April 25, 2011

Pink Tulips and Pink Daffodils Are Not the Same Color

Many of you gardeners already know that 'pink' daffodils aren't exactly pink. Not mauve or bubble-gum pink, at least, like these tulips. So no matter what the catalog/website picture shows, you have to plan for peachy-pink or coral-pink daffodils.

I caught all these pictures in my dad's backyard when we visited for Easter. His garden, just 100 miles away in Moses Lake, is several weeks farther along than mine.

Over the past couple of years he has planted a new bed in the middle of the backyard, and when we visited there were several hundred daffodils in bloom along with tulips, a few hyacinths and fritillaria.

I used techniques from my last post when shooting these pictures. Since the house shades this bed right before sunset, these pictures were taken at about 5 pm with the sun behind the flowers. Aren't these true pink tulips dreamy?

But even more dreamy were the hundreds of daffodils in bloom. I ordered these next photos to show the progression of color as the double daffodils open and then fade over several days.

You can see that these 'pink' daffodils open a pinkish-orange color. I forgot to ask my dad which hybrid these are, so I can't name them, sorry.

The flowers in the background are blurry because I mostly used a 1.4 f-stop. Maybe a couple of photos go up to 2.0, but not any higher than that.

And the backlighting makes the flowers and background glow, just as Jose Villa promised. Don't you just feel warm when looking at these sun-filled shots? Me too, despite the rainy grey weather outside my window right now.

Anyway, as the daffodils age the peachy-pink color softens and softens . . .

. . . until the flowers are mostly white with a pastel pinky-peach center. Still not bubblegum, or even cotton candy, and definitely not mauve. But a pretty color nevertheless.


  1. I love the series of daffodil photos ... the backlighting is awesome! All of the shots are phenomenal and are giving me some serious spring fever!

  2. Oh, your pictures are beautiful. And those pink tulips! Look good enough to eat!

  3. What beautiful blooms. I am just realizing that the catalogs did it to me again and that the pretty pink daffodils I thought I was getting are in fact peach.They are very pretty but just not the pink they show them to be. Your pictures with the sun filtering through the petals are so lovely.

  4. Interesting about the differences in pink. Beautiful photos. I love the back lighting and if we ever get any sun again I'm going to try this technique.

  5. And glow they do! Are you sure you aren't a professional photographer? If I lived close and was having a wedding you'd be my first choice. Those are gorgeous photos. Not to mention the subjects are pretty special too. I bet your father's garden is a wonder! My absolute favorite shot is the second one. It could be a great desktop picture or postcard!

  6. Hi VW,

    Wonderful photos, I was surpised when I saw people referring to some Daffs as being pink because I'd always seen them as being orangey, salmon colours instead...

    You're certainly working Jose's techniques to the maximum!

  7. Hi VW, dreamy blooms, dreamy shots - do you use a tripod? cheers, catmint

  8. Catmint - I did not use a tripod. If you click on any of the photos, you'll go to the Picasa page where the photo is posted along with its stats. All of these have a 1/4000 second exposure, which is sooo fast (maybe that's the fastest my camera snaps? I should figure that out) that a tripod wasn't needed. And I always forget my tripod in the closet anyway. Also, the ISO's are all down around 100. Very sunny day, wide open aperture so the light poured in quickly, so really fast shots.

  9. Daffodils with pink trim ? Surely a marketing strategy! I would have been content had growers and sellers described the daffs as having peach centers.

  10. I don't think I've ever seen a pink daffodil in person, so it's good to know they aren't a true pink. I'd love to plant some. I love the pink tulips and lighting, perfect!

  11. Nope, they are never the same. I adored your dreamy tulips. I do love pink tulips so much. One year, I planted black (dark purple) and pink. It was prettier in my mind.~~Dee

  12. Hello! Thank you for this post. I have bee trying to find real pictures of pink daffodils since on the websites they look exaggeratedly pink. Now I know what to expect!


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