Spring Sakura 2021

April 22, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

For those of you living in Ontario, Canada, you might have been shocked (as I was) to find snow on the ground and flurries in the air this morning. Two weeks ago we had +20 degrees temperatures and now snow after mid-April! But most of us are prepared for such swings in spring weather and will likely have some of our winter gear around until May rolls in.


Fortunately the snow didn't last long, and last week there were definitely signs that spring had arrived! At my neighbourhood playground I was surprised to see these sakura (cherry blossom) trees in full bloom. It was a bit windy that day, so there were only a handful of parents with their children playing on the swings and slide, and a few people from the neighbourhood taking a walk and stopping to take photos with these beautiful blooms as the backdrop. 

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There are actually only 4 trees in this small playground, but the photo above looks quite fulsome. The trick to this is to zoom right in and try to keep distractions out of the frame. Although the colours are most intense and the scene most impressive when viewed from afar, I prefer to get in closer to the blooms for an art piece. Let's see how close we can get. This version below is closer and gives an overall pattern of the blooms, but difficult to focus on a specific point.


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I used my 100mm macro lens that day and tried my best to isolate just a branch, which is a challenge with all the overlapping twigs, branches and flowers. So the best way is to look for a branch at the edge of the tree, where the sky becomes the background as in this photo below, giving a clearer view of the blooms. 

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And finally, this was the closest I could get to the flowers. There are still some branches in the background (which I could remove in post-processing), but it shows the details of 2 blossoms against the soft background.


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Which version do you like best? 


Despite the pandemic lockdown, try to take walks outdoors to refresh the body and mind. Don't forget to bring your camera along, you may come across some pleasant surprises like these!


(Edit: actually these may be plum blossoms as opposed to cherry blossoms, but either way they're equally delicate and beautiful!)


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