It’s a new year. Among the resolutions I make every year, I vow to go through old shoots and file them for my catalog.
Like most photographers, I shoot much more than I am assigned to do. Indeed, most of what I shoot these days is self-directed for various PhotoBotanic projects. Since I am so keenly interested in gardening with native plants, when I travel I seek out the best gardens using natives.
On the East Coast there is no better garden for native plants than The Mount Cuba Center for Piedmont Flora in Delaware. I visited in late April, but having no specific clients needing to see the images I put the shoot aside. Then recently, as I looked for my favorite photos of 2015, quickly scanning through all my folders, I remembered the Mount Cuba shoot. Wow. Wow. Wow.
The tulip trees, Liriodendron tulipifera, with their new leaves emerging were stunning this day. I had visited several fantastic gardens in the Delaware Valley that week, such as Chanticleer, Longwood, and Winterthur, watching every day as spring erupted. Spring seems to come suddenly in the East, changing quickly; whereas in California we have a very long spring, beginning when the rains fall.
The day at Mount Cuba was the Wow, Wow, Wow day for the native Tulip trees.
It may be January now but I am carried back to the April morning, watching the sun rise and shine through the tender new leaves, turning them golden.
Now that I have reviewed the images, there’s this one in particular that seems so painterly, the young leaves splashed across the sky like Milky Way stars in daytime, held aloft by the trees. I imagine these multi-armed branches painting furiously, daubing the blue sky.
Before and After Slider
I cropped it to panorama and added a Photoshop layer to use a Topaz art filter, this one a Van Gogh interpretation that really plays with the yellow on blue, accenting the swirling and dancing points that the trees placed so artfully.
The great thing about a January edit is being able to remember the scene the way it felt, perhaps not literally the way it was.
My tip this week is to urge you to go through last year’s photos and finish working on them before the new season starts. And while you are working on them, give yourself permission to make them look the way they made you feel.