|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