Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cherry Blossoms

I have been waiting two years for these cherry blossoms to re-emerge. I filmed them two years ago, but they do not last very long. I was disappointed last year when the tree didn't have one blossom on it. That characteristic is called "biennial bearing" and is not uncommon in some types of fruit trees. When you take into consideration rainy days and poor lighting, and the fact that you may have other responsibilities, time to devote to photographs can be limited.

I felt like I was just getting to know them and, suddenly, they were gone. There is a a very real sense in which you get to know a subject and begin to understand how to present it's best qualities  as well as what can be done with the lighting, the camera and the lens.

This isn't the tidal basin with broad scenes of blossoming trees and water. This is one little tree on the edge of the woods with a trunk half the size of my wrist. So, standing back and taking in a sweep of the entire tree is out of the question.

No, Instead, it is a matter of trying to depict the essence of the tree in smaller, more intimate views. For the majority of the images, I used my go to lens — a 400 mm telephoto. Sounds like overkill, doesn't it? On some, I add a extension tube which allows me to get a little closer. I like the "bokeh" this lens produces. That is a Japanese word basically defined as the background blurring in the photos, but more specifically, the round points of light in some of the pictures.

I do not have a problem with increasing the saturation to achieve what I envision for a photo. I do not see it as any different than if I used a paintbrush to create the images. If this were journalistic photography, that would be different and accuracy would take first place. Some photographers consider that kind of manipulation almost sacrilegious, but I don't have a problem with it.

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