Developed Tulip

Hav­ing grown up in the post 60’s, 70’s, I got the idea that nat­ural was bet­ter than processed (organic was not yet a cult and nat­ural still had a def­i­n­i­tion that could be trusted. This is not the case now.) I believed that the girl on the Herbal Essence sham­poo bottle,with flow­ers and herbs

stream­ing from her per­fect hair, was the per­fect kind of girl. She was so nat­ural and so in tune with nature that it lived in her hair. I con­fess, I had a thing for her. From those neo-hippie val­ues, I also extracted that make-up was a bad thing for my girl to wear. “If you don’t like your face, ‘make up’ a new one,” is what I would say, think­ing I was so cool and clever. I can’t explain how I held this value and still totally loved the Farah Faw­cett poster that every ado­les­cent male on the planet lusted over for the sec­ond decade of their lives in the 70’s/80’s. Maybe Farah was the Herbal Essence girl to me, although I know that in the poster, Far­rah is totally made up (lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively it turns out – a les­son learned after decades of striv­ing to find the fan­tasy that ad com­pa­nies con­vinced me of all those years ago).

Which brings me to the topic of devel­op­ing pho­tographs. The translu­cent, sen­sual tulip you see here is not what showed up when I uploaded the file to the com­puter. It has been devel­oped. I cropped it, inten­si­fied the focus and col­ors and added a “pas­tel” effect (this photo is more of a “Color Me Beau­ti­ful” Spring. My per­sonal col­or­ing is Win­ter, by the way.), etc. Lots of make up here. Snap­shots tend to be unde­vel­oped pho­tographs and I don’t like them as much as pic­tures that the pho­tog­ra­pher (or some­one) works on to make it mem­o­rable. I spent time on these dying tulips to make a point about the beauty still present in the decline of the flower. I real­ize that this is my own lit­tle con­ceit. You are not likely to have known I was think­ing about that when you saw the flow­ers, but I guess a guy can hope. I don’t mind that you do or don’t “get it” the moment you look at the photo. You will get what you want to, and that is good enough. If you get noth­ing from the photo then I have more work to do.

Also, ulti­mately, these things don’t mat­ter too much. Make up or no make up, devel­oped or raw, beauty is where you find it in your­self. I don’t mind make up and some­times I love it – and some­times it is awful. Whether a woman, a man, a pho­to­graph, or a para­graph leaps out to me as beau­ti­ful mostly depends on whether it leaps out of me as beau­ti­ful. I make it up myself and I make the case (or not) for every­thing I see. Your hair can only be beau­ti­ful if I say so, and my pho­to­graph can only be stun­ning if you say so. The only excep­tions to this are, of course, the Herbal Essence girl and Far­rah Faw­cett. They are objec­tively and eter­nally beau­ti­ful no mat­ter what you say.

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4 Responses to Developed Tulip

  1. P. Voyles says:

    This pho­to­graph is both beau­ti­ful and sad at the same time. It exploded with emo­tion. I believe this is my favorite pho­to­graph of yours out of all that I have seen.

  2. Stephen L. Parkhurst says:

    It is a beau­ti­ful photograph…and I love the blog too. How can I for­get the poster of Far­rah Faw­cett. I made many trips into Handy Andy just for the pur­pose of vei­wing it. By the way, she was from Cor­pus Christi.

  3. Kathleen says:

    I love the pho­to­graph, it is amaz­ing and it made me happy to enjoy its beauty. Thank you for tak­ing what you saw in your mind’s eye and bring­ing it out for us to enjoy!

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