Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Focusing on Spring in the Desert

by Terri

"In the desert, spring can spawn from its dry sands an event so spectacular 
and colorful that you forget about its harsh unforgiving nature."  ~Lynn Bremner

This spring has been one of the most amazing springs I can remember. The cactus are blooming everywhere, just begging me to jump out of my car and capture them. It seems as if things are blooming that I have never noticed before.

I’ve lived here almost all of my life and yet I have only recently discovered the beauty of spring in the desert. Why? Photography. It has opened my eyes to what has been here all along. And this year I created an Instagram hashtag called #cactusinbloom where I posted a cactus bloom every day for the 30 days of April. That got me out and shooting even more than I usually do and researching to find out the names of each cactus so I could post those along with the photos. To commemorate this month of cactus blooms, I created a calendar.

I have to say, this was truly a labor of love. There is just something about a beautiful flower emerging from a prickly cactus, no one watering it, no one fertilizing it, no one tending it in any way and yet when the time is right, the most amazing thing happens – an impossibly delicate bloom emerges as if for the sole purpose of delighting those lucky enough to witness it. Many of these cactus blooms last for only a day and can so easily be missed. Several times this spring I was at the right place at the right time to capture THE day when these cactus chose to put on their show.

This little project kept me occupied all month – hunting for them, capturing them, studying about them and sharing them. I had been in a kind of photographic slump prior to this and I have to say this was definitely the cure. So if you are finding yourself in a similar slump, find something, anything, to focus your lens on and concentrate on that one subject for a period of time. Shoot from every angle, in every light, using just one lens or all your different lenses (I was determined to shoot only with my iPhone for my cactus bloom project).  Find out as much as you can about your subject and then share your photos and your knowledge with others.  And please share your photos as well as your experience with us in our Flickr pool. Who knows? We might all learn a little something from this project and from each other.

And if you missed Dotti's post yesterday, we would love to be able to connect with you via your blogs as well, so be sure to leave your blog address in the comments so we can all stop in for a visit!


Kim Stevens said...

Oh Terri, this was so fun to see on IG . . . I don't think I ever really knew how beautiful a cactus bloom could be, so thank you for sharing!!

heyjudephotography said...

You know how much I loved seeing all of the blooms all month. Don't see anything like around where I live! They are so, so beautiful, and you're right - it's amazing how such delicate, beautiful blossoms can come in such a harsh environment. Your first photo at the top of this post literally took my breath away. The calendar looks amazing - and I think you should make some for future art fairs to sell.

Katie said...

such a wonderful project, and how clever of you to create a calendar. : )

Dotti said...

Such a fabulous pop of color! It was fun watching your cactus blooms unfold on IG last month. But more to the point ... you're so right! The only way out of a shooting slump is to find a muse we're passionate about. So glad you found yours!

Cathy H. said...

Oh, Terri, these are stunning! Absolutely stunning!! Such beautiful colors! All I can say is "wow" and try to capture my breath that just flew out of me when I saw that first photo! Photo slumps seems to be common among many of us lately. I think I'll just head outside right now and see what I can find around here! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Linda said...

I gasped when I saw that top picture! Stunning!
Photography is wonderful in so many ways! Seeing and trying new things is part of the fun! Especially when you capture something as wonderful as that top picture! (still gasping!)

CarolHart said...

I'm so glad you did this post. I always enjoy your images and last month was a special treat. Every day I went to IG to see what that day's cactus bloom would be. What a wonderful idea to pick one subject and photograph it every day. Lovely

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a creative project you gave yourself! Way to motivate!!! Love your shots ... all bright w/ color. This would be great for a calendar huh?

kelly said...

i LOVED seeing your cactus shots show up in my IG feed every day last month. but seeing them here together is just awesome. and don't you just love that about photography?? how it inspires us to see things in a different way. and pushes us to dig a little deeper. thanks for sharing this beauty and discovery with all of us. xoxo

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