Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Japanese tree lilac

When I moved into my current home, I was able to trim and shape a Japanese tree lilac in my backyard using a stepladder. That tree is now about 20 feet tall and ten feet wide. The only trimming I do now is to keep a walking space open underneath the tree.

The white blossoms of this species of lilac blooms later than its more well-known bushy relatives – usually about mid-June, depending on the weather throughout the spring. Cold springs, like we’ve had this year, delays the opening. A warm spring speeds up the process.

A branch hanging down below the others, like the one pictured, would have been a candidate for pruning any other year. But since I’m spending more time taking pictures around my home this year, it became a photo project instead.

I set the camera’s self-timer, then prefocused the autofocus on the branch and locked it in, along with the exposure. After I pushed the shutter, and while the self-timer was counting down, I lifted a sheet of black foam board behind the branch to provide the background. That way the black background doesn’t fool the camera’s meter into thinking the scene is darker than it is, resulting in an overexposure.

In a week or so, I’ll post a photo of the open blossoms.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.


Vlad said...

Nice, looking forward to see the blossoms.

HeyJules said...

I've never heard of a lilac tree...it sounds beautiful!

And I never thought to self-time outdoors and then run around and hold up a foam core board. Great idea!

Wanda said...

I love that photo. Beautiful. Funny, things I would have never noticed...with camera in hand I look at everything.

Kimi said...

a simple, minimalist, beautiful photo. love the dark background.

Anonymous said...

Coming in very late on this, but I'm curious how many years it took for your tree to get to that size?
Very nice pic by the way.