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Tag Archives: spring bulb

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If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower. ~Samuel Smiles

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“Tulip Fairy” (Red Tulip) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400

When I was photographing the dandelions last week, a nearby solitary red tulip caught my attention as the sun was lighting it from above, illuminating the interior like a flickering candle. I casually snapped off a few quick shots and then returned back to the dandelions, thinking nothing more of it at the time.

Imagine my surprise, then, to discover the presence of a flower fairy! She must have been watching me as they are known to be shy, yet curious spirits.

Not knowing a darn thing about flower fairies, I did a little research and was pleased to learn that the Tulip Fairy is associated with LOVE:

“Since the tulip is shaped like a chalice, this is the ‘loving cup’ from which the tulip fairy encourages you to imbibe, to feel the blessings of Nature. One of the messages of the tulip fairy is to have the courage to be vulnerable, because only in this way can any of us ever know closeness and fulfilment.”

Hmmm. I think, as artists, we often find ourselves in a place of vulnerability, essentially putting ourselves ‘out there’ for all to see and, therefore, to be criticized. I admit that some days, I struggle to find the courage to do it.

Perhaps, I simply need to look to the tulips. 🙂

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Dear Mother Nature, 

In utter desperation, I feel compelled to write to you to beg for your mercy!  

After enduring such a long and difficult winter, I may have spoken unkindly about you of late (and I sincerely apologize for that), but you must admit, you have not been playing fairly. Springtime should be full of hope and renewal, with crisp mornings that evolve into lovely days filled with warm sunshine and gentle breezes. The kind of days that draw us outdoors to the garden, to prune away the dead and to rake away the leaves, revealing the new life that awaits underneath. 

Sadly, this has not been the case! 

"Spring Glory" (Chionodoxa luciliae aka, 'Glory of the Snow') Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/7.1, 1/160s, -0.7EV, ISO 200

Instead, you’ve sent countless rounds of torrential rains, which flood our homes and gardens, along with damaging wind gusts that down our trees and destroy our landscapes. You’ve also teased us with a few unseasonably warm days only to strike us back down with snow flurries and chilling temperatures. 

Haven’t we suffered enough? 

Please, Mother Nature, if you could find it in your heart to put winter to bed once and for all and also, end all the cold and rain, I would be eternally grateful. 

Your humble servant, 

Tracy

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Extra: How’d she do it?

When I showed my husband how I took the above shot, he thought all of you might also like to know. Since we were experiencing chilly temps along with a brisk wind, I only went out shooting with my D300 (equipped with a 105mm macro lens) and SB800 speedlight (equipped with the Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud w/inverted dome). I was actually hoping to find Crocus blossoms (nope) but instead, came across one little bunch of ‘Glory-of-the-Snow’. It was just after 2:00 pm so the sun was still fairly high – not the best light for shooting flowers.

When I wasn’t achieving the results I wanted (notice the loss of detail in highlights and overall faded flower color in the image below), I thought about simply coming back later in the day when the sunlight wasn’t quite so harsh.

But first, I decided to give an unusual idea a try. I removed my Gary Fong Lightsphere from the flash unit (I wasn’t using it anyways) and popped it over the flowers (sans inverted dome):

It instantly diffused the harsh light and also, served as a great wind block! Took some jockeying to achieve the background and composition I desired in such a tight shooting space, but my efforts were well rewarded.

So, now you know! 🙂

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