Friday, April 29, 2011
So, today’s post wraps up the month of April. Another month, come and gone. Man, I should have something poignant to say about that.
This is (I think, although I haven’t verified) the last weekend of this year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. they bloomed late this year, so I’m sure it’ll be fantastic up there. (And, the tulips will probably last past this weekend, but I don’t know what the deal is after the festival officially ends.) I was up there earlier this month, right after they started blooming. As you can see, a lot of them hadn’t opened up all the way yet (and there were a lot of steps that were still totally green.) So, I think I’d recommend heading up there later in the bloom cycle (like, say, *now*) as opposed to hitting it at the beginning. But, take what you can get I guess. The weather’s looking good this weekend though, so if you haven’t made it out there yet, just freakin’ go!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 250mm.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Hey everyone! It’s tulip time here in the northwest, so in a rare break from my usual behavior, I’m actually going to post a picture here to the blog that was actually taken in the last 24 hours. Crazy, right? Totally.
So, as you’ve probably guessed by the title of the post, this was taken at the 2011 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I can’t tell you exactly where I was at the time, because I was just walking around some random field of tulips that was off the side of the road. But it’s tough to go wrong once you get up there – just find some flowers and go look at them.
Sadly, this was about the only good picture I got this year. I’m not sure why, but I have a few theories. First, I just wasn’t really in that much of a picture-taking mood this year. So, I snapped a few, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Then of course there was the problem of this freaking annoying cloud that was just hovering right there between me and the sun for most of the time I was there. It wasn’t blowing by like most clouds should, it kept billowing around and reforming right where it was the most inconvenient. So about two thirds of the time I was there the light stunk. Probably the biggest problem was that I didn’t really think through ahead of time what kinds of shots I would want to try to get. I did that last year, and correspondingly I got a lot of shots I was happy with. This year, I of course fell back on some of the same ideas I used last year, but since I already got them last year, I didn’t really try at all this year, and thus the ones I did get were junk. So, umm, whoops.
I still totally recommend that you go check it out yourself – especially if you’re a photographer. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there are TONS of great themes you can play around with. But, it’s definitely worth the time to do some planning. I realize that may be tough if you’ve never been there before and don’t know how things are laid out, but it’s still worth doing. Just sort of make a mental checklist of things you want to play around with, different ways of putting all the elements together. Some of the primary themes are of course the expansive fields of color, all made up by mostly-repeating (but all subtly different) patterns and flower-shapes, the orderly rows of flower beds, the contrasts between plots of different types of tulips, and of course the external elements (like barns, mountains, trees, and clouds). But beyond that, there’s lots of things you can do, lots of different lines and colors and elements to work with. It’s can be a great time.
Unless you’re lazy, like I was this year. Then it’s just meh. But, do go check it out. And plan on traffic being a bit annoying. And plan on paying 5 bucks to park each time you stop. Plan on hitting a few different fields, to get different combinations of colors. And, definitely plan on seeing plenty of people, and having to be creative to keep them out of your pictures. If you go into the experience planning for those things, you’ll have a much better time when you’re there. (Oh, and head north to Highway 20 on the way out, otherwise you’ll be hating your life.)
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/2000s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 194mm.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Hey everybody! It’s been awhile since I’ve put anything up here (I’ve been busy!), so here’s a quick shot of some flowers to tide you over.
These are from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near Mt. Vernon, in Washington State. It’ll be coming up in here in a month or two, so, umm, dot dot dot.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/400s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 300mm.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Oh man, I was so excited this week to pick out a mediocre image for mediocre image Thursday. But I missed it! I totally missed my chance! Dang! I mean, that’s not to say that Thursdays are any different from any other day of the week. But, it’s always nice to get a chance to explicitly call out mediocrity when you see it. You know, get rid of all the pretense and such. It’s liberating!
Today, we’re back to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I think this one is from this year, but I can never keep that straight. I, uhh… don’t really have a whole lot else to say today. Since it’s already late. See you all on Monday!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/640s, f/5.6, ISO 100. Focal length: 271mm.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Normally I wouldn’t do it, but I decided this time around that it’s okay to post two pictures of basically the same thing (the tulip festival) in one week. I’m counting the number of times that I’ve almost changed my mind about doing this, and I’m already up to 3. But no, I’m going to stick to my guns. Because if I toss this one out, that means I have to go back to the pool to pick another one. Now I’m at 4.
I wanted to put another one here because I know a lot of people are thinking about heading up this weekend, and I want those people to be psyched. Personally, I’ll be skiing this weekend, so yesterday’s picture was for me. But this one is for you, dear tulip-loving reader. Although, I probably should have picked a picture containing different colored tulips than Monday’s picture (5). Oh well, too late now. Here’s hoping that you don’t have to fight too much traffic, and that the flowers are still blooming!
I have a whole set of pictures based on this same theme – that being showing two contrasting seas of color against each other. One thing I was trying to get, which I was only marginally successful at, was to have the focal point be right there at the dividing line. That wasn’t really a goal of this particular picture, but in general it was. (If you get it close but not right on, then it just looks wrong. But if put the focal point well away from the border, then it’s clear that you’re not trying to emphasize the actual dividing line, that instead you’re just trying to show how ridiculously endless the flowers are were. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself, and since this is a one-sided conversation, I win.)
Have fun up there! Hope the weather doesn’t suck! (I’ll admit, I have an ulterior motive on that one – I hate skiing in the rain.)
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300 mm lens. 1/800s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 300mm.