For many of the past few years, I have taken a photo of the last rose on the rose bushes in our yard, and at least one of those has been presented here. Roses make nice photos on their own. However, I think the look of a fading, dying rose is just as interesting as a photo of a healthy flower.
There is something about a dying flower that grabs our attention. I would guess it has to do with its faded condition compared to its one-time glory. After all, that is the nature of all things. I know I can feel that in myself as time goes on. So perhaps a photo of a flower going through the same process that we feel ourselves going through causes us to feel some sympathy for the rose. Or maybe it causes us to feel some sympathy for ourselves.
Not to be all morbid, however. After all, growing older is the natural way of life. We are all either growing older or dead. There are not any other ways to do it. That is just what we do.
The trick of it all is to grow older gracefully instead of trying to fight it. By that I do not mean that we all start wearing cardigan sweaters and pushing walkers by the time we reach 30, or 40, or whenever that downhill slide officially starts. Instead, we stop trying to fight it and instead we just enjoy getting older as much as possible.
The Joy of Age
The other day, I went to a fast food restaurant. Incidentally, did you ever notice that if you mistype “fast food” it comes out as “fats food”? Is there really any difference? But I digress.
Anyway, the cashier at this restaurant took my order and took my money, as is normal. While I was waiting for my food, I happened to glance at my receipt and saw the words right there in black and white: “SENIOR DISCOUNT”.
I did post a photo of the receipt on social media, along with the caption, “I must have been looking older.” But actually, I was not all that upset about it. Instead, I chose to look at it as a sign of honor. If the person who is aging is aging correctly, there should be at least a bit of honor associated with it. We are expected to honor those who are older than us. So instead of being upset, I chose to feel honored that I appeared to be a seasoned member of society.
These days, so many people do everything they can to fight getting older. Cosmetic surgery, artificial hair color, or even just artificial hair. A midlife crisis, younger friends, adventurous acts. Trying to stay “hip” instead of breaking a hip. Or whatever else people do to try to convince others that they are still young.
Instead of trying to fight the inevitable, find ways to enjoy it. Make the most of it. Even if that means saving a little money on your food. Because it is true that I am not getting any younger. And neither are you.
Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the way of righteousness. - Proverbs 16:31
Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance. - Titus 2:2
About the Photo
As usually happens with these photos, once I take a photo of the last rose, another rose shows up. That makes the “last” rose that I photographed not actually the last rose. But that is okay. Because the actual last rose really did not look any different from the last rose in the photo.
For this photo, I had the aperture open wide so that the background would be blurred. I also chose to go with some desaturated colors, to give the rose an even more aged look. Just for good measure, I added in some artificial vignetting to make the outer edges of the photo darker, which draws your eyes to the rose at the center.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: October 2, 2018
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee