Cherry Blossom Time One of the jewels of

Cherry Blossom Time

One of the jewels of Spring are the arrival of colorful cherry blossoms. In New York City, the place to be is Cherry Esplanade in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Every April, two rows of Prunus “Kanzan” trees – a gift from the Japanese government after World War I – adorn this area of the garden in a sea of pink. The month-long cherry blossom season known as Hanami, ends in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri.

“Cherry Blossom Time” is a photo I captured a few years ago when the esplanade was in full bloom, and before the grounds became clogged with school kids and sun-worshipers. Using a flash and a wide angle lens, I highlighted a single wayward branch in the foreground with the long rows of the trees in the rear. The flash allows me to use two different exposures in the same shot. I was able to maintain the proper exposure on the branch via the flash, while slightly underexposing everything else by adjusting the shutter speed. This subtle difference in exposure not only effectively separated the branch from an otherwise busy background, but also accentuated the richness of the deep blue sky.

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F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit