Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 33) – A Burst of Nature Photomontage

17 June 2019


A Burst of Nature Photomontage; Sally W. Donatello 2019 All Rights Reserved

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


“It is by economy of means that one arrives of simplicity of expression.” Henri Cartier-Breslin


French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s art was defined by his humanist philosophy. An ardent practitioner of black-and-white photojournalism he considered himself “a visual man.” He said: “I watch, watch, watch. I understand things through my eyes (Life, 15 March 1963).” And so this week as I was prancing around my gardens, I was contemplating Cartier-Bresson’s thoughts about how he expressed his artistic vision as “the decisive moment.” His work was the result of the point where the universe conspires to create a unique time when visual forces align and coalesce. 

At first I was going to have a diatribe with myself about how technology historically did not allow the instantaneous capture of an image; when one pushed the shutter button, there was a delay. It took until the twenty-first century to bring that true “decisive moment”
closer to reality. Of course, that catchy phrase means so much more than it appears to mean. Because even in that instant of discovery Cartier-Bresson made choices about light and composition and … 

What the iconic Cartier-Bresson was espousing was not necessarily replication, but the intuitive gesturing of a scene. That moment when you recognize a slice of reality, which ironically is a surrealist idea, and you must still it. The subconscious is accelerated. 

His realization that intuition was a key to creativity and the artistic process resonates loudly with me. And this week as my lush garden continues to evolve, an internal dialogue kept speaking about chance and improvisation as my own approach to the creative process: whether it’s my gardens, living space, photography, or, well, my life.

My mixture of tamed and untamed is bound by intuition and experience and knowledge. But it is also a mixture of the joyful and the serious; it takes commitment, a concentration of effort and work to discover that unique sighting, that essence that grabs one’s full attention to recreate a visual narrative. 

Cartier-Bresson has been an influence and no matter how many times I read his words and view his photographs, I am caught in the still of his captured “decisive moments.” 

This entry was posted in Digital Art, Gardens and Gardening, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 33) – A Burst of Nature Photomontage

  1. Love the strength of the colors in your photomontage! There is a sense of “unknown” which is not the right word but I do not find a better one, sorry!

  2. Amy says:

    So beautifully captured, Sally!

  3. thirdeyemom says:

    Very beautiful Sally! I hope you are off to a wonderful summer! My garden is in full bloom! 🙂

    • Indeed, the rains, which have our water table well above average for the year, have brought lush landscapes. Spring and now summer with its constant natural surprises are bringing such emotional and visual joy as I am sure that it also has for you.

  4. Here’s a bit of the surreal for you: Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, so we can imagine a wolf (loup) singing (chante) in soft cheese.

  5. Tina Schell says:

    I too love Cartier-Bresson’s work and perspective on his photography Sally. You’ve captured its essence beautifully

  6. pattimoed says:

    I love the sense of movement in your image. Lovely! And your thoughts on Cartier-Bresson are illuminating! I’m so glad you’re reveling in the joy of the season!

  7. Lignum Draco says:

    The concept of the decisive moment resonates on many levels. As does your photomontage, “survival at risk”.

  8. I think that it’s all about ‘being’ there while you are busy being ‘there’. The trick is to learn something from each decisive moment so that in the future we can be more present in the next moment that we have to make a decision in. A bit airy-fairy today, but it makes sense on this side of the keyboard.

    I like your choice to use purple and black in this photo. It adds an element of urgency to the risk- factor.

  9. restlessjo says:

    Cartier-Bresson is a fine influence to have, Sally. Enjoy your garden! 🙂 🙂

  10. smilecalm says:

    wonderful photography
    lesson on moments
    captured 🙂

  11. Su Leslie says:

    I think humanity is experiencing a’decisive moment’, and you have captured that sense of challenge and foreboding very well.

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