Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Not the Cherry Blossom Special

with 5 comments

blossom topper
Gordon Price posts several times a day to his Price Tags blog. I impose a much less demanding schedule on myself. But I also use flickr for pictures – because I can put text with them there, so it can be a bit blog like, now and again. One of his posts this morning is about photographing cherry blossoms. And why – in his opinion – the results are not as gratifying as seeing them In Real Life. It is of course quite true that our eye sees things differently to the camera – but then that is what photographers (and painters before them) have always played around with. And also be it noted that we are looking at these pictures on some kind of illuminated screen. So I have much less control over things like size or what else appears in the vicinity on your screen. Lots of flickr posters instruct their viewers to switch to a black background. I also print some of my pictures to go on the wall, or as greeting cards and one off books, which look far better than any photo album ever did. But on paper, they are different to on the screen.

The first one was actually used by the Vancouver Observer on their facebook page – they rotate through their flickr group regularly, but you can see more than one by clicking on their cover picture to enlarge it and then using the right arrow on that image. And the reason I put it there was I had seen a tree in bloom in Quilchena Park on March 18 – a day when the mountains were covered in fresh snow. I liked the deep blue sky as a background so I shot looking upwards into the tree. I would have liked the mountains in there somehow – but that angle wasn’t available at the time. Someone using one of my pictures has always seemed to me to be an endorsement (that’s why I use Creative Commons licensing). And they used a much tighter crop than mine.

Over the Easter weekend many more trees had blossomed. And when we went to get some groceries I took my camera along to take some shots of them.

McBain Avenue

Valley at King Ed 2

22nd Ave at Valley w/b

22nd Ave at Valley e/b


This last image is from a much smaller tree, newly planted, which still had a label attached to it which identifies the species. Hence my title. These are not actually cherry trees. They are, mostly, plums. This one is Night Purple Leaf Plum (Prunus Ceracifera Nigra) which is why when I now post the inevitable, irresistible blossom pictures to flckr, I use the Japanese word “sakura” to describe them. Because otherwise some tree expert will be sure to correct me.

Just enjoy the pictures. When the sun was shining you could have gone out and seen them yourself. Now the clouds have returned, I hope these images brighten your day.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 2, 2013 at 11:28 am

5 Responses

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  1. Thank you Stephen for beautifying my day!

    My best buddy in Vancouver is from Japan so we do have a look at the local Sakura…

    A few years ago we ended up going to Kyoto in early April, not a good idea as where there are Sakura there are huge crowds…but it was the only convenient time for us. I did enjoyed it and, for a change of scenery, ended up in a temple garden where there was nothing but raked gravel…no trees, rocks, moss, just gravel…

    Talking about travelling…have you read “Transit dreams” in the Globe weekend edition?

    “It’s 2020. Vancouver is basking in admiring attention from urban-watchers around the world for its spectacular transit system.
    And its residents are revelling in the wealth of high-speed transit that now covers the region like a spider.

    ….A $1.8-billion, three-line, light-rail system opened two years ago in Surrey, linking….
    …..A year earlier, in 2019, the $3-billion Broadway subway opened in Vancouver, linking Commercial Drive station to the University of British Columbia…..

    Spectacular? ..compared to the transit systems in Osaka, Dusseldorf, Milan, Lyon…Toronto..

    Red frog

    April 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  2. I did read that piece as she copied it to her blog. The idea that simply building an adequate transit system would get world wide attention is comical.

    Stephen Rees

    April 3, 2013 at 7:34 am

  3. That last shot is the nicest one.
    Often the texture of the petals will “wash out” when taking pictures of flowers, because the camera is adjusting for light levels elsewhere. Taking a “macro” photo is often best for flower shots.


    April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  4. But there is a great deal that can be done to the image with photo editting software, if the compromises made by an automatic camera are unwelcome. Or you can fiddle about with the controls manually when you take the shot. I just reject Gordon’s dismissal of CB shots – as I do his contempt for sunsets.

    Stephen Rees

    April 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  5. Just got back from Calgary. It was snowing and minus 5. I was pining for Lotus Land within a few hours.


    April 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

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