Tulips in Black & White

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

In a recent post, Spring Means Shooting More Black and White , Mark Toal suggested shooting spring scenes in black and white to go against the conventional grain. Why not? Dare to be different, particularly when tulips appear in the varied range of buoyant colors that define their beauty.

The recent tulip festival in the West Side Community Garden in NYC touted a bonanza of tulips lasting two weeks. Colors ranged from vivid to subdued all across the color spectrum with some petals combining several shades. They were easy on the eye.

In monochrome, however, they challenge our ways of looking at them. The textures of the petals become more distinctive. Sprinkled with raindrops, their curves appear ever more sinuous, and a singular tulip, standing apart from others, glows like a beacon in the darkness. Even a wide-angle view of the terraced community garden of the tulip display has abundant charm in black and white.

These images were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop using the black/white adjustment layer. The raindrop flower was shot the Olympus E-M5 with the Olympus M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro lens at an exposure of 1/100 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 100 with a speedlight; the single flower with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens in manual mode; the West Side Community Garden display with the Olympus E-M5-Mark II with the Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens at 14mm with an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/10, -1/3 EV, ISO 200.


Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled wit h beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as gift for yourself or a friend.