GIFTS FROM “MY” MAGNOLIA TREE
Since my June 6th discovery, I’ve been paying almost daily visits to my tree, and it has not disappointed. As of this writing and this morning, there are still some days ahead that hold the promise of “low-hanging fruit.” And just because it’s accessible, doesn’t mean the taking is easy. That said, the last count was: 183 phone images, one phone movie (showing wind effects), and 934 frames from my Nikon Z6ii and a variety of lenses (Nikon 28-300mm, Tamron 90mm macro, Lensbaby Velvets 56 and 85, Sweet 50, Sol 45 and macro filters). Perhaps, before this is all over, I will snip one bloom to bring home (if I can reach it) and work those delicious petal curves as a final hurrah. Ironically, we have a magnolia tree right even closer to home, right behind the fence at home. Sadly, those blooms are always notoriously more than ladder high.
Each visit to my tree gave me something different. I, too, came to the tree with something different from the outside (tools) and the inside (frame of mind). As much as I wished I had longer than thirty minutes at a time, it wasn’t so. And, often, go figure, the breezes were blowing just enough to make things “challenging.” I started this mini-journey using my tripod. I really did. But, then (shocker), I just let it go and handheld the rest of my shots. What I realized in this situation was that I kept hitting and moving close limbs and leaves and the flowers, which made getting the shot annoyingly difficult. In some instances, the most appropriate word for how I needed to position myself is“contortion.” The tight quarters even made using my diffuser difficult, so I became the shadow. (I can already hear some voices laughing and cheering about my no-tripod shooting.) Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m hardcore on a few things – the circular polarizer and the tripod. For this, I had to “let go” (the tripod, that is). I had my polarizer on every lens I could, and even then there were challenges with the super shiny leaves. Needless to say, I have “kept coming back,” and I will until the tree blooms me out . . . until next year. Then, I will be even more ready with my timing and new ideas and techniques.