Friday, January 23, 2015

Tulips



It is good to try.

The light was scraping across the terra-cotta tiles on the floor in a way that made me want to capture it, to hold it in my hand. I had just lowered myself down to the ground during my yoga practice and that thought tripped through quickly along with Remi's previous offer that I use the macro lens that works with his camera that I am borrowing. He knows that I like to look closely.

At the time, I was too intimidated. "Let me just start with the basics!" I was squealing a bit, nervous. It is his equipment after all. But today somehow it felt ok. Either that or the need to be creative won out over whatever fear had been holding the reins.

It is good to try.

By doing so, I remembered that life can be wonderfully small or small as a prison depending on how I choose to take it. Remi and I have both been missing our voyaging days, as can especially happen at this time of year. But I did today in the looking. While I have much to learn, so much that I could return to intimidation, I felt joy in discovering and that is what traveling is all about. For once, I wasn't lost at all but found, held tight in my contentment.












Wishing that your days ahead are full of the big, the small and everything in between...






To listen:


70 comments:

  1. How well I understand both the restlessness and the feeling of intimidation. But I'm so glad you gave it a try. These are lovely, My favorite is right smack in the middle: number 6 from both the top and the bottom. I'm looking forward to more of these explorations.

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    1. Oh, and as for the 'intimidation,' sometimes you have to just say 'the hell with it' and do it anyway without worrying about what may or may not happen.

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    2. Absolutely. And I am not too worried about "getting it right" as you know. But inertia? Especially at this time of year? Yikes.

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  2. Stunning photos. I can almost hear their whispers and satin swishing gowns.
    Recently I was marveling at the luminosity in the paintings of the 17th Century Dutch artist, Gerard ter Borch. Your tulips remind me of his work. See "Woman Washing Hands", 1655.

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    1. It is amazing to me that something so simple as my tulips could make your mind leap back through history to something so stunning. Merci.

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  3. "wonderfully small or small as a prison..."

    How exquisitely you remind us to look closely and carefully, to listen inside the pauses, and to overcome fear and try... Both your words and pictures are beautiful lessons.

    xo

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    1. Thank you so much, DA...I was on the bus the other day and we drove past one of the local prisons and I could see how tiny the cells were and that stuck with me...whether we make them or are put into them or put ourselves in on our own. Tricky business for this wintertide...

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  4. Heather I adore tulips and your photography makes these look so luminescent!
    Have a wonder filled weekend!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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    1. Karena, the Mistral has been howling and so cold! Those tulips are a highlight!

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  5. It is NECESSARY to try!

    As you can see from your own results!

    It is so good to PLAY! (learn and discover)

    I wonder if this a female quality to take everything that still has to be learned for an intimidation. Really, I am not interested to make everything a gender question but I have just seen so many more men getting lost in delicious dilettantism just to turn out brilliant some time later...

    I was already jubilating when I saw the first photo feeling you have overcome the intimidation. Though I know this takes time...

    I could not choose a favourite one but if I had to, image N°6 has this silvery touch. Just delicious!

    Bisous!

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    1. If anyone knows that this takes time, it is you, Silke. So thank you for understanding as a friend would. As for gender...well, I am never a great fan of generalizations after hearing for too many years "Oh you Americans are all..." but in this case you might be right! Maybe as women we are more...cautious.

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  6. Giving their beauty - asking nothing in return .. a momentary flash of perfection .. what a gift! Mahalo for sharing, Heather .. great post!

    Aloha,
    Bill Facker

    www.kauai-to-paris.com

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    1. It only seems right to share as you did with your incredible garden!

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  7. Just perfect - perfect flowers - eye and moment!! Wow!!!

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  8. your photos are wonderful! I am also encouraged by my husband (also a photo journalist) with my photos...but use his cameras? NO WAY! Too intimidating...too heavy...I stick with my i-phone. Someday maybe I will be braver!

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    1. Wait what? You too picked a photographer? Oy, Sister, we need to talk! ;) And Remi has always been nothing but encouraging for me...nothing is off limits! He even had me trying (couldn't do it) to focus on his Leica M6 the other day! Eeeeee. Go for it! And more photos on ig please!!!

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    2. Yes, I was surprised when, after reading your blog for awhile, I realized what Remi did! Steve mostly does news for AFP, and he does the NYC Fashion Weeks, which he surprisingly loves...the art of the clothing captures his imagination, I think. He's quite modest about it, but he has photographed all the greats and has been published all over the world. He loves using the iPhone for fun...he says it has a better lens on the camera than his first digital cameras did when the news industry switched to digital! You will occasionally find him posting to his IG swisscross1.

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    3. Yes! Remi has been suggesting that I get a good iphone (instead of my wonky ancient 3) to replace my lost little Canon. It is why he held out for as loooong as he possibly could before going digital - the lenses were just not got enough. It was worth the wait!
      I have huge respect that Steve works both for AFP (which kids, is no walk in the park) and does the NYFW circus too. Does he have a website? I would love to see! If you would feel more comfortable you could always email me with more info at robinsonheather (at) yahoo.com. I just find it so neat: me, former theatre actress, you, opera singer and both of our men are photographers! And you love France just as an added bonus.
      I will check out his ig in a bit but for you both? PLEASE stay safe and warm and well fed with this incoming storm. Thinking of you...

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  9. LOOK OUT REMI!
    HERE COMES HEATHER and with YOUR CAMERA TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    JUST PERFECTION!
    TRA LA.............XOXO

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    1. Now that is just plain silly! But it certainly got the smile out of me that you were aiming for!
      Bisous!!!

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  10. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Glad you took the time! You must be smiling and proud!

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    1. Judi? Shhh...don't repeat it but...I am. ;)

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  11. As La Contessa says, Remi watch out! The student is making some soulful and art inspired floral portraits! The translucence of the petals with the light shimmering through them in number 9 (and also 7) shows a sensitivity. I also particularly like the offbeat closeups of numbers 2 and 4.
    Keep going! We love to see your work!
    Have a good January.
    Cheers,
    Deb C

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    1. Remi was the first to say "Good Job"! I am so grateful for his help because so far, I still need it to set the light but he tells me I will learn in time...I hope so!

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  12. Lovely shots, Heather...ah, the beautiful tulip...my favourite ;)
    Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. It is an elegant, lithe flower...just like yourself Catherine! Bon Weekend à toi aussi.

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  13. This is more than a try. This is exquisite. I want gowns made out of tulips. :)

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    1. Oh my gosh, what an image! I am swooning...

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  14. Yay for stepping outside of your comfort zone!!! And look how beautiful these are - a whole new level of you helping us to appreciate the beauty that is all around us! My favorite is the same as Judith's - the tulips look like opals in that one! Glad that you were able to shake your fears around this and give it a try - sooooo beautiful!

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    1. Sister! Sister! I chose the first one especially for you because of the heart in it! I am glad that you like them. Anything that makes my wonderful Sister happy is a home run by me...Love you...

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    2. Oh - I didn't even see that heart! (now I do!). Thanks for thinking of me! And I just woke up from my nap thinking, "pearl! the tulips look like PEARL, not OPAL!" Sheesh! So needed to log in to fix that! : )

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    3. No sheesh, Sister, I loved that you used the word opal! ;)

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  15. Beautiful images...reminds me of a corps de ballet in their tulle and satin skirts...

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    1. Yes! Just gorgeous imagery...and just too as today, they are all bending together perfectly in sync just like an ensemble onstage...

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  16. Those images are almost painfully exquisite, talented one.

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  17. Such beautiful images…and I adore the light coming through the white petals. Tulips are my favorite flower (such is the title of my Pinterest board) and I plant at least 100 each fall. This year it will be a gorgeous dark red, Jan Reus, which is only available from one supplier here in the States. I am coveting a macro lens!

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    1. Libby, I love that you plant so many tulips! And that this fall's will be the color that I wear as nailpolish! ;) The names of flowers are so amazing, aren't they?

      And I have to say...well...maybe that was a one time fling with the macro but it was SO fun. If you can swing it, go for it!

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  18. Those are such beautiful picture, lush and textural and detailed. I particularly liked Nos. 8 and 9. Oh, and 10. Actually, all of them. I'm glad you did try.

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    1. Merci, Emm...and that you like all of them is just fine by me!

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  19. Thank you Heather for the wonderful photos . Some of the tulips show their fragility and sensitivity. White tulips ... their petals look like a tulle skirt....my no.1 flower and I'm still waiting till I can grab it here. Unfortunately they wilt too fast but doesn't lose hence their beauty.

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    1. I have learned the hard way not to give them too much water and to basically leave them alone as I usually tend to fuss over my flowers but I agree...they fade way too quickly!

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  20. Oooh... The light play and captured moment reminds me of Lillian Bassman.

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    1. Now THAT is a compliment that I don't deserve but I will thank you heartily nonetheless!

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  21. Those photos are just awesome. I think you have a natural talent for photography, Heather.

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    1. Thanks Loree! I am still on the fence and wonder if some days I just get lucky...?

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  22. Closeness invites clarity & intimacy & discovery. The shifting of colors from coral silky white to very light yellow is beautiful. The play of light from satin white to transparent fog-like dreamy white is inviting. Macro lens and its magic can change intimidation to fun.

    I’m learning. Thank you Heather.

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    1. I am learning too Edgar and have a really, really long way to go!! I am lucky to have such a good teacher. :)

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  23. As always, Heather, I don't know what's more beautiful, your words or your photos. These tulips are spectacular - seriously, little works of art. I can see them all hanging together in a grid on a wall.

    Such a wise observation of the beauty of the smallest things, and that so much of life depends on our perspective. Thanks for giving us such a beautiful view and lovely words to think on! XOXO

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    1. Yes, I know that we both need encouragement to take that next step at times (or a push!) so I am not surprised that you understand. :) Sometimes being creative is scarier than it need be. Thank you for the lovely compliments!

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  24. Hello Heather and happy Monday! I love the close-ups here. These photographs have a touch of poetry in them...

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  25. The joy of light in petals- they are like poems, like something one can meditate on. Well braved Heather! xx

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    1. Hooray!!! *pumps the air with fist in happiness*
      xo
      H

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  26. Light on petals, light on leaves and light on water - my favorites These are stunning photos Heather. They could be wall mounted!!!

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  27. Hi Heather,
    I am learning how to use my reflex attending some lessons here where I live... I 'm trying and trying but it is not very easy! Yesterday I had a lesson about light and I made just a little practice about using lights and flash inside a studio. It was amusing and interesting!
    Your post is so useful for me!
    I would appreciaciate a little bit of Remi's art through your Wonderful words!
    Bisous

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    1. Wow, you are taking classes? That is amazing! You already have such a good eye for composition and styling. If you learn to do a bit of lighting that will open up a whole other world to you. I am so impressed! And it makes me feel lazy for not taking actual lessons but just asking for help from Remi. :)
      PS. I see that you are following him on instagram - thank you!

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  28. Lovely pictures Heather, and beautiful words as usual. Tulips have to be the most simply perfect flowers

    Sharon
    xx

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  29. Truly beautiful, I love studying all of complexities of the {not so} simple tulip.

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  30. My husband is a fine art photographer so I am attuned to macro captures of flowers and petals. I particularly love the shots that show the texture of the tulip petals; the ones where the petals look like raw silk, with the threads and ridges showing.

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    1. I somehow missed this comment! You live with a photographer too? Oh my! They are amazing people, aren't they? I would love to see his work. :)

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  31. Oh my. I think we're joined at the hip. I adore your photographs and must share my paintings of white tulips with you. http://sandrasallin.com/black-and-whites/ I went through a black and white phase in both my paintings and my drawings. I think you'll see our joint persective. My husband is teaching me how to photograph also. I'm a painter turned writer turned I need to know how to photograph for my blog person. He's a director so he knows how to photograph and how to use light.

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    1. We are lucky to have such amazing teachers, aren't we? Even though I must say that for me it is a long process, definitely one of one step forward, two steps back. These tulips were a big step forward and are my favorite photographs that I have taken in a really long time. But it is an enormous compliment for you to compare them to your beautiful work, thank you for that, dearly, even as yes, I do see our joint perspective completely.

      I used to have a little Canon G12 which was perfect for blogging. Inconspicuous on the street and yet with a good zoom lens capable of doing macro and manual settings as well. As I wrote, I borrowed Remi's equipment to take these but oh my! I was dizzy from holding my breath! I would imagine that, as you paint, you hopefully have a steadier hand than I do.

      I will look forward to seeing your photography evolve, Sandy!

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  32. Oh, and before I forget. I so appreciated your kind words about my bog about Picasso. I thought you might enjoy what I think is a touching blog about my mother who escaped Russia with rags on her feet. http://www.apartfrommyart.com/my-mother-escaped-from-russia-with-rags-on-her-feet-part-one/

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    1. I have thought so much about your Picasso post. I felt like I was discovering such amazing wonders right along with you - and it was so clear how over the moon you were to be there.

      I am dashing off to read the post about your Mother. With a handkerchief nearby!

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