I took quite an eclectic group of photos this weekend and all of them not more than a few blocks from my apartment. I’ve been asked over and over again how do I find my subject matter and I reply, right out my front door. I walk a lot and I am always on the look out for something unusual in the usual; things people see everyday but just pass by without stopping for a second to look at them. As Sherlock Holmes remarked to the long-suffering Watson; “You see but you do not observe.” And being a photographer I do both.
This weekend I noticed clusters of brown and gold mushrooms or fungus growing in the moist warm spring soil around a tree right outside my apartment. Patches of deep green clover studded with white stringy flowers, spotted with tiny rain drops lined the sidewalks up and down Ditmars Boulevard and adjacent streets. This urban beauty is hardly ever noticed by the hundreds of people who walk these streets everyday but I find them fascinating subjects to photograph. A block and a half from my apartment is a postage-stamp sized park (say that three times fast after eating peanut butter) with a few tables set up for chess and surrounded by wild flowers. I’ve never seen anyone in there. I ventured in and was delighted to see brightly colored butterflies flitting around from flower to flower or sitting on the ground drying their moist wings in the warm sun when it came out from behind a cloud.
There isn’t a garden in this neighborhood that doesn’t have at least one type of rose growing in it no matter how big or small. After I left the butterflies I was going to take the train up to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to take photos of the roses when, I remembered the beautiful roses that I have been seeing all week in the gardens in my neighborhood. Now, do not think that I take a liberty and tresspass on anyone’s property. I keep myself on the sidewalk and take my photos over, under, through and around the fences and if I can’t get close enough I zoom in tight. Sometimes, the home owners will come out to chat and allow me access to their gardens. A nice way to meet neighbors and make new friends. And speaking of friends, walking along the path in the grassy court-yard behind my apartment I met two feral cats that I named Delilah and Sam. They graciously allowed me to take their photos and I have included their wild alley cat portraits in the photos below.
P.S. You’ll notice an image of a black rose. That is an image of a red rose converted to black and white with the green color kept in the leaves. Not natural, but pretty cool looking.