From Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age by Robert Hirsch:

“We all know what time is until someone asks us to explain it; then, even physicists find the nature of time to be inexplicable. Time is more baffling than space. It seems to flow past us or we appear to move through it, making its passage seem subjective and incomprehensible. Yet a camera can purposely stop time and spatially add the aspect of physical dimension within a framed area of visual space, giving photographs exceptional properties that other visual media do not possess….”

“When it comes to photographic imagemaking, people have plenty of questions about cameras but don’t often ask about how best to accomplish their visual goals. What determines the success of an image is not the camera, but the knowledge of the person operating the camera. The principal job of a photographer is looking, which defines all photographic processes. Good photographs are made by learning to see. Good photographers become skilled at following their eyes and seeing things others overlook…. A good photograph creates a memory in a viewer by communicating an experience to another….”


The visual energy of a color depends greatly on its relationship to other colors and its placement within a scene rather than on the size of the area it occupies. Imagine a white, in-ground swimming pool on a calm and clear afternoon reflecting harmonious blue-sky colors that are even, smooth, and unified. Now throw in a red beach ball. Pow! It generates a visual explosion that surprises the eye and instantly becomes the point of emphasis. Its solitariness stands out as a point of visual magnetism. Its atypical individuality within the unified space introduces needed variety into the composition….”

Is it spring yet? No, ‘fraid not, but I’ve decided to wrap up my winter photo series with two last posts featuring some hints of the season not too far away — a bit of spring preminiscence, shall we say. In another month or so — unless we have some freezing weather or a freak two-inch snowstorm — we’ll be all set to once again pretend it’s spring and there will be very little to differentiate wintery photos from springy ones. Meanwhile, I’m working on a series of architectural detail photos — something I hardly ever do but wanted to try — which prompted me to learn more about symmetry and balance in photographic composition, and I’ll start unrolling those in a few days.

The first gallery shows some paperwhite lilies from Oakland Cemetery gardens, growing in a shady spot near the cemetery’s entrance. Despite their small size and the fragile, translucent white of their blooms, they seem perfectly happy to flower all winter long — in smaller quantities, perhaps, but still producing some nice floral clumps.

There are several varieties of the plant in the following gallery growing on the property, both white versions like these and some red/pink variations that I’ll upload for the next post.

After scouring a few of my plant and southern gardening books, I just couldn’t identify this one, so I used the web site Plantnet to see if the internet would help. This was the first time I’d used Plantnet — where you can upload multiple photos of flowers or other plants, and get a response with probable identities. The site suggested that these were flowering quince shrubs, which I confirmed by searching for flowering quince images and comparing them to my photos.

This gallery features camellia blossoms; camellia is a hardy winter-blooming shrub or small tree that apparently produces a large volume of blooms all year round, shrugging off cooler winter temperatures. The blooms are a richly saturated red, and the petal that had fallen from another branch — in the first two photos — seemed to add a nice, elegant touch to the unopened flower.

Thanks for reading and taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (3 of 3)

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