What’s Left of Spring

Daffodils photographed using a “find a pattern and break it” compositional technique

Back in February, as winter was turning to spring, I made a promise to myself that I would get out more often to photograph the flowers that would soon be blooming in the Washington region’s many gardens.

Tulip photographed using a shoot-through technique

Predictably, life, work, travel and study got in the way and undermined my good intentions. Yet, I did manage to get out on several weekend mornings, mostly to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, a favourite haunt of mine for photographing flowers.

During my many hours in the gardens, I spent most of my time standing around not taking photos, seeing nothing and devoid of any ideas about how to go about the task.

Multiple exposure moving the camera in a circular pattern after each exposure to create a swirl

Flower photography used to come easily to me. When I first got back into photography about ten years ago, flowers were the first subject to which I was drawn and were where I learned the skills of digital photography. Because I was photographing flowers regularly and taking workshops with talented professional photographers, such as Joshua Taylor, Corey Hilz and Mike Moats, it seems my eye became practiced at seeing good compositions. I had no difficulty in deciding which technique to use when photographing a particular flower or garden scene.

Close-up of a clematis, taken with a 105mm macro lens

What I learned from the many barren, miserable hours I spent standing around in the cold early-morning light in Brookside Gardens this past spring is that, through lack of practice, I have lost that facility. And, so, I have only these five images worth showing from all my spring flower photography efforts, each of which took far more thought, effort and time than is apparent from looking at them.

And this last one isn’t even a flower.

Cherry tree in bloom, with reflection





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