Tulip Season 2009

tulip fest 2009 - low res - for blog-3 Here in the Northwest – it’s tulip time.  Locally – folks like to head over to Woodburn for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.   In addition to the flowers – I also try to get a sausage from the Mt Angel Sausage Company – last Sunday they were serving their Fricadelwurst – very good.

Bottom line – I take my camera to flower festivals to remind myself that I’m not much of a flower photographer (and some hope that if I keep shooting – maybe I’ll get one or two reasonable pics) – but as my wife very much enjoys gardening and flowers – these sort of events make for a fun excursion.

If you’re set on going – I’m just warning your – at these festivals – there are a bazillion folks with cameras of all shapes and sizes – you’ll see big lenses and wide lenses, camera phones, point & shoots, tripods, reflectors, flashes, and huge photo backpacks filled with photo widgets.

Me?  Just the 50D and the 70-200mm, the Lensbaby, and the 24mm (just in case…).  This trip I only used the 70-200 and the LB – all packed into a small Patagonia shoulder bag (now discontinued) that had a small pocket for my water bottle.

A couple of notes on the day:

Note #1: A sea of yellow tulips will be troublesome to your meter.  Double check your histogram – you may need to overexpose those images to get a good shot.

For example – this B&W image of “girl in tulips” started with a girl in a sea of bright yellow tulips.  Bright yellow tulips fooled the light meter into thinking there was way too much light – and the next thing we have is a B&W image.  OK – I skipped a few steps – but you get the idea.tulip fest 2009 - low res - for blog-1

Note #2: Tulip fields are big.  Sometimes a panorama can help give viewers a sense of place – or size.  This is a Lensbaby Composer panoramic image.  I think there’s about 16 images here.   Stitched together in Adobe Elements 6 – along with some exposure and color adjustments in Adobe Lightroom 2.tulip fest 2009 - low res - for blog-4

Note #3: Likely don’t need a tripod if it’s a sunny day – unless you really have some sort of creative long exposure in mind or if it’s just easier for you to keep a camera steady with the extra support.  Halfway through the day – I kicked myself for not having the little tripod with me – it would have been fun trying to capture movement in the fields.

Note #4: Circular polarizer.  Could be very useful.  Consider putting it in your bag – especially if it’s “partly cloudy”.

So, if you’re in the NW – and you’re looking for a challenge – the tulips will be out, I think, for another week or two.

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