Some of you might look at this shot and think I’m cheating or treading trodden trails here, but I promise that’s not my intention. What you are looking at is, yet again, a picture of a magnolia flower just like I shared a few weeks ago (and a few times over the years before that). Could I find something else to shoot? Sure. Have I? Definitely. So why do I continue to return to this specific type of flower? Mostly because it’s so fascinating, such a unique arboreal artifact to look at, and so much fun to photograph.

This is, of course, another image made with my close-up filters (if you’ve missed the past few weeks worth of posts you might want to scroll down and check them out) as you can probably tell already. It’s great fun having these filters now as these magnolia seed pods start to mature, as previously the closest I could get to them when taking pictures was about a foot and a half. It worked, and 24 megapixels allows me to get a little closer when cropping, but it’s not the same at all as being mere inches from the subject. In early August I posted a few pictures of similar seed pods in far earlier stages of maturity when you could see these curly little tendrils sticking up from the base of the flower (sorry for my lack of technical knowledge here. As Bones would say, I’m an educational technologist, not a botanist) and it was fun to revisit them much later in life as the seed pods were starting to balloon out.

Soon these pods will wither and die, and from them will appear a host of tiny red seeds that will be scattered, eaten, trampled, or maybe even planted in fertile ground and eventually give way to tiny little magnolia trees. And maybe that’s why I like taking these images repeatedly over the years: it’s a way to remind myself of the circle of life (cue Lion King theme) and document it one picture at a time.


  1. Rebecca Burlingham says

    In photography class this week one of my students asked about the close-up filters. She is a garden writer and wanting to take similar close up shots.
    So, I forwarded your blog post to her this morning and told her to look into your blog.

    My last class of the session, I throw in teasers to bring them back for more classes. I may throw in this fun, inexpensive tool.

    • Thank you so much Rebecca! I’m honored that you would pass on a link to my blog to your photography student, and I’m sure she will have fun taking photos with close-up filters. I hope your class continues to go well and I’m sure your students enjoy having such a fun, dedicated instructor :)

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