Word and Image

Posts tagged “Flowers

Second Chances

IMG_0335More street photography – I got a second chance. Well okay. This time I wasn’t under pressure. If I got a shot or not, there was already one in my archive. So now the goal is to get a better one. Smile, get eye contact, and shoot.

Someone I know, knows all about second chances. This really isn’t. You have already seen two shots on a recent post. This time with nothing to lose, I relaxed, smiled at the kid, made eye contact,  and got him to engage with my camera. Instead of a distracted look, I got a smile. Like many of my street photography subjects, this kid will grow up. But for this instance I have preserved his youth forever.


1962 02 Forsythia Westhampton copy

This plant is really ugly most of the year. It’s gangly and unkempt. But, for a brief period in the spring, this bush really shines. So the trick is to get a shot that does it justice. The flower itself is not particularly photogenic. It’s really about the color. You don’t want to get too close. There are too many imperfections. The plant needs a pairing, hence the white picket fence. I’ve taken a lot of forsythia shots over the years. I’m still waiting for a better shot. But this will do, to illustrate my struggle.


1956 29 Tulips on tile copy

This an iconic view for me. We have a white tile floor in the kitchen in Westhampton. It’s spring and it’s tulip season. I’m trying for a shot of the tulips that is different from the usual. So I went for this graphic composition. You can see my shoes at the bottom. I’ve done this with other flowers in other seasons since this image. But this was the first shot like this for me.


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There are tulips and then there are tulips. The pattern of the petals was striking. It’s graphic art. It helped that the sun was bright. I know it’s high contrast and I should go in at high noon. I guess that if you follow the rule you don’t get this shot. The macro setting is really convenient. I suppose the DOF ruins the ‘bokeh’ for those knowing photographers. Hey, I like the shot.

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Hillside Daffodils

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A low angle is always different. Most photographers like to shoot at eye level and never stoop to get a better angle. It’s harder for me to stoop these days. But here the hillside did the work for me. All I had to do was aim and shoot. I just love that blue-sky background. Of course it helps if there is one flower standing up to grab the show.


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The flowers come out all along the branches. It’s a great color display. I got the sun into the shot unintentionally. I would say that it was planned but it would not be so. Still, the image is a keeper.

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There is a spot in Central Park where there are some spectacular displays of tulips. It doesn’t appear every year. But this year they were in full splendor. And what is better than painters catching an artful interpretation of the display? So I ask why their easels were set up before the tulips and at the top of each easel was a picture (not this scene) from which they were referencing. Did I miss something? They are painting a picture in front of a real scene of beauty. Hey, it’s a way to go, I guess.

More Central Park

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The cherry blossoms always stand out. It is hard to decide whether to go with a close up or get a view of the whole tree in bloom. Folks are all about getting shots of the color. Others are out to make a few dollars. I have lately been taking pictures of people taking pictures.

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It’s all special because it happens for only a few short weeks. If you are lucky enough, you will be there to enjoy it.


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I have lots of chances to get shots of the tulips. So you have to look for a different point of view. It’s always worth a shot to shoot the center of the flower. Shadows can be tricky. I got this one at Columbus Circle on my walk around the city.

Grandma’s Courtyard

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It turns out I didn’t miss spring in New York. This opportunity arose when I waited for Grandma and took advantage of her courtyard in bloom. I’ve shot cherry blossoms every which way. You would think that I’ve exhausted the subject. But each and every time you try to get something different.

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Under different circumstances dandelions are weeds. For some they are food and others wine. Today it’s another spring flower.

Spring, Central Park

Every spring Central Park puts on a show of spring blossoms. It’s free. You just have to wander the paths. There are cherry blossoms, magnolias, forsythias, tulips, daffodils and so many other details for the pleasure of all who visit. Once and only once so far, did Julia accompany me. We wandered near and far across the park. It’s was a special day in my memory now. Hey I’m glad we got some quality time together.



It’s called bokeh. Ah, they make up terms for everything. I understand depth of field and blurring the background to male it pleasingly out of focus in order to complement the foreground. It’s all summed up in ‘bokeh.’ Yup, Costa Rica. I had to look it up, the place. Oh, it’s a bird of paradise, the flower, that is.


I’m parked on the side of the road looking over a march along Seven Lakes drive in Bear Mountain. I didn’t even get out of the car. I just slid across to the passenger side and rolled down the window to shoot. As I was just about to roll the window, I looked down and snapped this shot. Serendipity.


Here’s a slide image that’s comparable to the digital image I have somewhere posted. The colors are almost surreally brilliant. It could be the film, camera, or scanner. It’s not been Photoshopped. I don’t remember the image so brilliantly colored but the end result is pretty nice. Sometimes I get more from the process than I expected.

Nothing Wild

This is a rather impressive display of wildflowers. It’s somewhere out on Long Island, Southampton, I believe. What you have here are native species, which is to say that the plants are indigenous to the location. However, to say that this is a matter of scattering a few seeds is hardly fair. There’s a lot of hard work to get this impressive garden to come together. It’s not really wild at all.


Dogwood Blossoms

We have a back yard with flowering trees. The early morning fog softly muted the pink and white dogwood flowers. Near enough to the ocean we often have fog present into mid morning before the sun finally breaks through. There’s something soothing to awaken to muted colors.

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Each spring the blossoms put on quite a show. Some years are better than others. I have an especially soft spot for bright deep blue sky. And with this background the blossoms are just that much more dramatic.

African Daisy

After you plant and look at the same flowers year after year, you yearn for something different. But the heat, and water requirements limit some of your choices. And I especially don’t like to have flowers get leggy and stop blossoming halfway through the summer. African daisies are different. You don’t just see them everywhere. Although after I planted them they don’t seem so rare any longer. But meanwhile they are intense and colorful. And unlike African honey bees, this flower is not dangerouse.


I was an avid container gardener on our Manhattan deck for a number of years. We had some daisies that were spectacular. I took plenty of shots to document the results. I’m glad I did. In recent years circumstances have kept me from planting. But boy was it spectacular once upon a time.



They are native to Long Island. Say that it means that this flower grows in the environment and likes the summers hot and dry. With a minimum of care they still thrive when other plants wilt. And they are colorful, almost fluorescent. Singly or in bunches daylilies are always an easy subject. They are summer on Long Island to me.

Blue Wall

Well I suppose it’s turquoise really. Rockland, Maine, the Lobster Festival parade day. I was walking with my friend Bob to the Coast Guard store before the parade. I think he wanted to buy socks. Go figure. There was this wall with milkweed [it’s what I call it] asking me to photograph it. I don’t think I paused but for a mere instant. Sometimes you take a shot and know it’s a good one even as it transfers to the memory card. I didn’t take another shot or experiment. We were on a mission to the store. My daughter loved this enough to have it framed.


This plant just appeared in our garden bed on Long Island. I didn’t know it’s name at that point. Then I watered it. The initial spray from a hose sitting in the sun on a hot day is hot water. So I cooked the plant and killed it. I never made that mistake again. But we never had these flowers again either.


My daughter went to camp in Maine for a number of years. The jump off point was Portland where we would stay the night before dropping her off. One of the lighthouses was always on my list to visit. If you’ve been there once, ‘no need to see it again’, was one of my wife’s pragmatic views. Indeed this shot was taken during one of the early trips to Maine and camp. I have been back to this park many times but I have not seen as nice a display of flowers on the hill as on this one occasion. Maybe you can’t go back. It’s another precious moment passed before you know it and not to be repeated.

Cherry Blossoms

April 2001, Central Park. There are a few trees that are dependable subjects in the park in the spring. This year I have been past this tree several times and not noticed it. Usually this tree, laden in blossoms stops me. Sometimes things are remembered more vividly in your memory. Here’s proof that my memory still works. This tree is just not as spectacular this year.


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