Claire Yaffa: Celebration of Spring – “Birth,” Chapter Five

Claire Yaffa took her first photograph 45 years ago when her son was 18 months old and it was the beginning of her journey, first as a mother, then as a photographer. She has worked extensively for The New York Times and Associated Press. Her photographs have appeared in countless influential publications and have been exhibited at major venues in the US and around the world.

Leica Notebook, Chapter Five

I saw a red robin… I heard it sing…. calling to another… geese flying overhead loudly exclaiming their sound…. daffodils springing forth with a vibrant yellow flower… trees small buds, developing leaves, surrounding the landscape with bursting color. Spring, a celebration of a new beginning, is also the celebration and continuation of life as we know it.

This was a discovery for me as I saw shadows, at different times of the day, reflected in a silver bowl. My photographs gave birth to a very different way of seeing and concept. For me, what I was seeing and photographing, represented the almost musical and magical rhythm of the mystery and gift of life.

As I was seeing and photographing shapes, colors and space, I was transported with the wonder of what I was seeing.

Colors and shapes changed, depending on the time of day. I was hypnotized and immersed in this mesmerizing process.

The series of photographs “Birth,” are a representation of the celebration of life, its fragile journey, and finally the miracle of a life being born. When Spring returns every year, a new life begins.

Even though petals fall, we know Spring will come, and life will begin again.

-Claire Yaffa

You can also see more of Claire’s work on her website,

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Leica Internet Team

Leica Internet Team

Leica Internet Team


  • Thanks, Claire, for being the midwife to a whole host of new baby synapses firing in my head.

    Anybody can walk up to a piano and play a “G.” That does not make them a musician. Music is the sequencing of one note with others — the patterns, cadences, harmonies and dissonances combine to form a whole. Usually, with still photography, the sequencing and composition comes from many notes that coalesce within a single frame. But your approach here is much different. Each frame is, instead, a single note — albeit one with a particularly rich harmonic structure.

    I have, along with every other curious photographer, stuck a camera in a metal bowl and marvelled over the distorted reflections in the resulting image. By doing so, I have played a “G.” Sometimes, I’ve taken several such photos in an attempt to find “just the right” note. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether I photograph a “G” or an “Eb” — they remained static, visual tones with little emotional impact.

    Your approach to combining and sequencing these notes does indeed create a composition — an abstraction of an abstraction that triggers an emotional response in the viewer. The response will be different in every viewer. To some the patterns will soothe. To others they’ll irritate — but the end result is you will have stimulated an emotion. And, really, what other reason is there to photograph?

    Thanks for this.

  • Thank you for you insiteful comments. You really understood this miraculous gift of seeing and trying to capture the magic of it all.

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