Friday, 15 May 2015

Landscape Research - Cherry Blossom Concept & Symbolism.



"The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short."



cherry blossom, flowers, gardening, landscape, photography, pink, spring, trees, exterior decor
Seasonal Bloom 
The photograph I found above I wasn't able to find the photographer for, but my first thought was how it reminded me of a shot I had captured. Below was the shot I had captured of a church, with the blossom tree along side. 





With a few attempts I was able to get the exposure right to create the print. My first attempt was at F 5.6 to let more light through the lens, therefore I only exposed the photograph for 3 seconds. The first attempt wasn't successful as it was under exposed and came out overexposed. I gathered from this that I was to expose the photograph for more time, with 5 seconds test strips I was able to see what the right exposure time would be. The right exposure was f 5.6 for 20 seconds. 


Test Strips - 5 seconds from left, most - least.


F 5.6 at 3 Secs. 

Print, Charlene Wears. 2015. 


Personally, I find that cherry blossom trees aren't just aesthetically pleasing, but also hold meaning. As the quote suggests above, 'the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life' I feel that this is true as the tree only blossoms during spring, before then disappearing. The beauty of the tree within a dull landscape was captivating and initiated my ideas to capture them with the 5x4 camera. 




Her is the supporting article  from which the quote was extracted from. I found the article interesting and shows how the trees are cultural and even celebrated in Japan. The trees are symbolic as they are Japan's national flower. Sakura is Japanese  for cherry blossom trees. 

"In 1912, Japan gave more than 3,000 cherry-blossom trees to the United States as a gift to honor the growing bond between the two countries". 


  • Symbol of Hope

    As the Cherry Blossom season coincides with both the fiscal and calendar years in Japan, it marks the arrival of new beginnings – students start their first day of school and new employees start their first day of work. The intense and vibrant blossoming of Cherry Blossoms bestows us with the license to hope and dream of greater things. It likewise gives us the sanction to forget past disappointments and failures and to look ahead with optimism and enthusiasm.
  • Symbol of Power

    In China, on the other hand, Cherry Blossoms represent feminine beauty. The female’s greatest weapon is her good looks. By exploiting one’s beauty and sexuality, a woman can always command. Men are constantly “all ears” to her beck and call. Consequently, a Cherry Blossom is an image of feminine dominance. In a less aggressive note, “love,” which is a feminized emotion is also symbolized by Cherry Blossoms.
  • Symphony of Cherry Blossoms

    Like a symphony played in allegretto, the blossoming of Cherry Blossoms is dazzling, swift and brief. It is nature’s opus to mortality, hope, power and love. Though the flowers themselves are ephemeral, Cherry Blossom symbolism will endure for eternity.
An area I walk past on a daily basis had caught my eye and I finally decided to capture it with the 5x4 camera. Luckily I was able to capture the photograph before the blossoms faded from the trees as their existence is brief. 

The shot below I wasn't happy with due to the composition, from this I decided to retake the shot. 





I printed the shot just to double check if I should have retaken the shot and so I did. For the print I had to burn the sky in. 





The shot I captured below was a retake from the first shot, the reasoning for the shot to be captured again was due to the fact that that framing wasn't right and I wasn't happy with it. 




Sakura, Charlene Wears, May 2015. 

The photograph below was a print I had created of the retaken shot, but the bottom of the photograph was faded, therefore I remade the print. 





Sakura, Charlene Wears, May 2015. 



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