Tulip Polar Tulip

Slightly brightened globally and added slight blur where petal meets the leaf in the BG, thanks Kris Smith and Stephen Stanton!

Original Below

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This is a tulip on the closest Tulip Poplar tree to our porch, one end of the porch is about 9 ft. above the ground. The tulips go from a small bud to full bloom in a matter of 4 or 5 days. After they reach this stage they sort of “Fall Open” quickly and to the point where they don’t look very appealing.
This was a closed bud yesterday so today was my only chance to get a shot of one, especially since the rest are too far up in the tree.
This was a test shot of sorts, I’m testing out my 40 year old Vivitar 70-210 Manual Macro Focus Lens, I bought it new 40 years ago.
It’s not nearly as sharp as any of my newer lenses but it does seem to have a sort of retro look.
I’ve been seriously considering a new Sigma 100-400 C lens.

Specific Feedback

Mainly just overall appearance including focus, color, composition, etc.

Technical Details

A7RIV, Vivitar 70-210 Macro Focus Manual Lens at f8, 210mm, ISO 100, 1/4s, Lr, Ps, cloned out a few places where tree sap was running down the leaves, and darkened a couple of brighter areas in the BG.


Wow!! I love these trees for their unusual blossoms! I think you got lovely colors and tonalities here and the leaves around the flower are the perfect frame!

I hope I haven’t missed the season here, but it’s usually in May — oh, wait, it’s almost May. I’d better go hunting.

Merv, a truly stunning portraiture of this blossom. I really like the softened light and the rendition this lens has provided here…a wonderful image… :sunglasses:

YES !!! All the green framing the tulip. The leaves really shine to me. VERY VERY Cool !!! Beautiful Photograph !!!

A wonderful image, Merv, the leaf veins leading right into the blossom really works . I think the lighter parts of the background and the blossom itself could benefit from more exposure on the highlights.

The large version is a must see. The lighting is wonderful and the position of the flower in the frame makes for a strong comp. I like this one as presented…Jim

OMG, did you really shoot this with an adapted Vivitar lens? I remember those from the years I worked in a camera shop. I remember how smooth they felt to zoom and focus and how hefty and solid they felt. How the plastic was almost glossy. Throwback city! I think it performed pretty well here. I like the overall tonalities although things seem a tiny bit dark. I wonder if you could soften the overlap of the flower and the leaf behind it. I can’t take my eyes off it. If you brighten the flower that might also be a nice touch. I’ve never seen one of these trees and the flower reminds me a bit of a hickory blossom although those are somewhat messier.

Sensational image, Merv. I love the soft, muted light, and the composition is perfect. Outstanding.

@Merv : This is stunning. I love the way the lighting and darkened three corners emphasize the unique flower . The diagonal of the open green petals point to the lighter section of the background. This image brings me back to an early apartment on the second floor of a house in Queens, NY where the Tulip tree blossomed right outside our window. The tree is a “Spring Experience.”

@Diane_Miller, @Paul_Breitkreuz, @_Kris, @Gill_Vanderlip, @David_Bostock, @annlouiselyman, @Jim_Zablotny, @Stephen_Stanton.
Thank you all so very much for the wonderful words of encouragement!
I certainly didn’t expect a response like this when I posted it.
Thank you!! :slight_smile:

Thanks Stephen, I agree that it could benefit from a touch more brightness, mainly on the blossom. I increased the brightness globally so I hope that helped with BG highlights in the process.
Thank you for very much the suggestion! :slight_smile:

Thanks Kris, when I was first processing this I was wondering how to best handle the junction between the petal in the back and the leaf just behind it but in the end I just left it alone, your suggestion of softening it seemed like something that would work and to me it did.

I agree that it is just a bit too dark so I increased the brightness just a bit globally.
Let me know what you think of the transition between the petal and back leaf, and the overall brightness please.

On the subject of that old lens, I was going through some old gear wondering if I should make someone happy by selling all my old gear at a super low price, maybe sell it to someone wanting to test the waters with a manual 35mm film setup.
But then I got curious about using that 70-210 macro lens on my modern digital camera so I found an adapter on Amazon for $10 and bought it just for the heck of it.
That lens does seem to produce a slight retro look for some reason.
Anyway, I’ll probably still sell the lens and other stuff if I can find someone who really wants it.

Thank you very much for the suggestions! :slight_smile:

Rework version posted at the top.

Thanks again everyone! Much Appreciated! :slight_smile:

Nicely done on the global brightening, Merv.Takes an already beautiful image up a notch.

1 Like

Merv: What a beautiful image of a wonderful subject. We have one of these in our garden but it has never flowered and subsequently is on my master gardener’s (my wife) stink list. I’m almost afraid to let her see this. Superbly crafted image. >=))>