After much deliberation, I decided I would rise welllll before dawn to take my annual drive up to the tulip fields near Mt. Vernon, Washington to catch the early light. Of course, I never sleep well when I need to wake early for something special. My plan was to wake up at 4:00am and be out the door by 4:15, yes that’s AM! I had prepared and loaded all the photography equipment the night before so all I needed to do was to throw on some clothes and be on the road. The drive up was fairly uneventful, though dark the entire drive. I contemplated returning home several times to a warm cozy bed, but persevered. I noticed on the way up that the temperature was continuously dropping as I got closer to my destination, just above freezing. I’ve been on enough early morning shoots that I was prepared with a winter coat, gloves and hat. It can get pretty cold standing there waiting for that perfect light.I arrived around 5:30AM and found a few people already scouting out locations in the fields. I received a recommendation to visit this particular field because of the variety of tulips. I put on my boots, gathered my gear and headed out into the field where I set up my tripod and camera and composed a shot looking East. And waited. It can be like watching water boil waiting for the sun to rise, but when it did, it was glorious! That alone was worth the trip. I took a bunch of bracketed shots, thinking I would probably do something in HDR to compensate for the large difference in exposure. I didn’t last too long in the field, even with my gloves on, my fingers were hurting from the cold AND you can only do so much with a bunch of tulips.
I did find an interesting old school bus on the way out. I surmised I could do something a little extreme with some HDR processing and subsequent processing with Nik Color Efex, one of my favorite Photoshop add-ons. I usually try to keep my photos natural looking, but I thought this subject deserved something more to bring out the detail.