My once secret garden by Alva Bernadine

It was said to be the best blossom show since the late fifties. The spring was warm and many of the bushes bloomed at the same time, putting on quite a display in the streets and gardens.

2015 was a great year for spring blossoms and flowers in Great Britain. It was said to be the best blossom show since the late fifties. The spring was warm and many of the bushes bloomed at the same time, putting on quite a display in the streets and gardens.

There were many mentions about it on the news. Spring for me is the time I like to visit my favourite flower garden, located in Richmond Park. Ever since a friend of mine told me about it, over a decade ago, I have been going there especially in the spring. I generally go there two or three times to gauge when the flowers will be at their best before shooting models there.

It is a large plantation and when I first started going there, it was overgrown. Losing all sense of direction, you could easily get lost. It took me a least three visits to get my bearings. It had relatively few visitors and I grew to appreciate its “overgrownness”. I even shot nudes in there a couple of times. Part of the middle of it was fenced off and on the fence was the warning, “Dangerous Trees”, that always caused me amusement. I liked to imagine them as something like the Ents, the walking trees in Lord of The Rings, perhaps deliberately dropping branches on unwary passers-by.

My little-known idyll did not last too long though, as the garden was given National Lottery funding and they started to cut down trees and bushes to open up the views. When I drove there at Easter, the carpark was rammed for the first time ever and I was lucky to get a spot. The word must have gotten out because there were crowds of people making their way there. The garden looked so splendid that I decided to shoot some panoramas of it and not just location shots for images I was planning.

The flowering of the bushes was usually staggered. First The azaleas would bloom, then the rhododendrons but this year they both came out together. There was a riot of vibrant colour everywhere you looked. The last time I had shot panoramas, a few years before, it was shooting 360◦ panos on a tripod, which was a bothersome process. It was difficult finding environments that were photogenic in every direction. This time I shot them freehand and only pictured the most interesting bits. I began by just shooting the flowers, then decided to include people as well who were continually getting in the way in any case. I made several more trips there, turning it into a project.

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Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
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To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
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