The Irritating Iris

I love irises. I love their deep purple blooms, spread out in a dense and gloriously messy carpet. I love their sturdy stems which resist the wind: These are no delicate dahlias, no teetering tulips. I especially love their sense of timing: Just when you think that Spring Will Never Come, the irises bloom.

But for all these things that I love about irises, I hate how hard they are to photograph. Is it their shape, which seems to go in all directions at once? By the time my crop accommodates the whole bloom, I’ve got lots of extraneous stuff in there as well.

2-photo collage of irises

Is it the depth of each blossom, which invites an equivalent depth of field, bringing distracting bits beside them and behind them into distracting focus?

Partially open irisI. Do. Not. Know.

I do know that my best result this morning came from focusing, as it were, on just the colour, and taking shape out of it altogether.

Iris before openingThey make a beautiful spread out there in my garden in all their glorious messiness. I just can’t share it with you.


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8 Responses to The Irritating Iris

  1. barbara says:

    You could always put a large sheet of wide mat board behind the flower…
    Irises are the contortionists of the flower world.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Ah, a candle lit instead of a curse. I’ll keep an eye out for said board.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    The beauty is there regardless of their droop or whatever? Kinda like people. The beautiful aren’t only the young ‘uns,

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    You certainly got the colour! The has been a spectacular spring out here. Our azaleas are almost fluorescent: scarlet, orange, white, blue, and yellow. The dogwood tree is a pillar of cream. Lilacs range from pale blue to near black, — there’s no such thing as a scent-free environment as long as lilacs abound. The rhododendrons are a deep rich maroon; the oregon grape a French’s Mustard yellow….
    I look at all this beauty, and I wonder how Joan could be content to leave it. Like Dylan Thomas, I want to say (posthumously) “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Our lilacs are just coming now. Our crabapple tree popped two days ago and will be done in two more: a glorious run while it’s here. Our spring is nothing like yours but is still the season Ottawa looks its best, I think. As for being content, I know what you mean. Mom loved Vancouver’s spring and summer and yet she, too, was good-to-go when her time came.

  4. Yet, you have caught that almost crystalline surface that reflects light as if it were frost.

    They are elegant and flamboyant, demure and extravagant and those are qualities of its shape. No wonder it’s hard to capture those qualities simultaneously. The range of colours in these blue-bloods is memorable, too. They are like birds.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Ah, now, you see, that’s why *you’re* the poet. I was looking for a technical explanation. 🙂 Mayhap the iris essence just defies capture, eh? And I could believe they’re like birds, but birds at least have the decency to land (occasionally) in a photo-friendly spot.

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