Thursday, April 24, 2008

Prunus continued

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Prunus avium 'Plena', easily identified because it's a much bigger tree than other double white cherries, photographed 24th April

Prunus 'Hokusai' photographed 12th April

Prunus 'Amanogawa' photographed 24th April

Prunus avium (Wild Cherry)

Prunus 'Cheal's Weeping Cherry' photographed 20th April

Here are some more of the photos I've taken recently. Where is 'Kanzan', you ask? The truth is, most of the ornamental cherries I've seen are not practical to photograph. These trees are typically found in suburban gardens rather than parks and (I feel rather than know) the act of taking photos outside someone's garden is now an act viewed with extreme suspicion. I only felt comfortable about it if I was well away from a view of the house.

It used to be different; we didn't mind so much, a few years ago, if we saw someone taking pictures with an Instamatic. After all, a suburban home does (necessarily) have its public face, the view that is taken in by the casual glance of a passer-by. The photo snapped by an Instamatic from the street more or less represented that public face and nothing else. A modern camera captures so much more information; even if there was no invasive intent, nothing stops someone later zooming in to the image and having an invasive poke around.

And besides that, in the old days there wasn't the remotest chance of a casual snap being published; the instruments of publication, the press and the book trade, were securely in the hands of professionals: high-class gents (they usually were male) who were never likely to turn up in your neighbourhood. But now any old passing stranger can publish their picures.

The idea of publishing that was current until recently was an enormity. Perhaps we panic unreasonably - Internet-publishing is nearly always closer to publication in the pre-Caxton sense; sticking a picture on a wall or sharing it round your immediate circle of pals. But anyway, we've remembered again that a photo steals your soul.

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At 8:18 pm, Blogger Vincent said...

I've had the same dilemma with people's gardens but round here, it is not exactly suburban: more like "mean streets". Sometimes I would like to photograph people in the street but of course I never do, nor do I take pictures of someone's property except from a distance.

But I was interested in your prunus pictures because I bought a small fruiting cherry tree and planted it recently. I don't know whether it will produce cherries though. People have mentioned male and female. It has pretty white single flowers. To me the wonder of it is to plant my own tree which will outgrow me and outlive me, and provide a perch for birds and so on. Since I planted it in February, I have stood next to it almost daily, to examine its buds.

Sorry to be mystical but subjectively it feels as though it has a greater wisdom than its human observer. As its leaves and blossoms unfold, it fulfils itself perfectly, with a perfection that I can only perceive with its, and the rest of Nature's, help.


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