Colour variations: Tulips

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Tulips are wonderful subjects for photography. The flower shapes can vary hugely, some being a simple cup-shape but others being very like lilies or peonies. Their colourings and markings are even more varied and give unlimited opportunities for interesting photographs.

I photographed these tulips last year and again this year, and I was surprised to see how different the flowers look in the two sets of photos. They are a viridiflora tulip (my guess is that they are ‘Dolls Minuet’, but I can’t be sure). Viridiflora tulips all have a green feathered marking spreading from the base of the petals.

Last year’s photos (which you can see here) show these tulips as mainly magenta, with just a slight amount of green blush. The top photograph here is more like those from last year, with perhaps a little more green. But the photograph below shows a lot more green than I had expected.

I’ve just been out for a good look at these tulips again, a few days after the photos were taken. Now I can see that the tulip below has, in that short time, lost much of the green colouring. It has become more like the flower in the top photo. So that suggests to me that the flowers are greener when they first open and gradually change to become more pink.

This is something I hadn’t noticed before…or if I had, I’d forgotten. Spring is a very busy time in the garden, so it’s easy to let things pass by unnoticed. Hopefully next year I’ll remember the strong green markings when these tulips first open. Then I should have time to take some studio photographs of them too.