I took this photograph during my visit to the rose garden at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, MN. That morning, I drove fory-five minutes to the Arboretum, gathered my heavy camera equipment, and headed out for the distant rose garden. Even though it was early in the morning, it was a beautiful day and I found that there were at least a hundred people milling around.
My hope was to get beautiful photographs of roses. As I waded through the crowd I had my eyes open looking for a rose that spoke to me. I scanned the garden, all of the sudden this bud came into view. It was open, but only a little bit and I felt it calling to me. Deciding to focus on this little bud, I needed to evaluate the light, angles, and where I would locate myself. Taking several photographs to determine the answers to these questions, I decided the best location would be from a low crouching position.
I knew it would take a great deal of waiting and letting people pass to find my perfect rose while dodging the large crowd. Walking and kneeling can be painful due to my two artificial knees, it is very difficult to get down to the ground and back up again. I knew it would take multiple shots to capture just the right photograph. Not knowing any editing programs I knew the perfect shot would have to be in my camera.
Being a former teacher, I had learned patience early in my career. I knew I would have to summon all that I had learned. In order to manage the crowds to spend the time I needed with my flower. As I approached my rosebud found me as I often found happens when I am photographing my flowers.
After at least twenty-five attempts I knew I had reflected the bud’s whisper to me. As I stood there I could smell its emerging scent. Although I would never touch the flowers of the garden I could sense the soft touch of the petals. In my mind’s eye I could see that she was the perfect subject.
Depending on the weather and how my body is feeling it can be difficult to crouch down or get up from the needed position, or both! With my artificial knees I never know how they will respond to my requests. It was a warm muggy day. I was sweating profusely and decided to take a chance.
After waiting for people to move away from my striking rosebud I knew it was time to crouch. I stayed in this position for fifteen to twenty minutes not knowing what the results would be. I put my camera around my neck, pushed up from the ground and became upright.
I was feeling a great deal of stiffness however, I had feelings of achievement which overtook my stiff body. I smiled as I slowly walked the path back to my car. If I knew how to whistle I would have whistled a happy tune.
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