Next weekend is the start of the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan. The Tulip Festival was recently voted the Best Flower Festival by USA Today readers. It beat the Rose Parade, seriously. We went last year and it was a little too crowded for my taste (I never would’ve been able to get a shot like this because people would’ve been in it). With the warmer weather we’ve had this spring, everything seems to be blooming about 2 weeks early, so it seemed this past weekend would be a great time to visit. Of course, we decided to go on Sunday and it rained all day. I can’t complain, though because it led to some really great water droplet photos! And the rain kept the fair weather tourists out. Of course, the down side to touring a garden in the rain is muddy shoes and it made it tricky to get the angles I wanted.
At Windmill Island Gardens we got a break from the rain and toured the authentic Dutch windmill (not pictured). The thing that is crazy about the windmill is that it is a working flour mill run by the only non- Dutch Dutch Certified miller. Not to mention the fact that this windmill is over 150 years old and was the last windmill to leave the Netherlands. We bought some of the whole wheat flour that they mill there and I am excited to make some pancakes next weekend.
Thanks for stopping by! For more information on Tulip Time and Windmill Island Gardens visit Holland.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
Its officially spring and its starting to warm up around here. It may just be about time to come out of hibernation! While looking through my Lightroom library for a photo for today’s post, I realized that I haven’t taken a single photo in March (insert shocked emoji here)! I realize the month is not over so I’ve got work to do this week!
This photo was taken last spring during the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan. Windmill Island Gardens is a sight to behold in spring with tulips as far as the eye can see, an authentic, 250 year old Dutch windmill, and beautiful flowering apple trees. Of course, during Tulip Time, you will also see wall to wall people. Immediately after snapping this photo, someone came up to me and asked to take their picture with their smartphone. Its funny, when you seem to know what you’re doing when it comes to photography, people trust you with their electronics. Just because I can use a DSLR, it does not mean I know how to operate your smartphone camera or your weird point and shoot.
The Holland Harbor lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan and like all of Michigan lighthouses, has an interesting history. The United States Lighthouse Board (yes, that was an actual thing. Oh, the things I learn while doing research for this blog) initially recommended construction of a lighthouse in Holland Harbor in 1870. The original lighthouse on this spot was built in 1872. In 1880, a new light was installed in a protective cage on top of a pole. The lighthouse keeper used a pulley to lower the lamp for service. Can you imagine? The current lighthouse, commonly known as “Big Red” was built in 1907.The architecture of the building was designed to reflect the Dutch influence in the area. Like many Michigan lighthouses, it has been abandoned by the Coast Guard but was restored and preserved by a private historical group. Because you would have to cross private property to see it up close, private access to the lighthouse is limited. But, it can be viewed across the channel from Holland State Park. (wikipedia)
About this Photo:
This wasn’t much of a planned shot, I know the lighting wasn’t great when we were at the park, but I snapped this shot while walking the pier at the state park. This was a single RAW exposure with basic edits done in Ligthroom. I was able to pull some detail back into the sky by pulling out the highlights (this is a great save if you ever have a shot with a blown out sky).
Nikon D3100 with 50.0 mm f/1.8 handheld
May 8, 2016
I saw recently that the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan was just rated the #1 flower festival in the US by USA Today readers. This was the second year that I made the trek over to Holland to see the blossoms and it really is beautiful! To see tulips of all colors, lined up in rows really is a sight to behold! The festival is over now, but if you are planning a visit for next year, I highly recommend Windmill Island Gardens. One thing to note, it gets very crowded during the Tulip Festival. If possible, plan your trip before the festival starts to get the gardens to yourself!
About the Photo:
If you are into photography at all you have probably heard about the importance of lighting. In the middle of the day on a sunny day, the sun is directly overhead and it casts harsh shadows. I’ll be honest, I’ve heard this over and over again and I tried to obey it but I never really understood what it meant. Well, looking at my Tulip Festival pictures, I finally understand. You can see the uneven shadows on that white tulip. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it. All rules are meant to be broken sometimes, and I think the shadows add something interesting to the image. Below, I’ve posted a photo from my visit last year when it was overcast and lightly raining. It doesn’t look as bright as the above photo (a flash would’ve helped with that), but the cloud cover provided nice, even light. The water droplets don’t hurt either.
Camera Gear (for both photos):
Nikon D3100 with 8.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens handheld
Top: May 8, 2016
Bottom: May 10, 2015
The Dali Lama said, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before”. This has been a resolution of mine each year for as long as I can remember. In 2015, that one place was Holland, Michigan. The Tulip Festival has been on my bucket list for so long and I can’t wait to visit Holland again!
In 2016 I plan to hit several spots in Michigan that I’ve never been before! I’m planning a road trip this summer to the U.P. I’m going to stop at Sault Ste. Marie and Copper Harbor. I also want to spent some time in the North Eastern part of the state, the “Sunrise Coast” as its known. I’m so glad that I live in a state that has so much to do and see. From the big cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids to the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan and the wilderness of the U.P., its such a diverse and breathtaking place! Not to mention, you can drive for 5 hours and still be in the same state. How many states can say that?