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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

A Last Hurrah

My attempt to grow tulips has been marginal at best. For several years after first planting a few bulbs I only got a few piddly leaves. Then occasionally I would get a flower or two. Last year, maybe because Mother Nature knew we all needed some cheer at the start of the Pandemic, I had several lovely and, yes, given the history of these bulbs, surprising blooms. Oddly, they have never been the same colors, though the bulbs originally planted were supposed to be more in the apricot color range. This year I had four blooms, two red and two more toward pink. Heavy rains were not kind to them either. Yesterday as I checked for mail in my box (there was none), I noticed the two red ones still had some character, and inspired by the gorgeous flower images created by Alan Shapiro, I decided to cut them, bring them in the house, and try to get some flower portraits. Capturing flowers that are no longer in nature is a skill I am trying to learn. I have been studying this a bit with a few tutorials and on-line courses in recent months. I have learned a lot about how I can achieve specific lighting effects, especially the beauty of Rembrandt lighting. Although I have some studio lights now, I decided to be lazy and just use ambient window lighting. I took a lot of images using both my Nikon and my iPhone. Believe it or not, I liked the results with my iPhone better. The above image is one, in fact. While I did do final post processing tweaking using my favorite on1photo Raw software, I think that the iPhone camera system worked with me to achieve the look I wanted better and more easily than my DSLR camera. I rather suspect the petals will start to fall off the tulips soon, but I am glad I could give them a "last hurrah" for 2021 and let at least one of them become a bit of a star.

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