Color My Field - The Woodburn Tulip Festival


Spring coming into full bloom means its time to grab a camera and dodge a few rain drops. For years friends have been saying I should photograph the Woodburn Tulip Festival. I have a feeling several more visits are in store in the years ahead. It's a very family centered festival with rides and games for kids. Gift shops and a number of booths are setup for the adults and several early 1900s steam tractors on display for the men.

The weather that day was grey skies with some passing light showers but that doesn't mean good pictures were hard to come by with such colorful fields in front of you. On solid grey sky days I try to keep the sky in the photo to a minimum by capturing more foreground or shoot down from a higher elevation. Everyone will shoot the wide shot and the inside the tulip shot so spend time looking for a unique perspective. When looking at what seems like a uniform field of color, look for that one flower that grew a little taller or is showing some extra character. Then shoot it with a shallow depth of field to help make it stand out from the rest.

Overcast skies can be preferable for photographing flowers or macro photography because direct sunlight can over expose and over saturate flowers. If you use a circular polarizer or shoot multiple exposures to combine in post (HDR) then getting good results on a sunny day becomes much easier. It's very easy in a field like this to have reds, oranges, and yellows blow out. Remember to shoot in the RAW format to help recover those areas in post and give you the most flexibility with editing.

I switched off between a 24mm, 40mm, and 70-200mm lens. I also used a 2X extender lens with the 70-200 to really compress the depth of the scene for a couple shots. I look forward to going back on a partly sunny day with some fluffy, epic looking clouds for specific photos in my head I still want to create.

Gear Used: Canon 6D, 24mm lens, 40mm lens, 70-200 lens, 2X extender lens

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