with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Yellow and Purple Tulip Closeup, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Tulip, yellow and purple, closeup with water droplets by Lorelle VanFossen

I love the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and have many years of photographs from its bountiful rainbow of tulips. This one is from the 2007 festival, a very gray sky and wet few weeks.

We always bring our full camera gear, different tripods, lenses, everything we can to get the landscape views as well as the close in macro photography perspective.

I liked this purple and yellow tulip dripping with rain water, the patterns in the petals and veins of color. I knelt down on a knee pad with my camera upside down on the tripod to get low to the ground, moving in as close as I dared. I wanted to get in closer, but the heat of my body in the freezing cold morning created a slight breeze, shaking the tulip, so I zoomed in from about three feet to fill the frame. Even then, it was hard to get the maximum depth of field in the low light while maintaining enough for focus. I took a dozen pictures of this and this is the best of the collection.

I look at this picture and see pictures within pictures, telling me there was more that could have been told in this flower. I see that I could have zoomed in and focused on any of the specific pattern details, the raindrops, or the fascinating stem that is so smooth moving from stem to petal. Digitally, I could zoom in and crop these, but the lack of true sharpness in the original makes these tough for that kind of magnification.

Still, thoughts like these always serve to remind me to work harder, in spite of the cold and wet, to really explore a photographic subject and look beyond the surface pretty.

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