After not really taking any pictures for at least a year I decided to head up to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley. I don’t really know why I choose the tulip festival of all places since I am not a flower photographer. I also don’t know why I decided to turn this trip into my first photo blog post. Never the less I drove up from shoreline early Monday afternoon and got to Linda’s by around 3:30. Linda was my awesome AirBnb host. She gave me the lay of the land, told me about some cool photo locations and where to go to eat.
Monday was raining for most of the morning so I had no idea what to expect. When I got to the tulip fields they were mostly empty except for a few crazies, who like me were not too worried about the rain. By the time I left there was some nice sun peeking out from behind the clouds.
I met a lady who was photographing the flowers using a motion blur technique. Basically she was shooting using a very slow shutter speed, and at the same time she was shaking or moving the camera. She said I should check out the work of Denise Ippolito and told me how she used this technique. So I did and I shoot some photos using the same method.
Tuesday morning I woke up before sunrise to try and get some sunrise photos.Sadly I had some bad information about which fields to visit so instead I drove around and waited for a breakfast spot to open up in La Conner. After breakfast I went headed to Tulip Town, the first of the fields I shot on that day. By then the sun was out and so were all the people.
The fields were filled with a myriad of colors and photographers of all sorts. There were professionals, amateurs, and cell phone photographers. After sometime I noticed a photographer that was shooting with a gigantic 600mm lens. So I approached him asked to look at what he was doing. His name is Paul Gilligan and it turned out that he was shooting for the festival itself. He made several recommendations about how to shoot flowers.
Some of Paul’s Recommendations
- Use a tripod
- Use prime telephoto lenses
This way you can let a lot of light come into the lens and get high quality shots while still getting really close up looking shots. It can also help keep the entire frame in focus. This is something of a problem when shooting close up with a macro lens.
- Bring a spray bottle with water:
Flowers always look better with a little bit of mist on them.
- Use a mirror:
This is for bulbs that hang low and kinda droop down with their bulbs faceing the ground. You can use a mirror to get both the back of the flower along with the front of it.
I hope you all found this interesting and even learned a thing or two from my efforts. I plan on doing this once every month so if you have any cool small towns or areas in Washington state please let me know.