• Luise Stromberg

Are you ready for your close up, Magnolia?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Every spring since moving to New York, I try to end my winter hibernation with a celebratory visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I can't wait to soak in the warming summer rays as I stroll through the explosion of flora. As a city dweller it can be easy to miss the signs of spring.... no snowdrops in the garden or forsythia overgrowing the side of the house. This pilgrimage affirms that I can pack away the down jacket and heavy sweaters.


As if to reassure myself that it really is getting warmer, that there will be more sunshine every day, I delight in getting as close up as possible to the new flowers. I zoom in so close, crop them so tight, that they become monstrous, overwhelming the screen.

The intimacy reveals details lost from only a foot away while transforming the delicate, fragrant signs of spring into abstracted behemoths.

I don't miss the cliched irony of fragile flowers photographed as petaled leviathans... or the Georgia O'Keefe connection.

But for me, their grand scale echos how happy I am that winter is over.

and sometimes I find someone else who is just as happy as I am...