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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sunrise at the Tulip Farm

The alarm buzzed at 3:30 am.  Groggily, I stumbled out of my warm bed.  Ugh - all I wanted to do was crawl back in and continue catching Z's.  Oh, this was insane!


Here comes the sun!

Such is the life of a photography enthusiast.  I'd signed up for a class led by a professional photographer.  We were meeting at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (the same place I'd visited in early April.)  Since one of the goals was to capture a sunrise, meet-up time was at 5:30.....am.


Rising over the tulips

The wee hours of a late April Sunday found ten sleepy students gathered in the tulip farm's parking lot.  Our instructor, Gary Randall of Gary Randall Photographic Art, gave some quick instructions and led us out to the tulip fields, still very much in bloom three weeks after my initial visit.


Hazy skies make incredible sunrises

Having picked this date nearly a year in advance, Gary had no idea what sky conditions would be for sunrise.  All ten students tiptoed through the tulips, lined up our tripods down one row, and hoped for the best.


Illuminating these white tulips

Smoke from large wildfires burning in Siberia throughout the week had created hazy skies in the Pacific NW.  As it turned out, this made for an incredible sunrise that morning.  The sun rose over the horizon like a flaming red ball.  Skies went from a rose tinge to glowing orange.  Truly amazing!  My fellow students and I clicked our shutters like madmen.


First hot air balloon

As if the spectacular sunrise wasn't enough, the tulip farm had another treat in store.  Shortly after sunup, several hot air balloons began launching over their fields.


Another balloon rose over the fields

The multicolored balloons were a wonderful sight to behold!  Rising slowly above the tulips, they gave our class even more photo subjects.


This one didn't quite make it up

I watched three balloons float into the sky.  A fourth began inflating, and I readied my camera to capture it's ascent.  But, something went wrong, and the balloon began to shrink back down.  The most colorful one of the group, I was disappointed it didn't get to fly.  But I got a few shots of it anyway.


Tulips and tractor

Once the sun was high in the sky, our focus changed to a lesson on macro photography.  Having never before used a macro lens, I bought a new 60 mm for the occasion (any excuse to purchase new equipment!)


Still lots of flowers!

I picked up some tips on how to use my new lens.  Then my fellow students and I swarmed several pots of colorful tulips to practice our newly-found skills.


Tiny bug on a petal

I'll admit, many of my macro shots that day were throw-aways.  But I did come away with a couple keepers.  My favorite photo was of these white and red striped tulips. 


My fave tulips

In the end, I think I learned as much from my fellow classmates as I did from Gary himself.  I met a great bunch of photographers, who totally understood the need to rise at such insanely early hours.  So much fun to hang out with like-minded people!  And it was great to visit the tulip farm one last time before the flowers were done for the season.


Sharing with:  Scenic Weekends

38 comments:

  1. Linda, you have outdone yourself with these absolutely stunning captures!!! I love, love, love this series!

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  2. Those pictures are amazing!

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  3. What a fantastic experience you had. Loved all your captures, especially the last one... gorgeous macro!
    I agree, mornings are great. I also agree it isn't easy getting up so early.
    Great post, Linda!

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  4. Awesome photos! Totally worth getting up so early for.

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  5. Hello Linda, the sunrise was certainly worth being up early.. The tulips are gorgeous and I love the hot air balloons. Beautiful series of images.

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  6. I am in complete awe with these images. I know how hard it is to get up early, and having a class is really great. One of these weekends, I'm going to set my alarm clock early :)

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  7. The backdrop of balloons really enhance the tulips. Photographing bugs, butterflies and the nature you don't normally see in close up is a world in itself you can get happily lost in very easily. Many flowers have an incredible complexity when you look right inside them with a marco setting. Even everyday weeds reveal an exceptional beauty in close up.Shade is much clearer than sunlight for capturing precise detail I've found. Individual raindrops can be captured with your reflection in them like a mirror. Years of fun ahead, with or without a 3:30am start :o)

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  8. My enjoyment of photography is not enough to get me up before dawn! I am so glad here other enthusiasts willing to do so and report back on the experience! ;-) Beautiful shots!

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  9. Beautiful photos, but that is too early in the morning!

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  10. Wow, and I thought I got up early. It was definitely worth it, Linda. Those shots are simply incredible. Wow! Thanks for sharing them with me. Totally cool. :-)

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  11. ✿ه° ·. Lindo demais!!!
    Tenha um maravilhoso domingo!
    Beijinhos.

    ˚ه❀❀ミ
    ✿ه° ·.

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  12. Oh I loved all your photos! I have a macros lens I will have to get it out more often. Great captures in the great early morning light! I am a believer that light makes all the difference early morning or just before sunset! Oh I hate early mornings too. I took a class from a Proffessional too on Lake Superior a few years back...I learned a lot! :)

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  13. Beautiful images! Thanks for sharing them.

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  14. I'm sure glad that you got out of bed, wonderful shots. Thanks, Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  15. This is an amazing place to hold a photo class. Wow!!!

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  16. Gorgeous and colorful photography ~ love how you captured the bumble bee ~

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  17. I hope I can go to a photography course too:) Amazing pictures!

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  18. Oh WOW! - From start to finish this was truly a treat for the eyes. I loved it all.

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  19. The early bird gets the...best tulip photos. Lovely work!

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  20. The very first photo is so lovely...and so are the rest! Third one in is my favorite!!
    I love going out there in the a.m., when I get up enough rest...did a few years ago to capture hot air balloons. I need to do that again, maybe next year! Thanks for sharing your early morning shoot out at the tulip farm!!! Take care, my friend....and today is the first day with out pain med for my mouth!!! Yippee!

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  21. Getting up early was worth it, Linda. I love your shots!

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  22. What an absolutely beautiful morning to be up and among the tulips. 2 visits - lucky you. Fabulous photos.
    I'm not an early riser but did so this morning. Alas no spectacular sunrise, but it really is a special time to be out and about.

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  23. Just wanted to give you a heads up, that I have included your blog in my latest blog post called "10 Photography Blogs You Need to Follow". You can view it now on my blog.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  24. What an amazing light to take these photographs of the Tulips adn the wonderful hotair balloons. That is stil something that is on my bucket list but I have not achieved as yet! I have just joined as a followers so hope to see more of your fabulous images

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  25. Gorgeous colours and very well photographed.

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  26. ohhhh beautiful...definitely worth crawling out of bed early! stopping by from mersad's blog :)

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  27. Hi Linda, hopping over from Mersad's blog, and I'm glad I did. Love, love, love your photography and this post is wonderful. The early morning shots are spectacular and I especially love the light caused by the haze. I have wanted to photograph the tulips in this area for years, but never have made it. I live in Utah and we have fabulous tulip festivals here, so I still get my fill of tulip photography each spring. I'm now following you and will visit again soon. Hope you get a chance to visit me and see what I photograph in the beautiful red rock country of southern Utah.

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  28. Sunrise shoots Tay so much dedication, especially as we head toward summer. Beautiful light though! Not too harsh and not too overcast!

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  29. fabulous shots Linda. The macro looks great to me. I want a macro lens too.

    how cool to see the hot air balloons too.

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  30. Amazing what photography students do to get to a class! Thank you for getting up so early. Your images from the day, the tulips and the hot air balloons are spectacular. I love the shot with the the heavy earth bound tractor, the floating balloon and the flowers. So many beautiful images, you must have had a fab day.

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  31. I love this series of photographs, Linda. Just beautiful! One of these days I hope to take a class like this, sounds like it was really worthwhile.

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  32. Great shots, I do like the bug the best I think. The light in the one with the red tulips is neat and the one with the downed balloon has a certain something too!

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  33. These are all amazing shots, each one perfect in its own way. I love your depth of field on the tulip tractor one, and the lighting is just divine. Don't you just love these photography classes.! Great shots!!!!!

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  34. Wow! Fantastic! Your post looks like a fairy tale. I enjoyed your photos very much.Thanks for sharing.

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