I’ve passed the empty lot near our house many times. And, each time, I’d see different plants growing there. Flowers, vegetables, root crops, a couple of papaya trees and, most recently, pineapples. Not that they just sprouted there. No one has bought the lot yet and a neighbor has utilized it to grow food. Nice, eh?
The times I saw flowers growing there, I never gave them more than a cursory glance. When I saw root crops — cassava, to be more specific, I smiled. It’s good that it isn’t just us who are interested in backyard gardening in the neighborhood. I never stopped to take photos though. The cassava plant isn’t exactly an interesting subject for photography.
But when I saw the pineapples… It took me three days of waiting for the perfect lighting condition. And when the ideal moment finally came, I almost missed it because I was busy dunking tortilla chips in an avocado-hummus dip and popping them into my mouth. If Speedy hadn’t commented that the sun would go down soon…
Anyway, so I got my gear, opened the front door and walked the few meters to the empty lot. There were six pineapples there. Which one to take a photo of? It would have been nice if I could take a photo of all of them, in a row, but they were too far apart from each other and there were other plants growing between them. I had to choose one. Just one.
You’d think it’s a simple thing. The pineapple is rooted there, unmoving. How difficult can it be taking photos of an unmoving object in broad daylight? But a plant isn’t the same as a person whom you can instruct to turn this and that way so that you can compose the perfect combination of lights and shadows. You can’t ask all the other plants around it to move either. In instances like that, it is you — the photographer — who have move around to find the best angle.
Well, that was the best I could manage. I couldn’t isolate the pineapple better than that. There was a small papaya tree growing too near it, the leaves hovering over the pineapple. And that is an underexposed photo — underexposed by two or three stops — because, oh, I don’t know… the normal balance just gave it a washed-out look.