A purple flower, and little thing moments / by Solomon Klein

A purple flower

A purple flower

This is a flower. It’s purple. We’ll call it a purple flower (I’m not really sure what it is).

I happened to spot it along a walkway that I frequently traverse. I think that that was the first time I’d ever seen that thing in that place. Not sure just how it got there; I’m told it’s wild.

The combination of oddity and, shall I say, sheer beauty compelled me to document this little gem of a scene. I couldn’t pass it up. But, all I had with me was my iPhone (a 5c, for Pete’s sake). It’d have to do. I lowered the device into the grass and made 4 or 5 exposures. The photo shown above is the keeper. I pocketed the phone and left.

That flower is now sitting in a vase somewhere. A little fella picked it for his momma. In a few days, a week maybe, it’ll wilt, die, and be gone. We won’t have that flower again.

[excuse me while I weep uncontrollably]

“But it’s only a flower! A little flower!”

<sniff> I know. <sniff> It’s only a flower. It’s just a little thing… But isn’t life made of little things?

“Little things are the stuff of big things.”

I’m pretty sure someone somewhere has said that at sometime. Not entirely sure—it may be original (if so, I’m sorry). But regardless, it’s very true. Little things add up after a while. We often miss them because they’re so little. Yet often those little things, those tiny moments, they’re the things we later look back on, and hold dear.

Play the hand you’re dealt  

I made this image with a tiny little camera on a three year-old smartphone. Now, I have better gear at my disposal, with nicer image sensors, better glass, better light-gathering abilities, and so on. But they were literally sitting eight feet underground in the basement. The moment and the inspiration happened right then and there. So, playing the cards I had, I took the shot. Sure, I might have been able to run downstairs, grab the Nikon, and run back outside and get the shot. I might have.

Say I did. Chances are, I wouldn’t have gotten this shot. I probably would have made something, possibly a great shot, but not something I like this much. Not to say the larger camera isn’t good. I make way more pictures with my SLR than my iPhone, and if I’m going out with the intention of photographing something, I bring my Nikon. It’s a much more capable camera than my iPhone, hands down.

But part of what makes this picture—at least, in my humble opinion—is how simple it was to create. I exerted, like, no energy at all to make this image, other than what it took to bring my 180 pounds of carbon-based materials to a stop. The rest: effortless.


Like they say, “the best camera is the one that's with you.” I carry my iPhone on my person at all times (mostly), and as a result, it gets used for these “little things” moments most of the time. It’s there. Always at the ready.

What camera you use for capturing these moments doesn’t really matter. But you should have something. Something ready to go at a moment’s notice.

So… yeah.