Since I first discovered the patch of three cherry blossoms at the Harris Street Cemetery years ago, I have returned each April hoping to capture them at peak bloom. I had little hope for good color this year as the little snow and rain seemed to amount to stressful conditions for the trees that had not shown great color in a few years now. Imagine my surprise then when I pulled up after sunrise on April 14th and found vibrant colors contrasting with the deep green grass and the greys of the weathered tombstones.
With this very small piece of land, I thought I had exhausted all the compositions available and so decided to go with my smallest lens – a 35mm prime and shoot it wide open at f/1.8 as a way to see the area with a different perspective. Looking through the camera’s viewfinder and being forced to see the cherry blossoms with a very shallow depth of field allowed me to find this new angle.
I focused on the nearest crop of blossoms at peak color and made sure to include the tombstones below and distant tree as well. The shallow depth of field helped not only guide focus on the nearer blossoms but also diffused those of the distant tree and made the houses and cars parked along Harris Street nearly disappear.
Hope you enjoy my favorite ‘spring’ view of Marblehead.