Friday, May 11, 2012

Falling Flowers

Jacaranda trees are common in the part of Downey where my office is located.  They line the sidewalks in the neighborhood where I like to take walks.  Every spring they explode with what look like millions of small flowers that overwhelm the green and brown and turn the trees into great glorious mushrooming shouts of violet.

However, when those millions of flowers fall, they leave millions of messy brown stains on the sidewalk.  They are also quite slippery, so one must be careful when walking through them.

One day last week, as I was walking along that route during my usual midday walk, a flower happened to fall right in front of me.  Which gave me the idea of photographing the flowers as they were falling.  So I waited around to watch a few more flowers fall, and soon realized catching them in midair was not a practical goal.  The flowers were just too small and too fast;  it was just like trying to photograph hummingbirds taking off -- and I know only too well how much patience and luck that takes!  I therefore decided that, as soon as I spotted one falling, I should swing the camera down toward its presumed landing spot and blindly press the shutter button, hoping to luck out.  Using this haphazard 'technique' I took dozens of shots over three days, and for my effort I was rewarded with several qualifying images, of which the best are shown below.  Obviously zooming in for a close shot was not an option, so all of the following images are severely cropped details from much larger originals;  in some of them the flowers were barely inside the frame, so even after cropping they are at the edge of the image.  On the other hand, photographing the flowers so close to the ground turned out to be a good thing, because having their shadows included in the shots really adds an extra oomph -- also known as 'dimension' -- to the shots.  Isn't that last one amusing and precious?

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