Sometimes the best landscape photographs are there in tiny, up-close moments.
Work demands have kept me away from this site far too much these past few months. We’ve gone through a corporate reorganization and are just now completing a move to new offices; all of this has required most of my creativity and attention.
I realized this morning that I was overdue for a landscape walkabout. I grabbed my Canon EOS 1DX and my favorite lens, the Canon 50mm f2.5 macro, and headed out onto our 2-acre property in south Louisiana.
It’s a confusing time in this landscape right now. We’ve had almost no winter at all—just a handful of nights that have dipped below freezing—so plants that shouldn’t begin blooming for at least another month have gone ahead and burst forth with their spring blossoms. Other things that bloom in our winter landscape, like camellias, are paying no attention, blooming at their normal pace and time. So who’s correct? I suppose we’ll find out if a big hard freeze should descend from the north, wiping out these early, optimistic creations. Right now I’m siding with the pro-spring crowd, since it would make for a beautiful and prolonged season.
On walks such as this, nothing is obvious to me in a big, overall view: it’s still a drab landscape from a distance. But forgetting about that and consciously slowing down, I start to see wonderful things: tiny, delicate and wispy cobwebs are hanging in the bare branches of our crepe myrtle trees. What spiders are these? I have never spotted the architects of these nets. But beautiful they certainly are!
The Purple Dawn camellia is my very favorite, and we have a specimen on our land that’s close to 100 years old. Each year it brings forth the most beautiful blossoms, a magenta flower with blushes of purple on each petal, seemingly airbrushed in place. Is anything more stunning than this?
Our Japanese magnolia and black cherry trees are both blooming ahead of schedule, the cherry so far along as to be about to leaf out (see above). These are two of my favorites in the landscape here and gratifying to capture.
Down at my feet, mystery awaits: more cobwebs (a different spider?) coat last year’s sweet gum leaves with a fine gossamer structure, adding depth and interest to this moment.
It’s not the time for big drama here today; rather, it’s quiet moments that are showing through. This walk through my bit of landscape has done me good, a photographic meditation.
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog