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After four years of attempting to grow passion flower plants in my garden so that I could photograph the blossoms, and having each attempt fail due to wind, rain, drought and pests, I reluctantly gave up. I resolved to forget this project and move on to others that were less trouble to find or cultivate.
The day before I moved from central Florida to Asheville, North Carolina I went for one last walk through my neighborhood to say goodbye to friends and the familiar plants and animals I’d grown to love there. Lo and behold, there was the passion flower I’d been trying so hard to grow! It was not only growing, but thriving, wild on a fence in a vacant lot less than a mile from my house. I could not believe my eyes! I had wanted to find this flower for so long!
I rushed back to my house, unpacked all of my photography equipment which was boxed and ready for the Mayflower movers, set up my studio, and with cooler in hand, went back to the passion flower vine I’d found and carefully snipped off three of its blossoms.
I photograph all of my current work in a dark studio, and at least half of the botanicals that I photograph do not do well when cut. They will immediately close, wilt or fall apart when disturbed. Water lilies, magnolias and, it turns out, passion flowers are some of the least tolerant of the botanicals I’ve worked with.
So, I worked quickly with my new-found blossoms. I surrounded them with foliage and tiny blossoms of flowers I found in my garden and shot quickly.
“Passion Flowers” is one of my favorite compositions, mainly because of how long I’d been trying to capture it, and also because of the unusual, alien-like appearance of the blossoms.
I hope you enjoy it, too.
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