20 April 2015
Let me know which you prefer and why. Click onto each image to enlarge.
The ephemeral and lyrical nature of spring tree blossoms are treasure troves that foreshadow and tantalize us with soft hues and floral designs. In many cases they appear prior to the leafing of branches.
The burst of spring blossoms fill the entire arboreal body, which catches us suddenly with a daze of splendor. We must fixate on them, because like a shooting star, their life span is short-lived. They are here and gone with urgency for the next stage of the nature’s performance.
The life cycle of a tree mirrors everything around it. This commonality is what makes the bond between nature and human nature easily profound. We are inextricably bound together in the sway of life.
Maybe that’s why spring calls us to its side. We are ready for the next step, the blossoming of the landscape, the rejuvenation of the visual universe, the juxtaposition of the new and old.
Certainly there have been years that steal blossoms’ thunder. A chilling frost dashes through the night, and takes their life and runs with it. Fruit trees are especially vulnerable, and such an incident can reduce production to little or none. But this year the steady climb in temps are working to the advantage of spring and summer crops. Blossoms are nearly done on early bloomers, and a sigh of relief goes charging through me.
The two images in the Lens section are examples of this fragility of spring blossoms. These were ever so delicate. Petals were like little wings that covered flower heads, and quickly became history. They seemed a perfect foil for the uncertainty of this season’s stick-to-it-ness, and moving to the next phase.
The sighting of some blossoms before the appearance of leaves are one of spring’s most precious gifts. We are treated to colors that have been vacant from the landscape. We are given a preview of what is yet to be. We are given hope.
Tip of the Week: Blossoms and spring’s arrival have me contemplating the metamorphosis of this photography challenge, which I started (with two other bloggers, and now am the sole force behind it; see its history here) in 2013. The challenge’s continual reinvention is on my mind, because I continually read about the evolution and transformation of photography: its exponential shifts with technological innovations.
Since photography’s introduction in the nineteenth century technology has fueled its ongoing redefinition. Still the human “touch” is the single most definitive mainstay that keeps challenging the eye behind the lens.
In recent years Smartphones, iPads, iPods, digital apps, software, and other devices have brought new tools to the photographic toolkit. The surge in snapshots taken by the public is evident on, for example, Instagram. Also more serious photographers are using these devices (and social media) more and more, and using their professional cameras a bit less. This awareness of these changes inspires me to contemplate another name change for the challenge.
Before I discuss that further, let me introduce you to Greg Schmigel who is known for his black-and-white photography. He also is known as one of the first to consistently use his mobile phone as his main lens to take street photography. See more of his work here. I mention him, because he is often called a mobile photographer.
My real dilemma is that mobile photography has never been the descriptor that I wanted to use in the title of this weekly challenge. In truth whether holding a traditional camera or a twenty-first-century digital device, that equipment is mobile. In my opinion photography is always about the individual’s vision behind the lens, and the tools are secondary to the results.
On the other hand I wanted to have a challenge that focuses on the use of new technology. Still, photography is photography. I keep wrestling with the title for the challenge, because the current one continues to be a bit awkward to me. It was a compromise, because it does focus on new digital devices as the lens (sans traditional SLR technology).
I’m not too fond of Mobile Photography as part of the title, and it’s controversial as to its real meaning and use. Here is a sample of what I have been toying with: Photography Challenge, No Camera Used. I’m not too fond of negatives in titles. But it’s closer to what I’d like to convey and shorter. I want the title to explain that the challenge is about the use of new devices (that is, non-traditional equipment and no traditional cameras) to still the moment.
I value your thoughts about the title and it’s been a year since the last change. Maybe we can put our heads together and devise a more suitable one. Let me know what you think.
View other entries from this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.