Birthday Orchids

Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's photograph from January, 2018.

Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's photograph from January, 2018.

Today, March 29, we celebrate Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky’s birthday. As a special tribute to him and his artistic vision, I thought I’d share some photos of one of my father’s favourite subjects—orchids.

Steve loved flowers—spotting them, photographing them, painting them, and just appreciating the beauty they add to the world. Many a family road trip was extended because the sun would be hitting a prairie field in a particularly beautiful way, and no Hajnoczky can resist pulling over and pulling out their camera when nature beckons thusly. Steve also enjoyed cultivating indoor flowers—especially orchids. Orchids, though, are not for the impatient. Steve’s orchid collection would, many years, feature only stems and leaves, with each plant following its own long, patient cycle between flowerings. Nevertheless, he attentively cared for the plants year after year, appreciating them as they were.

Then, in January of 2018, one of Steve’s plants flowered for the first time in 25 or so years. Of course, he took the opportunity to carefully set up a backdrop for the flower (with the help of Ruth), and to then photograph the long awaited orchid. Here is one image from his series of photographs.

The two shelf mate orchids, 2019

The two shelf mate orchids, 2019

I picked this particular photograph as I think it typifies my father’s style. The close cropping showcases the blossom, with the carefully considered angle adding drama and movement to the flower. This approach to the subject also highlights the structure of the orchid, allowing it to cast shadows on itself, and letting the lines and frills of the blossom draw the viewer in. The photograph emphasizes the delicate texture of the pink that brushes each petal. The leaves, too, in the background adds dynamism to the image, sweeping behind the flower and inviting us to look from one edge of the flower to the other.

This plant sits in a stand with its partner, another plant my father patiently cared for year after year. And this year, the plant has treated us to a display of vibrant purple flowers.

With my dad in mind, I spent some time yesterday photographing this flower, taking the time to appreciate not only the beauty of the blossom, but also the time and love my father put into caring for this plant so that I could enjoy it, enjoy photographing it as he would have, and enjoy sharing it with you.

Help us celebrate Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's birthday today by taking a moment to appreciate the flowers!

The 2019 birthday orchids.

The 2019 birthday orchids.

NOTE: This post was originally shared as part of our monthly newsletter. Each monthly newsletter features one of Steve’s works as a way of celebrating his life and art. Sign up for the newsletter here: https://www.ateacozyisasometimes.com/contact-and-connect/#/newsletter/

Prints of the orchid series are available https://www.ateacozyisasometimes.com/store/orchid-photo-series