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flashbulbs and purple irises …. my 200th post

August 30, 2011

For my 200th blog post, I thought I’d talk a little about flashbulbs and purple irises …

My first two blog posts talk about how I ended up with a blog called “flash bulbs purple irises”. You might want to check them out if you ever wondered about my blog name.
Why flash bulbs and purple irises?
I am loved


Flashbulb memories are highly detailed, exceptionally vivid ‘snapshots’ of the moment and circumstances in which surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news was heard. … Flashbulb memories are believed to be highly resistant to forgetting. … The name is inappropriate, however, in that an actual photograph, taken by flashbulb, is indiscriminate and preserves everything within its scope. Flashbulb memories, in actuality, are only somewhat indiscriminate and are far from complete. (

I find the idea of this really interesting. I hadn’t given it much thought before, but after reading more about flashbulb memories, I realize how many I have stored in my brain. The quote above is not 100% accurate in my eyes though, because I don’t believe that a photograph is “indiscriminate and preserves everything within its scope”. I mean, yes, it can preserve the outside view of what is captured when the shutter is pressed, but that doesn’t mean it’s catching the whole story. You don’t know what a person’s thinking at the time of their photographic capture, the tears that may have been shed just before a slight smile, or what went into getting a sweet baby to laugh (oh, the feats of parents – we sometimes do crazy things to get a smile from a child).

But a good photograph, like a flashbulb memory, is hard to forget. Captured emotion is a wonderful thing, especially to those personally connected to the photograph. If you were there, then the story of the photograph is yours to tell. You see the photograph, you remember the emotions of the moment. Because every moment, however mundane to the outside observer, has a story for someone. It’s whether the story is forgettable or memorable that defines the memory of the moment.

I want my photographs to be more like flashbulb memories – unforgettable and vivid – able to conjure the emotion of the moment to those involved in that moment.


Purple irises

Despite the sentiments conveyed with roses and tulips, the purple iris often is the most striking addition to floral arrangements. (

Purple flowers have an individual strong color of their own with which it rules the vicinity. But other than this, purple irises also help to make a proper background for flowers of any other color. A bunch of purple iris looks bold and attractive; your guests cannot help themselves from looking at the vase full of purple iris flowers. (People love to look at your work, it’s both beautiful and inspiring).

I don’t have any attachment to purple irises, really. They’re not a flower I tend to seek out (I’m more of a wildflower kind of girl). But I love what my friend Ann said in relating purple irises to me. (She says a lot more, just check out the second blog post linked at the top of this one).

This past May, I thought it was high time that I actually photographed purple irises. I ended up seeing them everywhere, once I started looking. I was surrounded by purple irises and I didn’t even know it! The first time I noticed a bed of them, I pulled over on the side of the road to photograph them in mid-day sun (that’s where the first photo below is from). I noticed them in many other places, but I was usually driving by so no stopping for pictures. Then I happened to stop for some sunset photos, and there were several beds of irises. Oh, to photograph irises at sunset – just a pretty combination of colors and light. The remaining three photos below are from that sunset photo stop.

Purple irises by the side of the road


purple irises near sunset


purple irises near sunset


purple irises near sunset


So, while I picked my blog name based on my favorite U2 song (thanks to Ann’s suggestion) there’s a lot of beauty to be found in the words behind it. Flashbulbs, vivid and unforgettable … Irises, vibrant and striking.

I launched my blog 2 years ago this month. I’m not sure where the time has gone, as it doesn’t feel like I’ve been sharing here for over two years. But here I am, creating what I hope are flashbulb memories for others as I continue my photographic journey through life. Thanks for visiting me on my journey; I hope you continue to follow my flashbulbs and purple irises.


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