Springtime for Hicks and Westbury

In honor of the first day of spring, I made time to stop over at Hicks Nursery on Jericho Turnpike this past Sunday. Hicks Nursery began its business in 1853 by selling trees and other plants to Long Island locals, although the family had been tilling the soil here since the 1600s. If you’re interested in reading more about the family’s business history, check out this link. Growing up, my favorite Hicks happening was (and admittedly, still is) Otto the Ghost, the friendliest spook since Casper. Otto really only comes around during the Halloween season (as do their hay rides and roasted corn, yum!), but every spring they give us something to tide us over: the Flower and Garden Show.

The Flower and Garden Show began on March 11th and ended on the 20th, just in time for the vernal equinox. It drew throngs of people from all over the Island, most of which brought cameras of their own. Many families took advantage of the beautiful displays to photograph their children and loved ones in front of vibrant garden beds and next to small ponds and statues. Rather than subjecting my boyfriend to such humiliation (you’re welcome, HighReleaseHandler), I photographed just the flowers.

As Hicks is really one giant greenhouse, there’s plenty of light to be had for the plants and budding photographers (ha ha ha). Even at ISO 200 my lowest shutter speed was 1/80 at f/2.8, which meant my photographs were free of “noise” and blur. With my low f-stop I was able to turn shelves of merchandise into colorful backgrounds.

Toting around the Nikkor f/1.4 fixed 50mm seemed like an excellent idea at the time. A low f-stop would make for dramatically focused photographs, and 50mm was great for close-ups and shots taken at a distance. The one thing I didn’t think about was the crowds. Well, I did think about them, but I didn’t think that a 50mm shot would be so difficult to obtain without someone walking in front of me while lining up my shot. For that reason, I didn’t put up any “big picture” shots which is unfortunate as there were a lot of beautiful displays. Next year, I’ll be more confident and take the photograph anyway.

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