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Tag Archives: blossom

Each spring, the air is filled with an intoxicating fragrance emanating from my Korean Spice Viburnum. With its unmistakable aroma, you cannot help but be drawn closer.

“Aurora” (Korean Spice Viburnum, Carlesi Compacta ‘Aurora’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/160s, ISO 640

The individual flowers of the viburnum are tiny and for me, have always proved difficult to photograph. Since it’s only the buds that are pink, when they ‘pop’ all you can see from above are rounded clusters of white. But, by getting underneath, I was finally able to capture the whole story of these sweet little blossoms. Hooray! 🙂

Across the yard, putting on a show of its own, stands the giant pink powderpuff that is the ‘Cornell Pink’ Manchurian Azalea. Now, while its ‘pinkness’ is indeed impressive (as seen here), I found this time I was more captivated by the flowers’ graceful stamens as they reached out with inviting gestures to all the insects and bees swarming around.

“Come to Me” (Pink Manchurian Azalea, ‘Cornell Pink’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/640s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Expressive” Filter

So there they were, doing all the work but being overshadowed by the showiness of those fantastically colored petals. I thought by converting the image to black & white I was able to give the stamens some long overdue recognition. Don’t you agree? 🙂

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Seems I’ve got a case of ‘warm fuzzies’ with all the yellow flowers blooming in the neighborhood! Now, I could have gone for forsythia, daffodil or tulip but nope. What caught my camera’s eye today were the dandelions! Go figure. 😉

“Dandy” (Taraxacum officinale, aka Common Dandelion) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.8, 1/2000s, ISO 200

Snubbed by most as a lowly weed, but when you get belly-down to these sunny blossoms you start to see them in a whole different light.

“The Art of the Dandelion” (Taraxacum officinale, aka Common Dandelion) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8, F/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 200

Ever take a close look at the leaves? Before today I can’t really say that I had. And there they’ve been all along…the spikey, deep green background players, edged and veined in purple, with little white tips, waiting patiently for someone, anyone, to take notice.

Well, there ya go little dandelion. Sorry it took me soooo long. 🙂

“Spring Stretch” (Crocus ‘Yalta’, Tommasinianus hybrid, aka Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/80s, -0.7EV, ISO 320, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -0.7EV

Last year at this time, the Snow Crocus were still fast asleep, buried under two feet of the cold, white stuff.This year couldn’t be more different!

With an overall lack of snowfall during the winter and the crazy higher-than-normal temperatures here in the Northeast, the happy little blossoms are popping up all over the landscape.

One little beauty caught my attention since it appeared to be caught in a sleepy yawn, stretching its petals as if perplexed as to why it was roused so soon (we typically don’t spot crocus until mid-April).

The next bloom I found was hiding beneath a large rhododendron, seemingly timid to come forth, yet reaching for the warmth of the sun just beyond its grasp.

“Awakening” (Purple Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 200, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

As much as it is nice to see life returning to the garden, I’m not all that keen on rushing the seasons. Who wants to worry now if outdoor plants are getting enough water or if young shoots are struggling to dig their way out from under a bed of leaves? It really is just too soon. I’m sure I don’t have to stress over this as Mother Nature is known for teasing us with a few warm days followed by a return to chilling temps, even if the sole purpose is to remind us all of exactly who is in charge.

So, let’s hit the snooze button, shall we? I, for one, need a bit more time to get ready for the tasks ahead. 🙂

As a gardener, I’ve learned there are a number of factors, many of which are completely out of my control, that influence how ‘good’ a growing season will be. Some years, I’ve seen off-the-chart clematis blooms while others, not so much. And it seems when one particular plant species is underperforming, sure enough, another will out-do itself.

For example, this year the peonies in my garden didn’t quite fair so well with less-than-normal yields on each plant and short-lived blossoms that faded quickly. However, in direct contrast, the dogwood trees are simply stunning! 🙂

Our tree is 12 years old and it is completely engulfed in flowers. It looks lovely by day as the sunshine strikes the white pointed bracts and ethereal by night, when subtly lit and reflecting into the dark water of the pool below.

“The Flying Nun” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 320

The challenge for a photographer, especially one like myself who has been shooting flowers for more years than I care to admit 😉 , is to capture the beauty of nature in a unique manner. Type in ‘kousa dogwood flower’ in any internet search engine and pages upon pages of image results will display, many of them looking exactly the same. Sigh. Where’s the creativity, people??!

“Yamaboushi” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 320, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, +1.0 EV

So, I set out to shoot these beauties in a manner I’ve not seen before. I admit it took alot of walking about and much contemplation (studying backgrounds, lighting and camera angles) to achieve what I wanted. What I love about the first image is the way the light is cradled inside the delicate cup shape created by the white bracts, causing it to literally glow against the darker background.

What I love about the second image is the soft tones and curves that focus our attention on the true flowers (considered ‘ornamentally insignificant’) which are the small yellow-green inflorescences in the center. (Surprised? 😉 ) Those same bracts now appear as fluid as fabric, gathered and held together at the center by Mother Nature’s very own version of  ‘bling’.

All in all, a doggone good day for shooting an old favorite. 🙂

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