Holland at Tulip Time 2018 Trip Report

By Mike Byrne on May 16, 2018

Our Holland at Tulip Time tour begins with three full days at Keukenhof Gardens.  The main grounds include hundreds of thousands of blooms, including tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, and much more, all beautifully displayed in sculpted beds and artistically designed layouts. Walking the grounds is a visual and olfactory delight and our cameras are kept busy finding new and unique compositions.
 
Inside the main pavilion at Keukenhof is a collection of about 1000 tulip varieties.  Their diversity is amazing!  We spend several hours photographing these plants, out of the wind with softly diffused light.  The shoot provides a great opportunity to experiment with focal stacking and flower isolation (using black and neutral grey backgrounds). Two smaller pavilions offer spectacular displays of roses and orchids.
 
Tulips in Keukenhof Gardens HollandFrom Keukenhof we head to North Holland.  Aside from photographing the vast fields of hyacinth and daffodils we encounter en route, we capture many nice images of windmills.  We also spend lunchtime at the beautiful seaside town of Hoorn, with produces some very nice images of the foggy harbor.  In the evenings the town center is beautifully lit and our deck on the third floor of our hotel provides a great location to work from.
 
Our next stop is at the village of Kinderdijk.  The weather has warmed considerably, with only a few light clouds,—which makes for two pleasant sunrise and sunset photography sessions. These hundreds-of-years-old windmills really shine at dusk and dawn.
 
Sunset at Kinderdijk windmills HollandOur final stop is in Bruges in northwest Belgium.  Our hotel is located just a few steps from this medieval city’s central square, which makes it easy for us to capture gorgeous early morning and “blue light” images of the many historic buildings, their reflections crisp and bright in the many canals.
 
As a bonus side trip, we visit the Hallerbos—the Blue Forest—on our way back to Amsterdam.   I’m worried that we might arrive too early in the season to witness these beautiful woods and their carpet of bluebells.  But my worries are entirely misplaced as the bluebells are blooming in large numbers, perfectly contrasting with fresh green leaves just unfurled on many trees.
 
It’s a great way to finish a really enjoyable, rewarding tour.

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