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Posts Tagged ‘tulips’

You don’t have to go far to find beauty—it is all around us. I spotted this beautiful Lady Jane tulip yesterday afternoon in the garden of my neighbor and fellow photographer Cindy Dyer. Cindy loves to photograph flowers and has planted a wide assortment of photogenic flowers in her front and side gardens. I was delighted to see that about a dozen of these little tulips were starting to bloom.

Many of Cindy’s “normal” tulips are starting to form buds, but only one is blooming right now, the beautiful red one that is shown in the final photo. I have always been impressed by the photos that tourists take of broad swaths of colorful tulips in the Netherlands, but for me, I tend to find beauty in the individual flowers.

Lady Jane Tulip

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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After seeing three of my recent postings that featured unopened tulips, some readers might come to the erroneous conclusion that I don’t like the colorful flowers of blooming tulips. How could that be possible? Everyone seems to like the cheery colors of tulips.

My neighbor, and fellow photographer and blogger Cindy Dyer, has planted quite a variety of tulips in her garden and I recently took some photos of two very different species. The first is a small, delicate tulip know as the “Lady Jane” (Tulipa clusiana var. ‘Lady Jane’). I am not sure that I have every seen a more petite tulip and I really like its subtle colors.

The second tulip is big and bold and multi-colored, almost a visual equivalent of shouting. This style of tulip is known as a “broken” tulip, because of the way that the colors are broken, resulting in intricate bars, stripes, streaks, featherings, or flame-like effects of different colors on the petals. According to Wikipedia, this effect was originally produced by a tulip-breaking virus, and bulbs with this effect went for exorbitant prices in 17th century Netherlands, during a period known as “tulip mania.” Today, tulips displaying a “broken” effect are stable variants and the result of breeding, not viral infection.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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As I was admiring the beautiful tulips in my neighbors’ garden, I noticed this fly perched on the edge of one of them. In a different setting he might have gone unnoticed, but here the details of the fly provide a nice contrast with the wonderful primary colors of the tulips in the background.

With spring here in full force, I am reacquainting myself with my macro lens, causing me to look more closely at details like the red compound eyes of this fly and his hairy back legs.  It’s fun too to note the details of his tiny little feet.

I am now remembering how much I have to pay attention to lighting, depth of field, and shutter speed when shooting macro shots, particularly because my macro lens is not image stabilized. Very minor problems can really be magnified when I try to get in this close, especially with an animate subject.

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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