A Love-Hate Relationship

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Descanso Gardens Tulip

Descanso Gardens Tulip

I’m curious to know how many other photographers out there who are allergic to pollen? Whenever I am around flowers, my allergies are so bad that I basically get sick for several days after. This is as cruel of a joke as there is for nature photography.

See more of my flower pictures.


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16 thoughts

  1. In a cruel twist of fate, the peak of wildflower season here in central Texas also coincides with the peak of the Live Oak pollen count. Just about everyone here, myself included, is allergic to oak pollen so wildflower photography days must be accompanied by large doses of antihistamines.

  2. I just came back from seeing many different flowers and no allergies. I do get them but it has to be windy. Can’t figure what is in the wind because the allergies do not always act up?

  3. Thanks guys.

    Dave – that sounds pretty bad. With those Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush though, it seems worth it.

    Steve – you’re a lucky dude! I read online that airborne pollen cannot be avoided even if you are indoors but maybe you just have a higher tolerance than others like myself.

  4. Not flowers, but grasses. I’ve come back from some shoots where my eyes were nearly swollen shut and I could not stop sneezing. In such situations I then spend the next two days on allergy medicine. It’s not a pretty scene, but the photos don’t look bad.

  5. It used to be pretty bad when I was younger but the last two years were allergy free – fingers crossed. I am not sure what “cured” my allergies; I would sure love to know. Nowadays I only have a few bad days when certain grass pollen are at their peak.

    Pretty nice tulip by the way! 😉

  6. Oh, brother, I know what you mean. Every March I go to the Coachella Valley for the Indian Wells tennis tournament (this year I swung by Joshua Tree as well). I’ve been there at other times of the year, no problem; I’ve been to Anza-Borrego (just south of there on the other side of the Santa Rosas) at that and other times of the year, no problem. But something about the Coachella Valley in March is just murder.

    The funny thing is, sometimes I can be there for several days before it hits, almost as if it has to reach critical mass, and then… BOOM! I think it was in 2008, I got to the stage Jim is talking about, eyes red & swollen almost shut (horror movie, anyone?! LOL), sniffling non-stop, couldn’t drive, had to find a room for the night so I could wash off as much as possible and take handfuls of pills.

    My experience: some antihistamines are definitely better than others, and none of them is sufficient on its own. I never travel anywhere, at any time of the year, without a supply of the dang things these days.

    And that’s a *very* nice tulip. 🙂

  7. Now I don’t feel so bad now. Misery loves company, right? 🙂

    Anti-histimines: I find that Claritin doesn’t really help much when I have bad allergies, and others like Alleve and Benadryl knock me straight out so they have limited use.

    I know how that eye-swollen shut feeling is like because I get like that whenever someone has just mowed grass. Fun times indeed.

  8. I guess I’m lucky in that out here in the west there doesn’t appear to be much I’m allergic to. In the midwest and mid-atlantic, it’s a different story. Growing up in WI, I was allergic to anything green from mid-August to first frost. Less severe living in DC area, but still had an affect on me.

    Since living in California, no problems. My wife has had issues where she encountered some grass during a photo trip we took, huge allergic skin reaction that took weeks to go away. Never knew what it was.

    Sorry to hear that you have to suffer so much for your passion Richard! 🙂

  9. I agree. Spring is my favorite season because of the gorgeous flowers and trees but it is also the time of year I feel the worst because of allergies. There’s not much I can take because of side effects so I just go on and get down in the grass and smell the flowers anyway!

  10. I hear you, Greg. When I have traveled to the midwest, I get even worse allergies for days at a time. When I moved to Kentucky, that was really bad too though I think much of that was due to the blooming redbud on the trees.

    Beverly – I agree. I still go shooting anyway but I’m unable to shoot flowers for more than one day at a time though because I need recovery time so in those regards, I could be much more productive were it not for the allergies.

  11. Right there with ya, pal! My allergies are kicking my butt bigtime right now… and all sorts of things have started poppin’.

    There’s always beer when I’m done. 😉

  12. That is interesting that you have found the nose sprays to work, Ron. I had a prescription when I was in high school but it seemed to cause me more sneezing. Perhaps I need to go back to the doc and try again.

    Derrick – Beer might be a good idea. I think that is what Benadryl’s secret is. You don’t have allergies when you are sleeping…

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