Noon a Purple Glow

I named this photo using a line from a William Butler Yeats poem Lake Isle of Innisfree (the poem is at the bottom of this entry) because I don’t know what this flower is and it reminds me of the quote from the poem, “Noon a Purple Glow.”

As a general matter, I am an enthusiastic gardener, and I love making flowers grow. I was flattered when my neighbor’s son said, “My Dad says you have green thumb. Could I see it, please?” But I always have a lot to learn, and as a photographer I am concerned with the play of light, shadow, focus, and color–not the botany or identification of flowers. As I’ve become more interested in macro flower photography, I’ve got a bit better at identifying flowers and understanding their weird biology, but I have a long way to go.

I photographed the flower a bit after noon. What interested me was the strong sunlight on part of the flower, which was mostly in shade, and the reflected backlighting coming behind the flower to create the purple glow in the shaded flower core.

I added a very slight (about 10%) blur around the edges of the flower to isolate the flower from its surroundings in Photoshop using one of the Nik filters.

I took this photograph from beneath a batik iris in my garden while I was photographing irrigation water drops yesterday morning. This photo shows a different kind of purple glow, definitely not at noon, with the sparkle of the morning sun reflected on a water drop.

Sunshine beneath the Batik Iris

View this photograph larger.

Here’s the Yeats poem that inspired my title. The poem contrasts the beauty of a cabin in nature with the grey pavement of a city:

Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

William Butler Yeats

This entry was posted in Flowers, Photography.

One Comment

  1. QuickSilver Dream June 6, 2006 at 8:27 am #

    I have to say you have one of the best eyes for flower photography that I have seen. Your posts have inspired me to start setting aside the funds for some closeup equipment. The colors, use of light, and composition of your shots are stunning…Bravo!

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