Cherry blossom time
Hold the press! I’m inserting an additional post today, breaking my usual rule for one-a-day. Timing. We did the cherry blossoms yesterday. It was a gloomy, dreary, rainy day until it cleared and became sunny and 84 degrees. We took pictures. Lots. We did four museums. Ambitious itinerary. We saw the sights. A quintessential shot? Too many opportunities, too little time. Close up, wide angle, monument, selfie… oh my! The choices?! Throw in a pretender – weeping cherry. We did it all yesterday…
I shot that?
I came across some images in a catalog in a place I have not looked in a very long time. Are you following me? We were in Washington DC during the cherry blossoms and wandered into an orchid exhibit. Nice! I am frankly pleased at the detail I captured in the orchid. Technology continues to improve. I can now easily mask and enhance subject or sky. Too technical? It doesn’t matter. Amazing things can be done now in editing. It’s simple enough for someone as lazy as me. The edits are hardly noticeable. I’m better than I was and didn’t even know it. Hint: you do need a good image to start with. Oh, bother.
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep….
Jump to Lyrics — Turn! Turn! Turn!”, or “Turn! Turn! Turn is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s and first recorded in 1959. The lyrics – except for …
Ecclesiastes 3 is its biblical reference quoted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after the Capitol was attacked in January.
It’s near cherry blossom time in Washington, DC. We celebrate both proudly and not. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912, mere decades before Pearl Harbor. Only recently The African American Museum was opened and recounts the shame of slaves. It’s only a mere 400 years since slavery began in America. The contemplative waterfall within the museum is healing. And in a small display case within is a ship model demonstrating how the slaves – humans!! – were transported stacked and lined side by side within a ship’s hold. A certain percentage loss (of life) was calculated as spoilage during the trip. Stacked like cords of wood! Horrifying? Yes, our history is not always a proud one. Recently, a mob stormed the gates of the Capitol. Terrorists attacked our nation’s capital.
Contemplate: we are a nation with a complex history with a mistaken belief in manifest destiny:
“What was Manifest Destiny? Propounded during the second half of the 19th century, the concept of Manifest Destiny held that it was the divinely ordained right of the United States to expand its borders to the Pacific Ocean and beyond.Nov 18, 2020…”
It has always been easy to distinguish between good and evil; truth and lies. NOT! We do our best. Or, we do not. Largely, I would tend to “follow the money.”
“A popular current text, the King James Version shows 1 Timothy 6:10 to be: For the love of money is the root of all of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – the Apostle Paul.
There is no honor in what has recently occurred. There are those among us who would subvert the will of the majority. There is much to contemplate in the good and the evil that presently swirls. Lies, truth, spin, turn, each of us must contemplate and then vote peacefully. Free elections are a bedrock of our democracy. Do not let men with guns and loud voices take that away. Liken them to Al quaeda and the Taliban; they have tried. They will not succeed.
We arrived at 8:30am to see the blossoms. By noon the crowds were considerably more. In the early morning you are not alone but there is enough space to make it appear as though you have the trees to yourself. Later that task is much more challenging. I’m not an early morning person. I’m more a random come as you are and find what you see type. But here I was in the same place twice. We circled back to get to our parked car. Consider it time delay photo ops.
I don’t get too many people ops in Delaware. We don’t see too many people to note. But in Washington DC, photo ops are all around. Keep alert. Shoot early and often. There’s lots to see. I’m still a color guy at heart. I see color not black and white. It works for me. Yes, one needs to be vigilant. What? Umbrellas? Umm…why? I haven’t a clue. …just strangers being strange.
No rhyme or reason here. I like this image straight out of the camera. Flaws, sure?! Often I will take multiples to be sure I have captured the moment. Too often exposure or focus is an issue. This time there was one and only. Post production manipulation is always an option but I don’t choose to do much.
Commercial or picturesque? You can have whatever you like. I have seen the cherry blossoms twice now. Once was enough? One wonders? We did not hike all among the trees. But the crowds are large and never diminish. Year to year, the same photographers or different ones. Many many iPhones, more than any other device. But, there are cameras of all sizes and shapes. I carried two, plus our iPhone. Iphone was for uploading instantly. One camera did wide angle and the other did telephoto duty. I still think that the real glass in a camera is way better than that tiny iPhone lens. But I could be wrong. Commercial? Food trucks take advantage and indeed make lots of money catering to the crowds that come. I saw lines of people at each and every truck. Nice business if you can get a spot.
Conspiracy? The top of the monument on this bright sunny morning looked like a hood. Symbolism? There is no hate in this country….
Choose. There’s too much. One cannot really pick upon a single flower. A single tree? Or a tree with a national monument? Sensory overload? I have a tried and true image. Deep blue sky and a branch of buds. It never gets tired. Not great, just good. Not special. But unmistakable.
We come to New Castle (est 1651) because it retains its colonial charm in its old homes and cobblestone streets. I shouldn’t say too much. It’s been our secret. Our favorite restaurant was mentioned in Delaware magazine. Fortunately, it didn’t work and we can still get a reservation with relative ease. And all of this explanation is just an excuse to show off more flower photos. It’s kind of like hiding the peas in the mashed potatoes.
I gave you the name of the town, not the restaurant. That’s for you to investigate. It’s still charming. We don’t have to try hard for a reservation.
I realize that I’m overstaying my welcome. And less is more. However, I’m also lazy. I can edit and cull the duds. After that there are still a lot of good images that are in danger of staying hidden on my hard drive forever. So…
Jules hated my early digital work. Well, she hated that the prints were distinct and she could tell what was computer printed and what got printed in the darkroom. My neighbor who hated the water running kind of put an end to running the water all night. Meanwhile digital got better. Ironically, both she and Dave now shoot mostly on their iPhone. Film is dead. Kodak’s gone. Real movies for commercial release are being shot with iPhone. Why? … ’cause they can. That tiny little lens does good. I like my “real” camera. It does good too. Better?
Cherry Blossom III
More images. What the… it was on my bucket list. Go for it. I was there at the peak time. It’s like a full moon. It is because they say it is. There’s a window of opportunity. Days. We missed in late March. The blossoms weren’t open. Climate change. The bloom occurred weeks later. There is no climate change. Or as the lion in the Wizard of Oz said, “I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks.”
Cherry Blossom II
Too many images, not enough space. But, hey, this was my bucket list. I had sort of assumed that a quintessential image would jump out. Instead, I’ve seen blossoms – lots. And I saw more. There was a slight disappointment. I was uninspired. Oh well, I’ve been there and done that. No need to repeat. I tried all the tricks of composition and angle. I got images. It was a clear cool day. There were plenty of tourists and plenty of serious photographers. I’m not sure I saw anything new that hasn’t been seen/done before.
Bucket list. It’s been on my list to see the cherry blossoms. It was never very far away. I’ve just never been… till now. What’s so special? I’ve seen plenty of blossoms. There are said to be about 2000 trees. The DC folks have a whole festival about it. They warn tourists not to pick the blossoms because it will kill next year’s blossoms. I mean it’s all well and good. I didn’t come away with a quintessential shot. I got the requisite images. I got the monuments in the background. I’m vaguely missing the point here?
It’s cherry blossom time. The Washington Monument makes the perfect foil. You cannot miss this icon and everyone knows where you are. Flags blowing in a stiff breeze make for a striking graphic. Once again, vertical vs horizontal (composition)? Shoot both. Ha! But then you gotta choose. Luckily I can show you both.
Meanwhile it’s also cherry blossom time. The Washington monument is a giveaway of the location. And of course I want everyone to know I was there for this showing.
There are a lot of cherry trees. The blossoms are different from tree to tree. Pistil, stamen, remember to focus. It ain’t easy. There’s usually a breeze. I recall the saying, “Every once in a while, even a blind squirrel gets a nut.” Point and shoot. A lot.
They talk about Washington DC. And some say Japan. I say Central Park in New York City. I get lots of shots, sometimes good, sometimes better, nothing quintessential yet. But I remember once when J and I walked the park together and she was just getting to know photography.
And the brilliance of the forsythia… it lasts so fleetingly, the rest of the year spent in tangled obscurity. But that was a pretty special day in my memory. It was not the only time J and I have been in the park in the spring. But it is the first time that I remember it. And yes the colors, the day, and the company were particularly wonderful.