From Another Day Not Wasted: Meditations in Photography, Art, and Wildness by Guy Tal:
“[You] may train yourself to find value in the process, and not only in the products, of creative work — in activities such as mindful exploration, experimentation, tinkering, and pursuing whatever ‘what if’ may come to your mind. In adopting such a mindset, even if you are not always successful in terms of producing a good photograph, the time you dedicate to the pursuit of photography will always be rewarding.”
From The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard:
“Great images have both a history and a prehistory; they are always a blend of memory and legend, with the result that we never experience an image directly. Indeed, every great image has an unfathomable oneiric depth to which the personal past adds special color. Consequently it is not until late in life that we really revere an image, when we discover that its roots plunge well beyond the history that is fixed in our memories. In the realm of absolute imagination, we remain young late in life.”
After about a week of freezing weather right around Christmas and a series of rainstorms drenching the southeast on the first few days of the new year, The Photographer hasn’t had much of a chance to head out into nature and snap some new snaps. However — when finishing some cleanup in Lightroom on one of the rainy days — he did recently stumble across a small collection of blooming trees from early last spring, and a batch of photos featuring slinky grapevines from the garden from last summer that, for some reason (nobody knows why!) were never processed and posted. He’s still working on the grapevine photos, but here is the first of two posts with the blooming trees.
The trees in the first five photos are, I believe, cherry trees with their cherry blossoms; and the last four are a hibiscus variety (Thanks, Ann!). The final photo co-stars what can only be described as a busy, happy, tiny wasp.
I don’t necessarily remember the outing during which I took these photos; the trips run together and become indistinguishable after a while. But Lightroom tells me I took them in March of last year and used one of my favorite lenses from the olden days: a 100-300mm Minolta Maxxum XI Zoom lens, originally produced in 1991. Given its zoom range, it’s not one that would typically be used for closeups of flowers, yet even at 300mm it manages to produce some well-focused and richly colored images, where my favorite part is the very lovely background blur behind the subjects — evident especially, below, on the five photos of the cherry blossoms. As with all the old Minolta lenses, they were originally designed for film cameras, and therefore, on a camera like the Sony SLT-A99ii, capture full-frame RAW images that clock in at a whopping 85 megabytes each, filled with trillions (possible exaggeration!) of pixelly globlets that are fun to manipulate in Lightroom. And, for sure, it’s a pleasantly nostalgic experience to bridge a 30-year gap in the history of photography by clicking a 1990s lens to a recent digital camera. Gives me thrills and chills, every time….
Thanks for reading and taking a look!
The first set of pictures looks just like the cherry tree in my garden. (Though sadly, my tree appears to be dying.) The second set have leaves that look like hardy hibiscus.) I plan a few experiments with my old film lenses this year – good to find a way to keep them in use!
I think you’re right about the flowers I thought were camellia. The unopened buds are very hibiscus-looking also. Thanks for the fix! Sorry about your cherry tree, hope it springs back to good health!