Simply Tulip Magnolia

Looking at ten days’ weather forecast, I know it will be my week of shooting around the house. In my attempt to keep it Simple, I have very limited home decors.  I don’t have the habit to collect nicks and nacks, no crafts, no antiques, no acquisition of famous paintings.  I guess I can pull stuff out of the kitchen and bathroom to shoot, but that will be my last resort. I can always put on my rain gear and shoot in the rain, but I would rather keep my camera dry.
My bird buddies have not come around much lately. I have cleaned up and refreshed all my feeders with new goodies, but they must be still sheltering somewhere to stay warm and out of the rain. I saw a few blooms from my flower pots, but they are just barely surviving in the rain… Am I making lots of excuses here? But really, it’s time for the rain to go away.
People walking down the street have often stopped in front of our house pointing at this tulip magnolia tree during its blooming season. Though it’s packed with countless flowers, they are mostly hanging high. I have circled around the tree with my camera, but not much luck. The deep pink color and curvy petals are quite pretty, but I could not shoot anything worthy to share.  Strange enough, large showy flowers tend to have less interesting details.My life trained me not to take No as an answer. Find a way if there is no way. If there is only one option, utilize it and make the best out of it. I want to be faithful and forceful with myself to shoot something new every week. My mind is set. I want to shoot these magnolia flowers regardless!

A blink of light flashed through my mind. I got a stepper to reach up and cut 5 limbs from the tree. Cut flowers were brought inside the house.  The flowers are very fragrant which I have never noticed prior. This little discovery makes me happy. However, the blossoms are big and the twigs are thick. I could barely find a vase to fit. Finally, they managed to hold together. Examining them from all angles over and over, I had no idea where to start.

They are large, colorful, and curvy, but have no intricate details like most flowers. A couple of flowers were in full bloom. I tried some Marco shots, but they look redundant as I have done many times. Less is more, but not in this case. Rainy day, not enough light and I did not want to use flash. I was bombed. I buried myself in magazine piles the rest of the day…
And, I wowed when I got up the next morning, guess what? All flowers were opened, I know it is the warmth inside the house, but I was still a bit jaw-dropping. The boring bunch is now turning into an array of beauties, my favorite kind, gorgeous but subtle. I was so thrilled. They have just made my day.
Mr. Weather was moody on this day. Sun went up and down within a 2-3 minutes window. By the time when I had my setting adjusted, the light condition changed. A bit of frustration turned the dials from one end to the other. But, luckily, I was able to nail this shot sitting flowers by the window and the sun happened to shine through at that crucial moment. The background is the magnolia tree outside, bathed in the sun.  There is no doubt in my mind, that the light has dramatically blown new life into the flowers.
This shot has given me a lift. I grabbed the beauty bunch, went around the house, sitting on the floor, lying down, stepping up, snap, snap and snap. I tried to single out the flowers and minimize the content, but it simply did not work. They are just meant to be together.
Imagine you are out in a tropical resort. You wake up in the morning. Bright and clear outside, cozy and relaxing inside the room. You don’t feel like getting out of bed. You just want to have your aromatic cup of coffee and fresh croissant in bed. Watch a bit of ‘Good Morning, America’ and rolled back to doze off… At least this is how I felt when I had this image taken. I forgot the ground was still wet outside and the cloud would move in again at any time.
Otherwise, thinking that you just checked into a Victoria boutique bed and breakfast. You walked by intricate decors in the lobby, and hallway and entered your room, here it was, an oil painting on the wall… I took this shot when the sun was down. Could not get a shot with good exposure, so I ‘painted’ it, might as well.
Often times I lamented that I did not take any single landscape, architecture, or street photographs (only product shots) while I was traveling intensively worldwide, throughout Europe and North America, Australia, New Zealand, and even made it to South Africa. From a photography point of view, how exciting it will be if I have brought home something from these places. But I have Zero in stock and more than likely, I won’t go back.
Now I am plowing through Oregon, Eugene, and even my house.  My map is getting smaller and smaller. I missed out on lots of landscapes and now I am making macros. How life revolves and transforms! My big wave is long gone and I am now playing with bubbles. Different but still enjoyable.
In my previous blog, I have gone through the secrecy of flowers talking about perfect and imperfect flowers, and that boring pistols and stamens. Hold on, I found pieces of stamens left on my patio table, socked in rainwater. Not sure what I was getting into it, but I snapped a few close-up shots with my Macro lens and extension tubes, and here they are. If I want to caption this image, I would use ‘whimsical’.
I think they are dancing in the rain, but not in Spain. The texture of my glass table, the color of the glass, and the reflections. I hear the music and the beat at the party, do you?
Writing to this point, I realized that I was drilling down and discovering a living thing, the tulip magnolia tree, from a magnifying glass to a microscope. My mood swings with the weather and with the images I took myself. The process is revealing and I feel energized in the end. My granddaughter has just turned One. A simple birthday cake I made and a toy guitar have brought me many good photography ops. I don’t care for little children to pose or have cheesy smiles. I love everything natural from them just as they are, simply pure and utterly sincere. 
A bit of texture is added to my window flower shot and the tint was tweaked for a warmer tone as a backdrop. And, I invited my precious Star here to make the image pop. My Pop Star has concluded a great Magnolia day for me. Life is good and I believe we are the builder of our own happiness.

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