A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I wrote about Rhododendron augustinii last year here. Again there is no doubt that this rhododendron is not blue but somehow when I photograph it is bluer. The flowers reflect ultra violet light and register more blue on colour film. The results with a digital camera would be the same as the camera sensors are also far more sensitive to ultra violet that we are.

There have been some other changes that I have been able to note here. In spite of people who think that plants are affected (emerge sooner or later, flower sooner or later) by weather it would seem this is not the case, at least not with this rhododendron that is performing on schedule. I posted the blog last year on May 15 but I am sure I took the picture of Rebecca more or less at the end of April. The new ones here of Rebecca and Lauren I took last Saturday, April 26.

The changes in question have to do with the two little girls. It would have been impossible to convince Lauren to have posed for me by the rhododendron in April 2007. This time around she insisted on being photographed. Last year and years before Lauren would blink as soon as she faced a camera. She is also extra sensitive to light and squints. The light last Saturday was overcast yet Lauren could not look up that much. But I was able to get many of pictures that capture an age (she is 5) when most little girls are bubly and happy. Her mother might even say, after she sees this picture of Lauren that she has come to her own. I would agree. Lauren is very sweet and a delight. A year ago she was not. She was a bit slow in learning how to talk. She has been slow at many other things. But she seems to have a formula which is to not do anything until she can do it well. She is like Greta Garbo. Unlike Rebecca who seemed to learn stuff gradually, she will talk and walk suddenly.

For some years I have been taking remarkable portraits of Rebecca not because I may have any special talent but because Rebecca has that face and she knows how to project it on to a camera. In last year's photograph by the rhododendron I can see an uncertainty, a sadness that I have not seen in other photographs.

In the photograph of Rebecca (right) I see an ackwardness with her body. And I think I know why. It is a little girl who is 10 but going on 15. It is an age of confusion. Meanwhile Lauren will pose for me knowing who she is in a perfect harmony with a life that does not have the complication of having to grow up, yet.


Previous Posts
Raymond Lum, Eric Ambler - In Praise of Accuracy

Román Lopez Forment - Dusenbergs - Moritz Moszkows...

Lurid Rhododendrons & Watermelon

Epimedium x rubrum - A Cinderellla Plant

Kelly Tough - Not So

Self-Portrait In Burnaby

Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche - A Classy Cinderel...

The Perceived Paleness Of It All

Magnolia stellata - Stella Maris?

Edmond Kilpatrick - The Man Who Loved Women

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