Tulips for A Shutterbug
As a landscape designer, I tend to plant daffodils for clients who have deer problems, or who prefer bulbs that can be depended upon to return for many years, if the site is right (mostly in terms of adequate sun and not too much ground moisture).
But as a photographer, my heart belongs primarily to tulips. Here is one of my first images of a tulip taken just for the pure joy of the color. I was trying out my new macro lens at the Cylburn Arboretum, near Baltimore. I have to say the composition isn’t great – your eye doesn’t really know where to rest. But the color probably made me a little crazy.
Brookside Gardens is a great place to photograph daffodils in the spring (my next header, going up in April, is a “slice” of tulips from one of their beds a couple of years ago). In this shot, I went for the repeating line of the bulb heads. I think this is probably ‘Princes Irene,’ one of the most fabulous of the orange tulips. Wish I’d gotten a little more of the stem in the shot.
Another great place to photograph different varieties of tulips is the Tulip Library in downtown DC, near the Tidal Basin in view of the Jefferson Memorial. You have to catch it just right, but if you do there are countless varieties to enjoy, all of them labeled. Here’s ‘Banja Luka’ from an early-morning visit several years ago. This time, I went for a cropped profile shot, close up to capture the dew still on the petals.
Finally, here are two more recent photos, both taken at my house with the tulips in vases, so I was able to control lighting and was able to get shots without contorting my body or groveling in the dirt. Special thanks to Brent and Becky Heath, whose bulb company sent me (as a member of the Garden Writers Association) some extra bulbs to trial. So here is ‘Perestroyka’, followed by a closeup of an unknown pink tulip.
One final note: if you love tulips and want some that do come back (unlike the Darwin hybrids and the other stunners shown above), try some species tulips, like the Kaufmanniana or Greigii cultivars. I have a small group of ‘Stresa’ tulips (yellow and red) that have been blooming reliably for me for over six years in a sunny, well-drained site. More on these another time!Explore posts in the same categories: General, landscape, photography comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.