Microcosm

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My favorite subject to photograph–particularly when I’m back home–are the tiny universes that exist all around us, mostly ignored and invisible to tall humans rushing through life. I love adopting a fairy’s-eye-view when I explore the natural world, and I hope that my portraits of small planets, rocks, and creatures share my love of nature with everyone who sees them.

I’m just about to celebrate my first “anniversary” with my DSLR camera–and although I wouldn’t say that I’ve attained any degree of photographic greatness since first acquiring it, I’m pleased with my progress so far. I went from a life spent with point-and-shoots to gain a real knowledge of how to photograph on full manual settings. Someday I’ll really figure out what I’m doing: but until then, I will continue to practice happily!

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No Mainland flower can hold a candle to ʻōhiʻa lehua blossoms, the most beautifully strange plant I’ve ever seen. I grew up seeing these grow and fall over and over again outside my window and in my backyard. Their scarlet blooms were tempting, but I knew never to touch them. According to Hawaiian mythology, the ōhiʻa tree and the lehua flowers were two lovers transformed by the goddess Pele: and pulling them apart by picking a flower causes rainfall, the meteorological embodiment of the couple weeping at their separation.

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You know what else I love? Ferns and mosses! As a child, I sometimes built tiny fairy houses–only out of completely natural materials, of course!–in the forest that surrounded my house. Most of the time, I would build little twig houses over a bed of soft mosses, giving the small structures a living carpet.

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It’s most shocking to come from the dead East Coast in December–when all the leaves have fallen but the snow has yet to cover up the brown, dull ground–to Hawai’i, where everything is so richly colored and alive.

You know that moment in The Force Awakens (warning: this isn’t remotely a spoiler, but you do you) when Rey says that she “never knew there could be so much green in the galaxy”? That’s roughly how it feels to come to the islands in the winter.

(Is it strange that a forest girl like me interacts at all with popular culture? Not at all! Have you seen the landscapes in that movie?)

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I’ll go full circle by including one last shot of buds in blossom: so velvety and light and just about ready to open their faces to the world. I’d love to say that I will try my best to continue playing around with macro photography in 2016: but that might have to wait until spring comes to Western Mass!

(By which I mean “probably the end of May.”)

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