Dear Mother Nature,

I know we haven’t always been close. When given a choice, I choose to stay inside, reading a book or playing with pixels. I’m an indoor sort of gal.

Yes, like most photographers, I began this visual journey celebrating your beauty. But for some time now, my camera has been focused on the man-made – architecture and urban decay and abstract reflections. Lines and shapes and geometry. I tend to exclude you from my images – except, of course, for your golden morning light and those sapphire skies streaked with cotton-candy clouds.

It’s nothing personal, really. The subjects that speak to me, the ones that light the fire within, usually don’t include you.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice.

You remind me of the infinite possibilities of growth and renewal. To embrace change. To accept the cycles of fertile and fallow.

And to be humbled by the simple beauty of a flowering tree – a signal of spring’s soft embrace.

So, here’s to you – a tribute, a thanks, an offering – from the bottom of my heart.

Creatively yours,


Linking with the Photo-Heart Connection, hosted by Kat Sloma


Posted on May 2, 2013, in Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. Very good looking tribute!

    • Thank you! I couldn’t resist this lone tree, backdropped by the steel siding and geometric shapes. Sometimes we just have to take the time to say thank you.

  2. I have to think Mother Nature fully approves. Just as we love her beauty, I expect she’s finds the beauty you create equally extraordinary! How could she resist!:).
    Wonderful love letter. And a gorgeous start to my day here in Toronto. xo

    • Juli – Glad to have been part of your day’s beginning. You are always so positive and enthusiastic about my work – it lifts me up every time I read your comments. I hope Mother Nature would approve of what I have done here.

  3. This is one of my favorites and I’m sure Mother Nature is happy to be included in such a work of art. I love the contrast of man-made and natural…especially how the blossoms bring bright-white to the image. Stunning!

    • Suzette – I always feel a little strange turning my camera on natural subjects – as if I haven’t earned the right to include her beauty in my images. As if it falls outside my allowed definition of who I am as a photographer. But I couldn’t resist the delicate white blossoms against all that sleek metal.

  4. You have created a beautiful study in black and white of nature versus man made!

    • Deb – that is what attracted me to this shot – that contrast between. And I thought the black and white treatment worked well to highlight the almost-glowing white of the tree.

  5. Such a beautiful tribute to Mama Nature — the opposing lines draw the eye to the flowering tree, so lovely in black and white! Wonderful photo-heart selection, Brenda.

    • Gina – I’m never quite sure what to do with nature subjects – probably why I tend to avoid them. But this combination – of just the treetop against all that sleek metal – spoke to me. I’m just hoping Mother Nature doesn’t mind.

  6. You are wise to jot a note to mother nature. She can get very nasty if you don’t from time to time acknowlege her. Good play. Love the whites and greys here, without much in the way of blacks. Cool monochrome feel. And don’t be letting Ma pull you away from the architecture. Jus’ sayin’.
    PS…I got that package in the mail the other day. Now to find an hour or so unencumbered. I need to tell work to knock it off. Thanks.

    • Susan – yes, and you have experienced her wrath, haven’t you? And it is doubtful that I will succumb to nature’s charms, for all its beauty. Architecture remains my first love.

      Glad the package arrived safely. I hope you will find something of worth – some fabulous trick or tip – that will make your time investment worthwhile.

  7. I’m mesmerized by the tones of shadow in this image. And that lovely surprise of spring blossom puts the icing on the cake. I’m sure Mother Nature understands…and appreciates your appreciation of her gifts.

    • Lee – well, I imagine Mother Nature is a pretty laid-back character – after all, she has been around a LONG time and seen it all. So hopefully, she will accept my tribute in the spirit it was given – even though I usually ignore her 🙂

  8. Beautiful! So many contrasts going on to create this lovely spring image! Love the B&W! Just because you don’t photograph nature doesn’t mean that you don’t see them and appreciate them. I know you do! Just as I see and appreciate the architecture of buildings when I’m out and about, which always makes me think of you. In fact I took a few pictures of an old railroad bridge this week and I wanted you to be there to see it!

    • Cathy – isn’t it wonderful how well we know each other’s favorite subject matter and think of each other when we see something that we know the other would love? I am still lusting after the Children’s Library that you just featured – oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a couple of hours there 🙂

  9. This is so beautiful, I really love your style.

    • Thanks Leanne. Always a risk, stepping outside our normal subject matter, that with which we are comfortable and familiar. I really appreciate all the positive feedback.

  10. What a beautiful letter to mother nature! Love the simplicity of this…especially the b&w toning.

    • Marcie – Unlike me, you have a wonderfully close relationship with Mother Nature. I learn something every day, seeing natural beauty through your eyes. It felt slightly weird including a natural element in this photo – but if I squint my eyes, the tree becomes a triangle 🙂

  11. Wonderful words and photo, love the contrast and the tones, the flowering tree and the awesome background… beautiful tribute and fantastic photo-heart connection

    I am starting to explore urban scenery in a more deliberated way lately, and I am enjoying the experience

    • Zena – like many photographers, I started out by celebrating the natural world around me, primarily through floral macros. The transition to urban scenes was a gradual one, until I became aware that a great shift had occurred – when I began to purposefully seek out those types of subjects. And now, it is what I shoot. I am curious to know if this will be “my subject” forever or whether there is something else down the road. Whatever happens, it will be interesting.

  12. Love the contrasts in this image and the nod to Mother Nature. Fantastic image and love your letter to Mother Nature.

    • Becs – well, you inspired the letter idea, with your wonderful weekly letters – obviously, an idea that I love. The writing has been coming slow lately, so I greatly appreciate that fact that you let me steal this idea from you 🙂

  13. The soft monochrome treatment you used here is nice, emphasizing the relationship between the natural and the man-made. And I like the letter-as-post idea too.

    • Wanda – there was a beautiful blue sky in the background in the original image – but I thought the soft-contrast BW worked here, putting the emphasis on the delicate white blossoms against the sleekness of the metal. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. What a beautiful study of architecture vs. nature. And your words are so eloquent! Don’t be surprised if Mother Nature answers you!

    • Michele – well, wouldn’t that be cool – a missive from Mother Nature? Hopefully, she will forgive me for ignoring her work in my work.

  15. What a gorgeous, complex image – and I love this line, “You remind me of the infinite possibilities of growth and renewal. To embrace change. To accept the cycles of fertile and fallow.”—

    • Lisa – I hope Mother Nature accepted my apologies, for generally ignoring her, for taking her for granted – except when I complain about another day of cold rain. And hopefully she enjoyed being the star of this particular photograph.

  16. Great way to include your photography love and mother nature.

    • Sarah – normally, I would compose so the tree wouldn’t be included – but this time, I saw that it was the right thing to do – to create an image that said “thank you”.

  17. A striking image. Outstanding composition. All those rectangles of similar size going in different directions… The tones in this image are excellent–many shades of gray, with that tree/shrub glowing in the foreground. An outstanding image.

    • Anita – coming from the Queen of Nature Photography, that is a very, very high compliment. I stole a page from your book in making the blossoms seem to glow – mine was accomplished via post-processing, but still – the intent was the same.

  18. Love the monochrome, it really shows the light off and how the man-made and natural can compliment each other.

    • Carolyn – the response has been so positive about including Mother Nature that I am thinking I need to look for more opportunities to do so. It’s funny – normally I work really hard to keep her out of my compositions – perhaps I need to re-think that position 🙂

  19. I love the combination of the straight lines, light and shadow with the glowing, organic blossoms. A great tribute to Mother Nature!

  20. This really hits the sweet spot. As you know, I crave these juxtapositions and you’ve completely nailed it with this fantastic shot.

    • Chris – well, you are the juxtaposition master so I take it as quite a compliment to have hit that “sweet spot”. I hesitated while framing this shot – questioning whether the addition of the tree was a good or bad thing – but from the positive comments, I am thinking I need to do this more often 🙂

  21. Love your voice in this, and the humorous approach with your letter…such fun to read! Great shot, and I have to admit…I’m so often drawn by the architecture and such, as well!

    • Paula – I had this photo picked out quite early in the process but struggled with the words to go with it – finding a way to express how strange it felt to include “her” in this image – it almost felt like cheating in some way. And then I was inspired to just write old Mother Nature a letter. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Always good to hear from a fellow architecture junkie.

  22. I like this black and white photo, so delicate.

    • Elsie – I think that is what I like about this image as well – the juxtaposition of the delicate white blossoms against all the metal. Hard versus soft; man-made versus natural – the contrasts.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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