In The Mellow Sunlight Of An Indian Haven
Even though I grew up in India, and travelled widely, there are many parts I still have not visited and Rajasthan, in particular, still draws me like a magnet.
I was up early every morning in Dehra Dun, the better to use the soft winter light. The frosts had not started, but there was heavy dew on the grass and the diffused light was great to capture soft tones that might otherwise have been harder to nail down in bright light.
Bougainvillea, as any Indian will tell you, is common in all parts of the country and it’s not unusual to see great bursts of vivid colours across a stark wall or boundary area. The plant is actually named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville, an French admiral who is credited with being the first European to discover the captivating species in Brazil in 1768.
Like many of the older villas in Dehra Dun, a prime outpost in the Raj era, this is a beautiful cottage with an English-style garden. The bougainvillea was growing in large pots, so I was able to shoot at slightly below eye level, choosing my angle so as to utilise the light to best effect.
And if you do grow bougainvillea, I am reliably told that it flowers most profusely if trimmed lightly. Resist the urge to cut it back harshly – and you’ll be rewarded with bursts of long-lasting colour in a variety of shades.
Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.