ADP Photography | The Tulips of Turkey

The Tulips of Turkey

April 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Now Turkey, my adopted home, is famous for many things, but one thing that isn't internationally well-known is that the national flower is the tulip.

In all shapes, colours and sizes, come the spring, you'll see them blooming in just about every municipal garden.  Beautiful!

Black Tulips - Koza Han - Bursa (f/4.5, 1/125, 24mm, ISO100) 

Is it the seductive subtle curves, the wider hips and slender waist of the tulip that makes it so photogenic?  Let's not get Freudian about the metaphor...the bottom line is, the tulip, for me, is more enjoyable to photograph than any other flower, even the rose...

TearsTearsMorning dew on a pink tulip

Silk Tears (f/5, 1/200, 105mm, ISO200)

Why?  Forgetting metaphors, I think it is because the lines and forms are so often flawless; nature displaying it's most perfect artistry, such a sublime sweeping curve. 

Being close to some city gardens in my hometown each spring we are treated to a burst of colour.  The shapes and styles of these gems often bejewelled with dew, or with the sun's morning rays shinning through their petals.  By now I've just about photographed them from every angle...traditional and otherwise.  Which leads us back to my snowdrop blog post about using such opportunities to get thinking more creatively.

There's the normal shots...

  • Top down
  • Side on (displaying the full curves)
  • One nestling against another
  • The full flower bed displaying uniform or a variety of colour
  • At sunrise closed up
  • Midday, fully opened

There's other shots...

  • Decorated with dew drops
  • Insects sneaking around
  • The bent or the broken, imperfections
  • Focused stacked for front-to-back sharpness
  • Framed by out of focus flowers

f/5.6, 1/320, 105mm, ISO100 & f/5.6, 1/640, 105mm, ISO100

This last choice is one that I've been experimenting with, ideally to find complementing colours...though not easy (especially as I am badly colourblind). It's still on the photo bucket list, if I get one...I'll post it!

This spring I've made it to the flowerbeds a number of times, always with the same lens; Sigma 105mm macro.  It's a great lens; fixed f/2.8, super sharp, not to mention a lot cheaper than a Canon verdion.  With my 70D, I find manual focusing far reliable for really tight in macro work, with usually around f/5.6 - f/8 aperture.  At 105mm the depth of field is very narrow and slight movements, even breathing can throw out the auto focus as it hunts back and forth.  Though in the past I have used a Sigma 10-20m for an alternative landscape shot of the tulips.

With a worm's eye  (f/16, 1/40, 15mm, ISO100)

Yes, one tulip may very well be very similar to another, but, different light, angles, apertures, lens choices and so on give you a whole range of different creative options.  The more you photograph a similar subject, the more you can challenge yourself creatively...a positive thing! 

Do you have any favourites that you go back to regularly?  Do you agree the tulip is the most graceful flora subject?

Leave comments and links!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.


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