“Wind composition” - Valter Binotto, Italy
With every gust of wind, showers of pollen were released, lit up by the winter sunshine, from the hazel tree near Valter’s home in northern Italy.
Hazel has both male and female flowers on the same tree, though the pollen must be transferred between trees for fertilization. The pollen-producing catkins open early in the year, before the leaves are out, and release huge amounts of pollen to be carried away by the wind.
“The hardest part was capturing the female flowers motionless while the catkins were moving,” explains Valter. ‘I searched for flowers on a short branch that was more stable.’ Using a long exposure to capture the pollen’s flight and a reflector to highlight the catkins, he took many pictures before the wind finally delivered the composition he had in mind.