It is the Tulip Festival in Skagit County near Mt. Vernon, Washington.
Being as the weather is unpredictable in the Pacific Northwest this time of year, I headed down there on a whim when it was a sunny day last week. I didn’t want the chance for the clouds and gray to roll in. It was a glorious sunset, but lacked some clouds to break up the monotony of the sky. It’s a quick half-hour drive from Bellingham.
This is just a quick posting of some of the images I shot.
As I drove around, I stuck with the Roozengaarde Farm as it was easy to get to without any parking issues. However, I will say that after about 5 or 6, traffic is very light and there usually are not parking problems.
Feel free to leave comments about which one is your favorite, and just don’t excite you.
1. From low, with the Sun back lighting the bulbs:
I laid low on the ground for this while adding a bit of overexposure. It’s different and looks good. Although it looks good, this is not my favorite.
I used my 80-200 and zoomed in while laying on the rain-soaked ground. It was hard to shoot, especially trying to keep the horizon straight. I also focused further away to make the closer bulbs out of focus.
Trying a more artistic approach than usual.
2. Low, off camera flash, Sun backlighting the blooms:
For the above photo, I again was low to the ground and used my speedlight on a mini-tripod and radio slaved so not to worry about the cord. It was my first time using the triggers and I think they worked well.
My main goal was to capture a “starburst” coming through the tulips. I have one and it’s posted below. I created the starburst using a time-honored method of tenacity, luck, and patience. Here’s a link to an earlier posting about how to create one: Capturing a Sunburst: A Few Tips
I also posted another photo with a starburst coming through the tulips. Some like this version without the starburst, some like the starburst. Which is your favorite and feel free to leave a comment about what you think.
3. A vertical utilizing the strong back light of the setting Sun:
Again, a little overexposure and utilizing the lens flare helps create this low contrast image.
4. A lone red tulip amidst a forest of yellow:
With the Sun getting low to the horizon, it made for some sweet side lighting. I found this lone wolf and shot it from different angles. I liked it when the Sun was not directly behind, but slightly off to the right.
5. The Sun sets beyond the sea of yellow:
For this image, I exposed for the setting Sun to get a nice exposure on the sky but still allowing for some detail in the farmhouse. To get the tulips lit, I remotely triggered my speedlight using radio slaves.
So I set my shutter speed to synch with my speedlight and used my aperture to properly expose for the sky. I then set my speedlight on manual and set it for what the aperture was on my camera.
6. Red Tulips, Blue Sky, and a Starburst:
Same photo as the second one. But to capture the starburst, I moved until just a pinpoint of light shone through the tulips. Being as I was stopped down to f/22 on my lens, the refraction caused by the aperture blades created the starburst.
Hint: older lenses have straight blades which create a polygonal shape. These make for better starbursts. The new lenses have a more circular aperture and do not create a starburst.
I think now matter what the skill level of the photographer is, as they continue to grow, the continue to ask questions about how to improve. My question to you is what is your favorite and why? AND what is your least favorite and why?
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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