The Shutterbug's annual visit to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farms is going to look a little different this year to say the least! If you've never been to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm's Tulip Fest, specifically for photography purposes, we encourage you to read this blog post to prepare yourself. The following six recommendations will ensure you don't miss out on "that one shot".
Interested in attending this year's event? We will be hosting a Tulip Fields photo walk for $25/person this April - May! Dates have not yet been announced, but if you are interested in signing up for the waitlist to be the first ones to know when the official dates have been announced, please sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-shutterbug-tulip-fields-reservation-list-datetime-tbd-tickets-142793012745. This year's photo walk will be limited to 1-2 hours per group, which will be lead by 2-3 staff members. We will have ticket options for those interested in purchasing additional items with their tickets, from a 1:1 class, to a tripod!
#1 Always Dress You and Your Camera for the Weather
Over the years, we have seen more than one festival attendee leave within 20 minutes of visiting the fields. Why? Let's just say, the weather can be quite unpredictable.
Here's what we recommend bringing in terms of clothing:
Shoes you don't mind getting dirty
An Extra Pair of Shoes to Drive Home In
A Rain-Proof Jacket
A Warm Layer
An Extra Pair of Pants
The tulip fields can be quite muddy, so all of our staff know to not wear anything you are afraid of scrubbing mud stains off of.
In terms of camera gear, we recommend bringing a camera bag that is either waterproof or has a water resistant covering. All of our Promaster bags have a water-resistant cover. All of our WANDRD bags are built for weather resistance.
If your camera/lenses are not weather sealed, be sure to bring a rain jacket for your camera. We have several options in-store and on our site including the Promaster Rain Jacket ($29.99), Peak Design Shells (starting at $44.99), or the Optech Rainsleeves (starting at $7.99). For lenses, we also recommend bringing your lens hoods to prevent any mud or water from landing on the glass of your lens.
Here is a general checklist of what we recommend bringing in your camera bag:
Rain sleeve/cover for your camera
An Extra Memory Card
Macro Lens (or extension tubes)
Normal prime to Wide angle Lens
Lens hoods for all of your lenses
Camera Bag with a rain cover
Lens Ball (Scroll down to see why) UV Filter (just in case it's raining or a bit muddy out)
Lens pen or a microfiber
Rocket Air Blower
Despite being Oregonian, we may even suggest bringing an umbrella!
#2 Bring the Right Lenses (or Extension Tubes)
At the Tulip fields, we recommend always bringing a macro lens or a telephoto lens along with a wide angle of your choice. Wide angle lenses are generally considered lenses that are below 50mm, telephoto lenses are generally 50mm and above. If you don't currently own anything beyond your kit lenses, there are plenty of options for macro lenses or telephoto lenses for you. Here at The Shutterbug, not only do we sell new gear, we offer lens rentals and additionally pre-owned gear!
In the case that you want to use the lenses you already own and want to adapt them, we recommend purchasing extension tubes. Promaster's Extension tubes are sold at our stores for Canon EOS/EOS R, Nikon FX/Z, and Sony FE mounts. Extension tubes range between $99-110, and include 2-3 lengths of tubes. If you are unfamiliar with extension tubes, here is a bit of a crash course video on what they are and how to use them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwgbYaB2jqI.
Macro lenses, telephoto lenses and extension tubes will allow you to capture delicate features of the tulip fields. Since the fields themselves tend to draw a crowd (which won't be the case this year), you are generally unable to take a photo of the environment without another photographer or visitor stepping into your shot.
Our Recommendation of Macro and Telephoto Lenses
AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED
AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR
AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR
AF-S DX NIKKOR18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F2.8G ED
AF-P Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
Canon Macro Lenses
RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM
EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM
Canon Telephoto Lenses
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Sony Macro Lenses
E 30 mm F3.5 Macro
Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro
FE 90 mm F2.8 Macro G OSS
Sony Telephoto Lenses
E 70–350 mm F4.5–6.3 G OSS
FE 200–600 mm F5.6–6.3 G OSS
FE 100-400mm G Master
FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS
FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS
FE 70-200 mm F4 G OSS
#4 Don't Forget a Tripod!
Shooting with a tripod is unfamiliar territory for some. We highly recommend not leaving your tripod at home, or else you may miss out on some wonderful photo opportunities. Shooting with a deep depth of field in a landscape with intermittent showers may cause you to reach for your ISO dial. Bring a tripod to avoid the unnecessary editing to reduce noise. You will thank yourself for it when you go home and find your images needing minimal editing (if any at all).
If you are already familiar with landscape photography, you will know that shooting between 100-200 ISO is a must! Shooting for a higher resolution image with greater dynamic range requires a little bit of time and patience. Tripods allow you to shoot with clarity, especially when you want to keep your ISO low.
If portability is your issue with tripods, we highly recommend these specific tripods:
Manfrotto Element Traveler Small Tripod $119.99 | Minimum Height 14.7" (Purchase In-Store)
Promaster XCM-522 Tripod $149.99 | Minimum Height 15" (One year warranty!)
Promaster XCM-525 Tripod $179.99 | Minimum Height 15" (One year warranty!)
Peak Design Travel Tripod $599.99 | Minimum Height 15" (Purchase In-Store)
If you find that your tripod won't fit in your bag, we recommend checking if your bag has a proper tripod storage space. In-store we have several options for those who want a bag that will carry a tripod comfortably.
#5 Lens Balls are Your New Best Friend!
Lens balls are a seasonal product that we carry every spring and fall! They are so popular, we have to restock almost every two weeks!
If you are interested in lens ball photography, we have a complete blog post that covers lens ball photography alone. The link is here: https://www.theshutterbug.com/post/get-creative-with-lens-ball-photography .
If you are shooting with a macro lens, lens with extension tubes sets, or a zoom lens -- you will have success when shooting lens ball photography. Make sure to always manually focus your lens on your lens ball for the sharpest photos. Macro lenses are the best option when shooting with a lens ball as the minimum focusing distance will allow you to hold the ball with one hand and photograph with the other.
Our lens balls (which includes a stand) cost only $29.99, you may purchase them online here.
#6 Start Shooting from Different Angles!
As a photographer, you find yourself in various poses just to get the 'right' shot. If you have only been shooting from a standing position, never crouched or bent over -- we highly recommend you start join your fellow photographers in changing how you view a scene.
Observe the following four photos, and see how the angling can drastically change how the image appears. Which one is your favorite? Feel free to comment below!