Hanami and the Delights of Cherry Blossom.
It's been rather wet in my corner of France these last two weeks.
While the vegetation is soaking up the badly needed rain, it has also meant that the beautiful Spring blossom has disappeared, floating to the ground like wedding confetti, then trodden underfoot or on to our pets paws and then distributed all over the house.
Photographers who are inspired by nature soon learn that if you tell yourself,
I'll do it later,
I don't have time now,
I'm too tired,
The light will be better tomorrow,
you will loose you the shot.
If you delay getting an outside shot, you won't get the shot.
"Time and tide wait for no man", or woman, as the saying goes.
Fortunately, I had already gathered some of the lovely pink and frilly cherry blossom for these shots.
Flower viewing, is the Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers; flowers ("hana") are in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry, sakura, or less frequently, plum, ume, trees.
The blossom forecast is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura.
The practice of hanami is many centuries old.
The custom is said to have started as early as the Nara period (710–794). Emperor Saga of the Heian period (794 - 1185) held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto.
Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral.
The proverb 'Dumplings rather than flowers' , hints at the real priorities for most cherry blossom viewers, meaning that people are more interested in the food and drinks accompanying a hanami party than actually viewing the flowers themselves.
Info from Wikipedia.
This is the set up I used for this series of blossom still lives .....
After editing .......
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This shot is available as a free screensaver in the featured gallery, instructions on how to download here.
Some of these photos have been edited with Kim Klassen's LR Presets.
All photos © Henrietta Richer, unless otherwise stated.
Two articles with stunning blossom photography:
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