enjoy it.


  5. restlessjo says:

    What a quote that is, Sally! Self-delusion a-plenty. He’s not wrong 😦

  6. smilecalm says:

    wonderful having art
    as a refuge, Sally.
    maybe someday
    humans will stop
    putting carbon into the air 🙂

  7. Tina Schell says:

    Lovely collage Sally – something quite different for you. It really shows the interconnectivity between the subjects. On another subject, did you see that The Understory won the Pulitzer for fiction ? Hurrah!!

  8. Sally,
    I was struck by the title coexistence. It has inspired me to make a post about trees and human neighbors. The trees are willing to easily entangled themselves for support and connection, where we humans “need our space”. I’ll share it when I’m finished.
    By the way when I opened your post online there is ironically, an add for Napa oil filters following the quote at the end, probably because somehow “they” saw the word gasoline.
    Merry Almost May

  9. Lignum Draco says:

    Love the idea of the collage, Sally.
    An interesting quote a the end. We are all responsible and must change/act, even if only in a small way, it all adds up.
    I heard something interesting on the radio, and it’s backed up by a story in print: “Sir David Attenborough says he can’t bear to think about what will happen to earth, or what will be left for his grandchildren, after he dies.”

    • Oh, how that touches my heart. That’s why I advocate for nature and the health of the planet. We MUST act as partners globally to sustain our “home,” the very place that much of humanity needs to recognize our role in the grave prediction. I cling to Hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s