When we returned home from Texas, there was a beautiful Easter lily on my dining room table.

It was a gift from my sister who condo sat for us over the winter. This sister commutes in to work from our home town (about a 20 minute drive), and often that’s not a fun drive in the winter. For her to stay here during the winter is a win-win situation. She doesn’t have the winter drive, and we have someone looking after our place. We don’t charge her anything and we keep up all of the bills while she’s here. It’s worth it to us to have someone we know staying here. This winter, with the price of fuel skyrocketing, she especially appreciated being able to reduce her commute costs, thus the lily.

Hubs and I are both highly allergic to Easter lily pollen (which my sister obviously didn’t know and I didn’t tell her). I decided to try a trick I had seen on Facebook a few years back. I donned a vinyl glove, and pulled the pollen off of each filament, disposing each bit, one by one, on a paper towel. I then folded everything into the vinyl glove as I removed it, so there was no pollen at all released into the air.

This worked like a charm, and as each new blossom opened, I pulled the pollen off before the air became too heavily scented with it. Neither hubs nor I have had one sign of an allergic reaction, and I’ve been able to enjoy my beautiful gift longer than I expected. Apparently pulling the pollen off extends the life of the blossoms as well.

For my feature photo, I wanted some way to compensate for the missing pollen (which does add a dash of colour and beauty to the white lilies), so I decided to see if I could do an enhancement using light.

I used a flashlight to create an up light and shot several different angles. In post processing, I chose the smooth preset in Snapseed, to give more of a portrait effect and then I took the photo into an app called FOCOS where I set the focus on the anther, and then set the aperture to F1.4 in order to almost completely blur the background.

I believe I achieved my desired result, which was to divert attention away from the missing pollen.

Happy Earth Day!

“Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.”

Seth Godin