It seemed to happen overnight.
One day, out of the cold 30-degree weather and winter jackets, springtime bloomed. The foliage grew greener, trees began to show color, days became longer and you could now go to the dining hall before it was dark outside.
It was finally spring.
While the transition to nicer weather has been slow and rocky this year, there’s no doubt the atmosphere has changed. The city revitalized right when classes turned from multiple small assignments to larger projects and papers, which — both thankfully and sadly — gives me more time and motivation to procrastinate.
The nice days become my excuse to not write that paper I should probably get done … or make that presentation that’s due in a couple of days … or prepare for that exam tomorrow. Basically, springtime is when everything starts to blossom while you start to decay.
But going outside and experiencing the nice weather and capturing a moment somehow slows my mental death. Walking outside for something other than class or food, with the weight of my camera around my neck and my mind clear of the work I need to finish, provides me a needed breath and reprieve. I can get excited about a little bird and blossoming bud instead of meeting a word count — though you definitely feel more accomplished from the latter.
However, I can earn a different sense of accomplishment from photographing the birds and flowers than I would from repeatedly hitting my head on the table out of frustration and boredom.
Springtime is the best time for photography, and I will fight those who say otherwise. I’ll concede that autumn is a close second, but spring shows life from death that begs for macro photography and low apertures.
It makes you look at the little things and focus on the details.
It’s fun to get low and take shots from a worm’s eye view of the fresh grass and little creatures within it — even though you’ll look really odd while doing that photographer squat or lying down along a path for all the public to see. It’s all a sacrifice for the hobby, but the best way to see something new.
Photography offers you a new perspective that makes everything seem larger than life, which gives me a lot more respect for the increasing bunnies and birds springtime brings. I’d be freaked out by the gigantic humans, cars and buildings if I were only four inches off the ground, but they seem so calm.
Honestly, shoving a camera in the animals’ faces makes me feel a little bad, but I can’t help it. Animals are amazing to capture, even when they’re doing mundane activities I’ve seen hundreds of times before.
But that’s what springtime brings. It’s a time when everything seems interesting enough to capture because it’s new and energized. A tree is its own world. Forests are a new planet that’ll make you want to photograph any random branch or flower. Raindrops aren’t just raindrops — they’re little reflecting kaleidoscopes.
It’s all exciting and incredibly photogenic.
My favorite photographic moments come after a spring shower. Not just for the dewdrops clinging to each surface in little domes, but also for the time when the clouds clear up and create a spectacular sunset or sunrise, the slightly humid environment the following day and the potential for rainbows and — if you’re lucky — double rainbows.
Rainbows never get old. They’re like fireworks for the daytime.
My best photo of a rainbow came during Spring Recess 2019 when I was visiting Cuba. I was so excited to see the arch of colors and captured it in all its double-rainbow glory probably more than 30 times — thankfully, I was shooting digital. The first rainbow lined up perfectly with the end of the colorful street, which made it seem like there was actually an end to the light. I’ll openly admit I thought about chasing that rainbow, finding some gold and meeting a leprechaun.
Photos like that make me so excited for spring. I happened to be on a great trip that year when I never put down my camera, but every year has its moments, regardless of where you are — though I’m still waiting for a Boston rainbow. The little details and warmer days are the best part of spring, and they really move my nature-photographer heart to get outside and down in the dirt to capture something new.