Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and Seemingly Early Arrival of Spring)

06 March 2017

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

Crack in the Cosmic Ice Photomontage; Rose Mallow Vine, Longwood Gardens + Icy WCC; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Crack in the Cosmic Ice Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

“Every line we succeed in publishing today—no matter how uncertain the future to which we entrust it—is a victory wrenched from the powers of darkness.” ~~ Walter Benjamin (German, 1892-1940)

The political arena of my country is stealing my time, and I am working at a balance between participation in a resistance and living the life that I choose. It’s an edgy existence.

I want to regain time, but it may not happen in my own cadence. So I turn inward and outward for consolation and a speck of serenity.

Spring as metaphor is an old, old ritual. As winter recedes, renewal pushes through the air and surrenders the ashen, leaden and ghostly patina of bare trees and barely colored landscapes.

This seasonal cycling brings hearts and minds into different realms. It triggers an energy that can sometimes momentarily, at least, ameliorate the pain of society’s ills. This spring will undoubtedly serve to give comfort and even sanctuary. The world needs elements of distractions and refuge, places to retreat from the assaults on our hearts and souls. Our minds have been inundated with surround sound, namely the president and his relentless actions, assaults and barrage.

Miraculously, spring already seems to have arrived in my universe, giving those of us who desperately need its presence, its presence. Bushes leafing, buds appearing, crocuses have naturalized, daffodils budding, blossoms opening on early-blooming  trees, and tulips pushing through the earth’s layer. It’s an extraordinary nod from Mother Nature at a time when our humanity is shaken.

While a hard frost is bound to pounce, I only feel the much-needed exhilaration of the emergence across the landscape. The image in the Lens section is a nod to this transformation. My photomontage aka photographic puzzle* has characteristics of winter and spring. It represents that back-and-forth dance that parades itself with early signs of rejuvenation and renewal. And if you look closely, there is a slight crack in the ice from the  mallow flower (lower edge) through the ice and into the greenery, demonstrating this wavering as the season’s change.

Mirrors reflect what we see, and often what we do not allow ourselves to see. Spring has that quality, exhibiting jewels that are dormant and always, always elevating our mood and our sensibilities.

* Photographic Puzzle © copyright 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

Here are two online articles with suggestions and tips about landscape photography, using a Smartphone:

  1. “Landscape photography: tips for your smartphone,” published 29 November 2012 by Daniel K. Berman. Click here for Digital Photography Review.

2.    “35 Mobile Photography tips that’ll Help You Take Much Better Smartphone,”                                                                                                                                                                           published 2015) by DL Cade, click here for the 500px website.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-morning-light/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/mobile-photography-challenge-nature-2/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/more-plum-portraits-for-sally-ds-nature-challenge/

https://chasingtheblooms.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-looking-nature-in-the-eye/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/03/07/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/15258/

https://mylifestorymyway.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/splendid-nature/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/throwback-thursdayso-soft-pussywillows-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-bw/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Abstraction (Hope in a Photographic Puzzle*)

27 February 2017

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

Life Cycle Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Life Cycle Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

Homage to Hope

I.                                                                                                                                                               From                                                                                                                                                              Dark and despair,                                                                                                                                 Light emerges.

From                                                                                                                                               Invisibility and fear,                                                                                                                          Beams appears.

From                                                                                                                                                    Renewal and rejuvenation,                                                                                                              Triumph illuminates.

II.                                                                                                                                                             The altar of compassion, empathy, respect and reverence for humanity has been altered,                                                                                   Systematic and relentlessly fear tactics, meanness, moral turpitude and self-interest edge forward.

Disguised in leadership, we are abandoned by spineless politicians.                                                      To bridge this fissure is to win on behalf of the entire human community,                                   Where bountiful hope for our differences and individuality will rise against these insidious forces.



This week’s photomontage is a tribute to abstraction in the guise of my photographic puzzle,* which combines illusion and reality through layers of images. This photograph aims to exemplify the light that spreads through our lives. Now more than ever we can stop and embrace its message of hope for a better tomorrow, because the human animal differentiates itself as the dark inspires what can be fully realized in the light.

* Photographic Puzzle © copyright 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

With my country’s current administration’s threat to de-fund the arts and humanities, I wanted to pull a passage from The New York Times’s “The Opinion Pages’s The Stone:” On 23 February 2017 Brad Evans in an article titled, “Humans in Dark Times” wrote:

“To that end, as Bracha Ettinger explained, there is a world to be gained by recognizing the humanity of the arts. Art is the ethical space where we encounter the pain of others and truly reflect on its significance to a shared human community. Art is a direct and imaginative response to the traumas of suffering. It refuses an image of the world that is presented to us as catastrophically fated. Art thus places itself on the side of life, as it directly resists the rituals of death and destruction. Indeed, as we confront more and more devastating spectacles of violence on a daily basis, it is with the arts that we truly enter into those most precious and fragile of ethical bonds that foreground the importance of love, compassion and human togetherness.”

View other entries to this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-still-life-in-copper/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/mobile-photo-challenge-architecture/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/02/27/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/wild-plums-on-parade-sally-ds-smart-device-challenge

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-carnival-color

https://artalsolife.com/2017/02/28/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/the-face-of-disappointment/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/taking-myself-out-to-find-love/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstraction, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Photographic Puzzle*)

20 February 2017

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, FX Photo Studio and Pixlr

Afternoon Light + Afternoon Reflection; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Grouping of Trees in Afternoon Light Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

In the early morning of my life the world was seemingly gentle, even as my naïveté ruled. Still, eventually the crack in the cosmos revealed itself. Light flew this way and that until its meaning resonated. As I evolved, so did my sense of nature’s omnipresence and omniscience. Without question the natural world became and remains my inspiration.

The image of the tree grouping in the Lens section has a patina that exudes: Mother Nature’s hope (light), mystery (umbra), bounty (trees), lore (the path) aesthetics (embellishments), fusion (black and white), symbolism (cycle of life), tranquility (a spiritual landscape), and wonder (effects and marvel). Tree formations connote adventure, interdependence and silence that offer ceremonious choices and reverential awe.

The composite image also represents the human condition, and is as much a photographic puzzle* as an illusion for the senses. It’s a scene that under the certain conditions could be experienced in dreams or reality or both. Our lives are filled with details and molded by the actual and the possible, which are building blocks in our life’s journey.

We spend our days and nights imagining in color and sometimes in black-and-white, trying to grow into a vision of our inner and outer selves. Personal evolution can be glacial or in bolts and jolts. Still, the mood of monochrome forces us to evaluate on a deeper level, being seduced by fewer distractions and energized by a subtle freedom from complexities of technicolor.

This black-and-white conversion is parallel to my internal ideas, which mirror the exact moment of inception. For sure, my photographic puzzle reflects my voice of many layers that shouts with intention to be heard.

* Photographic Puzzle © copyright 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

Quotes about black-and-white:

“I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.” – Henri Matisse,  French artist (1869-1954)

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank, American photographer (b. 1924)

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant, Canadian photojournalist (b. 1929)

“I work in colour sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.”― Mary Ellen Mark, American photographer (1940-2015)

“Black and white photography is truly quite a ‘departure from reality,’ and the transition from one aspect of visual magic to another was not as complete as many imagine.” Ansel Adams, American photographer (1902-1984).

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white-carousel/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/56810/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-thoughts/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/02/20/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/sally-ds-black-and-white-challenge-if-its-february-there-must-be-plum-blossoms/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/always-the-bough-is-breaking/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-glass-blowing/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/scrambled-news/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (a Photographic Visual Puzzle*)

13 February 2017

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

1. Palm Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Palm Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

2. Palm Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Palm Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

From this seriously difficult time in the lives of Americans and the global community, I created the photographic visual puzzle* to comfort me. I am grieving and simultaneously threading my journey forward. One result can be seen in my photography.

This visual language digs into my soul, speaking quietly inwardly and more gentle outwardly. These new forms are illusions, even as the eye and mind can unveil their layers. They shape my way of seeing, and help me transpose my vision into a photographic visual puzzle.* But they also have deep-felt meaning to my inner core, especially about the natural world.

As I ponder this stage of “my” light in what will some day be perpetually dark, I am becoming more infatuated with photomontage: a double exposure that also can be a photograph layered onto another and another and another. This process moves my inner creative soul from one level to the next, to blend ideas and thoughts through image making.

As I record another slice of my visual universe, the image making is a deep wellspring for survival. It keeps me afloat and delving into my interior, and also allowing me to live outwardly.

Photomontage is one of my vehicles to show the multitudes inherent in nature. I do not use sleight of mind or hand, but re-image what is before me. My visual universe is given a life beyond the moment of its being, stopping time’s momentum.

The final photograph comes into fruition through experimentation and intuition. When the image comes into itself, I am free to release it, and free to move forward.

*Photographic Visual Puzzle © Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

The Sierra Club was founded by naturalist John Muir, and his advocacy on behalf of Mother Nature gave us Yosemite National Park and many legacies of its aftermath. He was a proponent of nature walks that led to the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku. The literal translation is “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” Recently, when I read about this phenomenon, I knew that it was a familiar part of my daily life. Then I learned that over thirty years ago the concept entered Japanese health care as a preventive therapy. And the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries began to officially use the phrase to describe the silences, sounds, smells and views found in natural environments. So I highly recommend that no matter where you live, you infuse your life with these restorative nature walks. Even urban dwellers can find places to immerse themselves in the joys of nature with green bathing (my interpretation). Find a (tiny forest) small park and let the warmth of the day relax you, making the world’s worries silent for just a brief time.

Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-berry-red/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/mobile-photography-challenge-macro-2/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sally-ds-monday-macro-challenge-moon-lit-paperwhites/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-2/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/02/13/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-on-the-wall/

https://mylifestorymyway.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/14845/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/seeing-and-feeling-color/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstraction, Digital Art, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and a Photographic Visual Puzzle*)

06 February 2017

Lens:

Conservancy Plants, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Conservancy Plants Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about my photograph. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

As I write this meditation, the air is calm, clouds are lingering, and the temps are frigid. It is an apt analogy for the season and climate in America. And I’ve been hoping to fully distract myself from the anxiety and tension that continues to build daily in my country.

A few weeks ago I became privy to a book of essays by the poet, Mary Oliver. While I have read Oliver’s nature poems, she comes only occasionally into my reading life. When Upstream arrived, it lassoed my heart: lassoed it with her profound insights, melodic observations, and meteoric rhetoric. This small tome has become the calm in the midst of chaotic social and political history making.

Upstream nests on my kitchen table. As I pass it, I am compelled to grab my glasses and savor another essay. It is impossible to sit and read it cover to cover, because every essay is made of words that rattle my thoughts. Her descriptions are vibrant in their silence, radiant in their energy, intrusive in her examination, compelling in devotion. Oliver is a gift to those of us who revere nature and those that can be eased into Mother Nature’s charming ways. Her words can be read repeatedly, and that brings me rays of calm.

In perusing her (often) stream of consciousness that weaves in and out on a continuum, the notion suddenly arose: I feel lost, not lost in place and time, but in the throes of a dismantling of American democracy. While I am reeling from the direction that my country is taking under new leadership, it is the consequences for the greater good of humanity and the planet that has become embedded in my thoughts day and night.

What a phenomenon to be enthralled by a writer’s work and wanting on some level to gift it to treasured friends, and on another plane covet the work for myself, to pledge its quiet brilliance and become immersed in its cadence. To keep her where inspiration hovers and lands. To keep her as meditation in the midst of upheaval.

Mary Oliver is my heroine who created a teeny tiny opus (Upstream) of deeply poignant personal philosophy. In the first few pages Oliver describes her own pilgrimage as a youth to define herself through discovery of nature. Those descriptions can be felt as universal words for digestion and rumination.

In the Lens section is another photomontage that reflects my current mood and lifelong dedication to Mother Nature. I feel as though nature wants to hide and be seen at the same time. We, humans, have given her much to consider: our selfishness, our interference, our destruction, our egocentrism, our holier-than-thou approach. For her devotees it is heartbreaking.

But resistance is waving their informed hands, and this rising political and social movement may just make the difference. Yes, my spirit is emboldened that hope is steadily growing across the American landscape and globally.

*Photographic Visual Puzzle © Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

In this time of great change I am supporting more and more organizations whose work have shored the heart and soul of Mother Nature and the Earth. Here are my top choices for those that are mobilizing greater forces to combat the new administration’s stance on climate change, drilling for oil, and other policies that will add to the ills of our planet. Each organization makes suggestions about how we can do our part locally as well as nationally. Of course, donations help them fight the fight. You can select from many, but these are my favorites: Sierra ClubNational Wildlife FederationWorld Wildlife FundNational Parks Conservation Association, National Geographic Society, and National Defense Resource Council. I have been their supporters for many, many moons. My membership in the World Wildlife Fund, for example, goes back numerous decades. I hope that you will support one or more. It has never been more important than now to do so.

nrdc

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-desert-view

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/finding-beauty-in-the-dark-for-sally-ds-smart-device-nature-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-in-flux/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-rock-formations/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/beach/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/cobweb-sally-d-mary-oliver-taniel/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/one-sided-love-2/

https://artalsolife.com/2017/02/10/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Digital Art, Gardens and Gardening, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Photomontage or Photographic Visual Puzzle*)

30 January 2017

Lens:

I. Taken with Camera+ and Editing in Snapseed and Pixlr

White Tiger Lily and Plants Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. White Tiger Lily and Plants Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Editing in Snapseed and Pixlr

White Tiger Lily and Plants Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. White Tiger Lily and Plants Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click onto each image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about my photographs. Which do you prefer color or black and white? Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

“Art implies control of reality, for reality itself possesses no sense of the aesthetic. Photography becomes an art when certain controls are applied.” – Ansel Adams

“Photography isn’t about your camera; it’s about your soul,” says Scottish photographer David Yarrow. He continues, “As Ansel Adams once said, the lens looks both ways. It’s about your emotional investment in something–the narrative you want to offer to a scene.”

Over six months have passed since I began a journey to create photomontages that mostly                              reflect my interpretation and reverence for nature and its intersection with human nature. This photographic pilgrimage has given me new ways of seeing and living with my spiritual guide: the natural world and its wonders.

Recently, I remembered some moments from my recent trip to Longwood Gardens with my grandson. While viewing the holiday displays, I was drawn to the White Tiger Lilies that ran along the border of the main hall of the Conservatory. When I began to peruse my images from that sweetly memorable trip, I realized that the photomontage in the Lens section was imagined long before I actually created it.

 My intentions were to portray the illusion of nature’s palette and the deeper strength of monochrome. While color has a strangely charismatic lure, it also can be ho-hum. Just as color black and white is never black and white, but increases its appeal or turns you elsewhere. It has variants and levels of play that defy a precise interpretation. Each is never as it first appears to our spying.

Photographs in the Lens section merge the visual with a sense that nothing is as simple as it appears to be. The combination of lilies and other plant life frees the viewer’s eye to wander through the photographic visual puzzle*.

These composites are in their final form an “un-reality,” even as I imagine that they could be real. Layers of nature are blended and cry out with exuberance. They seem to say that we must be vigilant to delve deeper than their surface appearances.

As the image maker I understand that each photomontage exists only inside my imagination. The photomontage lifts my spirits and shows nature in the abstraction, a place that takes me from the moment of seeing the individual images into the unknown: a photographic visual puzzle* to be sure.

Tip of the Week:

Here are a few apps that you might want to explore. Each has its own method to create double exposure: Fused, Image Blender, Photo Blender, and Enlight. I use Pixlr, which  suits my sensibilities. My own experience has taught me to experiment with various apps to find those that compliment my intentions and style. What works for me may not work for someone else. It’s fun to take the journey to that discovery. Happy playing.

* Photographic Visual Puzzle © Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

View other entries for this week’s challenge:
https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/enter-the-dragon-mural-for-sally-ds-editing-challenge/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/01/30/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/aged-beauty/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/imagining-a-past-for-the-cabin-by-the-river/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice-Portrait (of a Pitcher Plant)

23 January 2017

Lens:

Pitcher Plant Flower, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved


Pitcher Plant Flower, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about my photograph. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

Longwood Gardens is a ritual. I’ve been taking my grandchildren there for their entire existence. The most recent trip was with my grandson who becomes at one with the ambience of the gardens as well as his camera.

We waited until the beginning of the month, because we wanted to stroll through the winter holiday displays sans crowds. Our arrival in the Conservatory was a few days before the exhibition’s last hurrah. We were in horticultural heaven, especially content and grateful in the throes of wintry weather.

My grandson is drawn to the unusual, and certainly the family of Pitcher Plants fits his visual sensibilities. As a youngster, he was enamored with the Venus Flytrap. Even today it pulls him into its charm.

But the true treat during this visit was the flowering Sarracenia sp. of the Pitchers with their slippery leaves. This species is found in the Southeast of North America, and their colorful performance made it doubly hard to dislodge our attention.

These eloquent flowers seemed to be peeling away their inner secrets, and the grey day emphasized their dramatic appearance. The display had them in the usual trays, and these tropical plants were backlit by the melancholy afternoon. It gave the blooms a greater appeal, and kept us spying longer than we’ve ever spent at that permanent grouping.

Every experience–inside or out–there reminds me of the way nature and human nature shore each other’s presence. Descriptors abound such as longevity, resilience, stamina, strength in the face of odds for and against continuance.

Our experience is a clear indication of why repeat visits to the gardens always unveils new discoveries. Longwood Gardens is a true year-round national treasure, and fortunately for us just a forty-five journey north.

Tip of the Week:

The Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens began this weekend. Each year the exhibition has varieties that stir the senses and brighten the moodiness brought by winter’s bare landscape. I’ll make it my destination this month, just waiting for the crowds to lessen. Here’s a peek from their site: “As one of the first plant collections at Longwood, orchids have held a place of distinction since 1922. Our talented horticulturists celebrate the beauty and variety of orchids with an artful display that includes a towering 12-foot-tall archway made up of pink Phalaenopsis orchids, giant orbs of orchids, our spectacular purple and white orchid curtain, and more than 200 colorful Vanda hanging from above in our Silver Garden.”

If you are on the East Coast of the USA between now and 31 March, please try to visit this world-renown horticultural treasure. It always perks the spirits and inspires the heart. And keeps me hungry for Spring to arrive.

Paphiopedilum Hsinying Magic Voodoo Orchid, Longwood Gardens; © 2012 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Paphiopedilum Hsinying, Magic Voodoo Orchid, Longwood Gardens; © 2012 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/mobile-photo-challenge-your-choice/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/01/23/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/she-emerges-sally-ds-monday-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-warmth/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-lilies/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/8962/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/playtime-in-the-electronic-studio/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , | 34 Comments