Holland at Tulip Time 2016 Trip Report

By Kevin McNeal on Jun 01, 2016

The 2016 Holland at Tulip Time trip began at the iconic Keukenhof Gardens, host to some of the most stunning displays of springtime flowering bulbs in the world.  The Keukenhof is landscaped with a huge diversity of flowering bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, to name just a few.  We were on the grounds early in the day to witness the good light of morning, and throughout the trip we were blessed with great conditions for photography. 
The vast size of the gardens offers numerous different themes and styles of plantings. Many members of the group discovered favorite areas and returned to the same spots to find their perfect compositions.  Throughout our time at Keukenhof, we worked the arrays of flower displays and brilliant colors in every possible photo scenario.  The types of compositions possible were endless and really brought out everyone’s creativity.  Late one evening, we returned to the park to catch the last warmth of light on the flowers.  By the time we finished shooting in the combination of sunbursts and evening light, everyone had captured their favorite images of the gardens.
One of the other highlights on the trip was our time photographing at the Zaanse Schans village and at Kinderdijk.  For most of the group this was their very first time seeing Holland’s windmills in such an idyllic setting.  The placement of the windmills and the surrounding scenery is spectacular.  Our time here was met with great sunrises and sunsets, which made for terrific silhouettes against the colorful skies.  Our timing for springtime flowers worked well here, too, and we were able to get a good mixture of all these elements in our images.
We then traveled south to Belgium, staying in Bruges for a few days.  With the town’s perfect combination of canals, water reflections and historic buildings, we were busy shooting all kinds of scenery.  We headed out together on walking tours where we all found something interesting to shoot.  Again, with great color in the sky, we were out for sunset and the “blue hour” and had an eventful night of shooting around Bruges. 
We had an opportunity to return to Keukenhof at the end of the tour for one final day to capture a later, different flower display in the gardens.  The composition of spring bulbs changes drastically from day to day and everyone was excited to see the changes after just a few days.  Our shooting session was met with different bulbs in bloom, new color combinations, and a whole new set of flower displays to photograph.
We ended the trip with a great dinner and said our goodbyes to Holland and to each other, but left with some great images.