Spring is here! While I love what every season brings, Spring offers something truly special. As we emerge from our winter slumber and see days lengthen and temperatures rise; we also see signs of new life everywhere we look. As I do every year a visit to our local Botanic Gardens here in Dublin is first on the agenda. The Gardens offer a cornucopia of flower and plant life for the senses all year round, but at this time the gardens are all about new growth and emerging life. The image above captures the very essence of that new life for me. The bud of a new flower literally bursting from the ground. The dead brown leaves surrounding the vibrant pink flower stem acting as a classic juxtaposition – winter/death vs spring/life.
The day I visited the gardens was fairly overcast but at times the sun penetrated briefly through the clouds to send down bright shafts of light. Using my 100mm Macro as I wanted to be close enough to pick up the subtle texture on the plant, I lay down on my belly, yes among all the dead leaves and dirt; glamorous job eh! While I waited for one of those shafts of sunlight to light the right side of the flower and provide that beautiful bokeh I decided to setup my flash just off frame left. The Flash was set at very lower power to lift the shadows on the left side of the plant. I also placed some broken up leaves in front of the flash to reduce the harshness and also offer a specular quality to the light. I love to experiment with flash and natural light in my outdoor floral work and in this case I think the flash added a subtle but important component.
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