Lighting Can Be Cheap

As you’ve heard, we went to see the tulips last week. Brought some home too – very nice but they don’t last forever. On the way out they still have a nice look. Here was last night:
Closeup of a Tulip

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Since it was dark and I was using the macro lens, I had the tripod out.  Yes, I was attempting to do things correctly.  After cranking the aperture wide open to blur the background, I thought I’d try something else and go the other direction – want to see more?  I, personally, think it is worth hitting the link.

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Tulips As Far As Your Panorama Can Pan

When you see the fields of tulips in the Skagit Valley, it’s hard to translate the feeling into a picture.  The beauty is there, but the sweeping view disappears.  Of course it was cold and of course there were too many people and of course I didn’t put in the effort to be diligent and bring a tripod, but I decided to pull together some panorama action anyway.  Sure it’s lumpy, but what do you think?

Panorama of Skagit Valley Tulip Fields

Also, I’m going to try something a little different here.  Thanks to the wonderful features of Photoshop CS4, there is a built-in flash-based panorama generator. Want to see it, click the link.

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A Storm of Pink?

When you see the fields of tulips, looking out over all the different colors is pretty nice, but some of my favorite pictures were down close with just one color.  Pink works pretty well.

Pink Tulip Field in Skagit County 2009

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This one comes from my 100 mm macro lens.  I love the shallow depth of field, which devolves into solid pink.  On the Digital Rebel XT I shoot with, you’ve got to multiply the focal length by 1.6, so I have a 160mm lens which means I was probably 5 feet back from the flower in question.  With overcast sun shooting at ISO 200, you still have plenty of light to freeze any movement in the breeze, but late in the day or inside, this isn’t the perfect lens for hand-held shooting.  Sometimes it’s nice to try to figure out what else you can do with the lenses you have.  Macros are great up close, but that’s not all they can do.

Washington Does Tulips

I don’t really associate Washington and Tulips, but I guess someone does.  Every year in April, a bunch of farmers band together to make the Skagit Valley outside of Mount Vernon worthy of the name “Tulip Festival”.  I can’t say it is a *ton* of fun.  I can say that every 5 years or so, it is worth going and the fields are pretty darn cool to look at.

Skagit Valley Tulips

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I suppose my problem with the “festival” is that it is really a group of totally independant farms that allow you to traipse around a bit, possibly buy some popcorn or tulip postcards and charge you four or five bucks to park.  I’m not totally knocking it though.  This picture comes from a farm that proclaims itself as “Tulip Town”.  They grow tulips of every color and looking out over all of the rows, I can’t really think of anything else like it.

Spring Is Coming. I'm Pretty Sure.

Skagit Valley Tulips

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Every year I forget how miserable I get when the sun never really comes up in the morning.  We call that half of the year winter.  I also forget how much I like it when spring starts showing up.  It was sunny for the last couple of days around here (if you ignore that rain last night) and I think spring is coming.  I dug back in the vault and pulled out this picture from a couple of years ago.  Old camera, old lens, appologies and all that.  The colors are great and the scene is cool, but my favorite part is the rows.  Rows and rows and rows.  I’m sure it’s an OCD thing.