Every spring I take the train out to the botanical gardens to look at and photograph the gorgeous blooms of the season: Orchids, Magnolias, Lilacs, Tulips and the like. But, when it comes to the rose, Astoria is the place for me. This little urban village in Queens, has some of the most beautiful roses in every shade and shape and all I have to do is walk around my neighborhood to get beautiful photos of them. And that is exactly what I did yesterday.
With my Sony A-77 SLT and the Zeiss 16-80mm lens, I sallied forth on to the street to spend the day poking my lens into other people’s gardens and capture those beautiful, colorful blooms. I did not have to walk far, just a block away and I was already pressing the shutter. In composing these shots I wanted their natural urban environment to come through and you will notice that theme throughout the gallery. It is amazing how a rose or flowers in general can brighten up or make beautiful even the most grungy of areas. I can’t tell you how many garbage cans were surrounded by a huge bush of roses.
Besides the heady fragrance of the rose I love how the silky smooth petals turn and curl gracefully as the flower grows. I zoomed in to get a bees-eye-view to pull the viewer’s eye into this delicate vortex. The roses were not shy, they poked their furled heads out of gates and fences, reared up toward the sky or cascaded down to the ground to mingle among the grasses. They turned their faces so the sun’s rays could light up their botanical bodies, diffusing soft yellow light to each petal.
When someone tells you to stop and smell the roses, do so. You will be given a momentary reprieve from the stresses of the day and a chance to marvel at nature’s beauty right at the tip of your noses.
Enjoy these gifts of spring.