Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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The weekend before last I took a trip over to Washington to visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which runs throughout April and is about an hour’s drive from the border.

It appeared that just about everyone else had a similar thought, as the queue at the border was nearly two hours long, and the fields and car parks at the festival were packed! To get this shot I had to walk to the extreme end of one of the larger fields, where not many people ventured.

I really liked the texture and detail in these tulip crates, soon to be used to transport the cut flowers, but for now just waiting by the rows, so worked them into this wide-angle composition showing the crates, the tulips, and the sun. This was taken about an hour before sunset, so the sun was still quite harsh, but was starting give a warm glow to the flowers and the crates.

As I was shooting directly into the sun, I needed to use HDR to capture the full range of this scene. I took a total of seven photos, with exposures ranging from 1/80th to 0.8 seconds, to keep the detail both in the sky and in the shadows cast by the sun. A narrow aperture of f/16 kept everything in sharp focus, and also contributed to the sunstar effect.

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