I keep coming back to photographing flowers. I blur their form more than I used to, but I still love them. Now, I would not have flowers in vases around my house and I am lucky in that my wife would not be the type of woman who expects gifts of flowers or even likes them.
I used to live in Riga, Latvia. Flowers are an integral part of their culture. When I lived there, there was a street which had stalls selling flowers that never closed. It was open 24 hours a day, every day, for all your floral emergencies. How they all did business, I do not know. I wonder is the street still open 24/7. In Irish culture if you see a man walking down the street with a bouquet of flowers held upright, suspicions rise as to what he has done to warrant the purchase of flowers; flowers of apology. In Latvia, it was so common to see men walking with bouquets of flowers held upside down (this, apparently, is the correct way to carry flowers). Men bring flowers for their dates; be it the first date or any subsequent one. Cinemas in Riga provided vases for the flowers boyfriends brought for girlfriends to be kept in while they watched their film. When I first witnessed this, I was amazed. I ensured I was one of the first out of the cinema when the film ended to see the sight of the women reclaiming their flowers. Having imagined chaos and confusion as they claimed their flowers, I was again amazed to see how easily and without fuss the flowers were taken back. What a heart-warming sight it was to see the girls leave the cinema one hand holding that of their suitors and the flowers held in the other.
Latvians loved their flowers. In spring, when the snows had melted, they blossomed everywhere. The bleakness and monotony of white replaced with the colourful splashes of so many flowers. When you left the capital Riga and headed into the countryside, it was like stepping into an enchanted garden. I miss Latvia.
But I don’t miss having to buy flowers – all the time! I was broke from it.
Here are a few electronic flowers for you.