Just a little bit closer

Zeroing in on the dramatic blooms made the calla lilies come alive in the camera.

Mary Knox Merrill - staff

Between assignments in San Diego, I traveled to Balboa Park and came across a botanical garden filled with gorgeous flora. These South African 'Hercules' calla lilies caught my eye.

I am by no means a gardening expert, but I have an appreciation for the care it takes to grow delicate things. I wanted to photograph the flowers in a way that would enhance their beauty, at an angle that would catch the viewer's eye. Most people probably observe calla lilies at arm's length, so I went in closer. Close enough, in fact, to smell them.

I wanted the flowers to pop, so I exposed for the white blooms, letting the background fade to black. I tried horizontal and vertical frames, moved the camera up and down, and circled the blooms until the composition came alive in the camera.

One of the reasons I love being a photojournalist is the opportunity to experience different facets of life, many of which I would not find on my own. I get to glimpse the lives of others and document a wide range of events. This unexpected time at the garden delighted my senses and heightened my admiration for nature.

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