Blossom Blizzard

The genesis for this shot began the day before when I went downtown to shoot in the morning. I knew the cherry trees were blossoming and even though it was raining I went over and checked them out. As usual, they were spectacular but with the rain and dreary light, I was less than inspired and took pictures elsewhere.

The following day I was out doing normal life things and as I passed by a couple of cherry trees, the wind gusted and a cascade of little pink petals fluttered to the ground. Immediately I thought about the waterfront cherry trees and noticed that indeed it was rather gusty.

Since I had my camera I carved out a brief 45 minute window to hustle down to the trees hoping to capture some essence of the blowing petals. When I arrived, I started contemplating compositions and looking for potential. I had envisioned perhaps a couple strolling down the center of the arbor with petals falling everywhere. Instead, I found a host of people wandering through the trees with their phones out taking pictures. Not really what I wanted.

I liked the lines of benches and thought the man in the forground was an interesting fellow. As I stood there considering the framing, a ferocious gust of wind whipped through sending petals across the walkway. I just started taking pictures. They were poorly framed and the man had turned away. The wind died as quickly as it started. Perhaps I had something. Probably not.

The man turned toward me and I laughed and said to him that it was like a snowstorm. He smiled and assented. And then the wind picked up again. He grabbed his hat to keep it on and smiled enjoying the experience. I shot a couple of exposures, again, not framed exactly how I would have liked. But this time I got the expression and mood I had been hoping for.

The man and I exchanged a few more pleasantries and I continued on about my day, content in a moment well spent.