|The famous pink tractor
In mid-April my neighbor, mentor and all-around photography buddy Cheri mentioned we should take a trip out to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm near Woodburn, Oregon. Every year this huge farm opens it's doors when their tulip fields begin to bloom. And boy is it a sight!
|Tulip fields pre-sunrise
I'd first visited Wooden Shoe back in 2015. It was so pretty I vowed to return every year. Well, life got in the way, and I hadn't been back since. So I was all in favor of reacquainting myself via an early morning photography session.
|Sunrise was a dud, but we did get some pink-tinged clouds
So Cheri and I rose at an ungodly early hour one Friday morning and made the dark and foggy drive out to the tulip farm. Once arrived, we pulled on our mud boots (it had been rainy the week prior and we'd been warned about boggy fields).
|Sunrise over the pink tractor
In the early morning darkness we trudged out to the colorful fields, looking for the best place to set up for sunrise shots. Wooden Shoe likes to place different props in their fields, and Cheri spotted the famous pink tractor. A small group of photographers were gathering nearby, so we headed over.
We decided on a spot near the pink tractor and unfurled our tripods. Cheri had brought her flash unit, and experimented with a few flash images of the tulips. I turned up my ISO and tried several super-long exposures of the darkened fields.
|Huge field of lovely red tulips
And then, the sunrise came. Well, sort of. The cloudy sky lightened, and the clouds were briefly tinged with a slight pink hue. Quite underwhelming.
|Cheri in her element
Since sunrise had been such a dud, Cheri and I focused on the flowers. Rows and rows of colorful tulips demanded our camera's attention. No shortage of subject matter here!
|Raindrops on pink tulips
For such an early hour quite a few people were milling about the fields. Lots of photographers lugging tripods vied for the best spots. It was hard to stay out of each other's way but most folks were considerate. However, one clueless lady plopped her tripod right next to the pink tractor, smack-dab in several photographer's shots (Cheri and I included). Cheri wasn't shy (and neither was I) at telling her to move.
|Loved these two-color ones
Rain had fallen the night before and I loved getting some close-up images of droplet-speckled petals.
Sun shining behind the dewdrops made for some cool images.
|More bands of color
Cheri and I meandered our way across the fields, stopping often to click on something that caught our eye.
|So much to photograph!
The fields were nearing full bloom, and the horizontal stripes of different colored tulips were stunning.
|I liked these spiky tulips
I never knew there were so many varieties of tulips. Like these with spiky petals on top.
|Field of spiky ones
But my most favorite flower patch was the one with different colored tulips.
|My favorite was the multicolored tulips
I just loved all the varieties of color! Wooden Shoe had placed their windmill next to the multicolored patch and it made for some good photo ops. However, the light wasn't shining in quite the right direction. No problem, we photographers make do.
|Windmill and tulips
Such an explosion of color! Why did I wait so long to return to this place? Never again!
Of course, the place sells lots of bulbs and fresh cut tulips, and I couldn't leave without snagging a lovely bouquet of my own.
|One more close up!
Thanks Cheri for another wonderful morning of photography!