Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Magnolia blossom

click photo to enlarge
Magnolia blossom has the power to delight or disappoint. It appears to be one of those plants that is on the edge of its range in the UK because a cold, wet spring results in short-lived blossom that is marked with brown stains. The sight of the large blooms disfigured in this way is particularly woeful because they are potentially one of the most showy early blossoms, and all we see in these circumstances is a hint of what might have been.

The spring of this year in my part of the world seems to have been better suited to magnolias than most because our tree seems to have been in flower for a couple of weeks and has some time yet to go. There have been a few frosts during the time it has been in bloom but they haven't been particularly sharp, and the rain hasn't been especially heavy or persistent. Consequently the blooms have looked magnificent, and though they have acquired some brown staining it isn't as prevalent or strong as it can be.

When I came to photograph the blossom I took some shots against the blue sky because it goes well with the white tinged with pink of the petals. However, as I worked my way around the tree I found that I could frame some low blooms with the darkness of the shadows of a conifer hedge. I much preferred that as a backdrop for the petals. I also liked how it emphasised the branches better than did the sky blue.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Magnolia blossom
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 120mm (240mm - 35mm equiv.) crop
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On