It’s a Bonsai

Last week we visited the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and among my favorite displays of overflowing greenery was their Japanese bonsai tree exhibit which houses over 30 type of specimens.

I don’t know much about the art form except that the tree themselves are relatively expensive and recognizing there’s a peacefulness in seeing someone prune and shape these beautiful miniature trees into something that’s aesthetically appealing.

I think everyone is familiar with a bonsai tree, or at least have an image of what a “bonsai” looks like in their mind but that typical portrayal completed erased when I noticed that very much like people, they’re all distinct in nature. I became fascinated with this particular one because of it’s vibrant purple flowers. A characteristic I thought a bonsai tree would never have. I knew they all varied in shape and sizes but I assumed they were all just green.

I regret not jotting down the name of this particular specimen of bonsai but I do recall that it was 36 years old. While everyone else with a camera was occupied photographing the entire tree, I must have been the only one who opted to forgo that instant urge and chose to narrow my view to the portion of the tree that attracted me to it in the first place.

The ability to focus on the details of a subject is one of the many reasons I love shooting with primes. I shot this was the Nikon 85mm. Perhaps not the best lens to photograph a garden but it was perfect for capturing a different perspective on something I already knew little about.