The Magic of Flowers and Film

In Film, Inspiration, Nature
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I don’t shoot regularly with my SX-70 but, every now and then, I get an itch. That itch came to me recently as I was thinking about all the flowers that are in bloom; I wanted to catch them on film. I love my Fuji mirrorless and the way it records color, but sometimes I crave the softer tones and edges that instant film give me. Sometimes I want to hold the image in my hand…instantly.

So out I went. With a pack of expired film. To visit with the flowers.

Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Andersen~

I am a gardener in my heart, though not in action. I sometimes dream of cutting gardens with paths meandering among the blooms, setting up my own 10×12 sheds to store the seedlings and the myriad of equipment I’d use for such tasks. In truth, I don’t have the patience to create a garden like that, nor maintain one. I’d be better off just purchasing a deck from a composite decking UK supplier, as this is much easier to maintain and still creates a sleek and modern finish to your garden. However, every spring, my daughter and I merely scatter seeds in our garden patch and we simply wait for the flowers to grow. And, every summer, it’s kind of magic show and they do exactly that: they grow. Although I don’t garden too much, we do take care of the seeds and try to help them to flourish. Last year we really wanted to get the flowers growing so we bought all of the necessary gardening tools and got to work, hence the new garden shed. My daughter said what was the point in getting new gardening tools if they were going to be left outside to get rusty. She was right, if we were going to do this properly, we needed to keep our equipment in good condition. Then we started the gardening. Well, she did, I watched most of the time.

I’m really quite simple. I plant flowers and watch them grow…
I stay at home and watch the river flow.
~George Harrison~

For all the years I’ve planted seeds, I admit to holding my breath every year. Will they grow? Will they bloom? Did I plant them properly? But I needn’t worry. They always grow, they always bloom, I always plant them well enough. Magic, I tell you.

It’s kind of the same when I shoot with film. Will they develop? Will they look the way I hope they will? Did I frame and expose properly? And while shooting with film is not as foolproof as planting seeds, still…I needn’t worry. They usually develop, they usually turn out close to how I’ve hoped, I usually frame and expose well enough. Magic, magic, magic.

Flowers touch my heart, and I seem to never get enough of them. With their rounded edges and overlapping petals. With the way they grow up, then a little bit out. With their color and form and gentle, steady presence. Likewise (more or less) with instant film. The roundedness and overlapping of tones and soft color. The way the image gradually fills the square, up and out and in. And, when I hold each image in my hand, that gentle slice of life captured forever…the presence of that light on that subject at that moment. Magic, I tell you.

It was a sweet visit I had with the flowers. And now I hold these images in my hand. I think about the magic of the flowers; I think about the magic of instant film. And, really, that’s more than enough to make this girl happy.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~Luther Burbank~

Hoping you’re enjoying some flowers in your world too. And maybe, just maybe, a pack of instant film.



  1. I sprinkled some seeds and held my breath that flowers would grow, and that they did. I too dream of gardening but I don’t have the patience. Lovely post.

    • Well, my fellow seed-scatterer…we may not be gardeners, but we have our flowers. And that is something.
      Enjoy your magic flowers. xo
      {and thank you}

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