with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Closeup of Red and Yellow Tulip, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Closeup of red and yellow tulip by Lorelle VanFossen

Among the many beautiful photographs of the tulips from the International Skagit Valley Tulip Festival held annually in the Mt. Vernon area of Washington State, I love it when I can find a simple tulip and focus on just the color and micro patterns in the image. Tulips are such powerful symbols of Spring for me, growing up not far south of Mt. Vernon.

This closeup image of a red and yellow tulip explodes off the screen with its intense color, a color that isn’t even true to the original as film, even digital, struggles with such vibrant tones.

While the colors are intense, the tonality of the colors are about medium, making it easy to meter and adjust your exposure accordingly. However, I tend to underexpose a quarter to third to enhance the vibrancy of the colors.

I crouched down on the path next to the batch of tulips along the Rosengarten Tulip Garden, a popular stop on the Tulip Festival circuit, trying to stay as small as possible to avoid being stepped on or tripping someone, with the camera on the tripod sent to hang upside down. This gets the camera low to the ground, allowing me to shoot straight onto the flower. It is also a challenging position as you have to hang yourself a bit upside down to get your eye to the screen of the digital camera, or look at the subject upside down in the frame. Luckily, my digital camera as a rotating LCD screen that allows me to swing it out and position it for better viewing, though its still a strain pretzeled up around the tripod.

With a slightly stopped down exposure, I had to wait between slight gusts of wind and people passing and causing a breeze in order to get the tulip stopped and still.

The cropped close image is almost sensual with the yellow colors hugging the center solid colored petal.

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