Photography at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival is a colourful experience.(John Enman photo)

Photography at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival is a colourful experience.(John Enman photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Photography at the Tulip Festival

What better way to finish off our trip to the Vancouver Used Camera sale than to get up early and take our cameras to the Chilliwack Tulip festival for a fun day of getting creative with colour.

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is Vancouver’s largest and most famous flower festival. This is the Lower Mainland’s original tulip festival and Western Canada’s largest, 2022 marks the festival’s 16th year. With over 20 acres of beautiful fields, the attraction is definitely worth checking out. First day of the season for the event in 2022 was April 11. The fields feature some 30 different varieties of tulips.

After the long day at the camera sale Jo McAvany and I chose two different Davie street restaurants and got takeout, then after getting a bottle of wine we retired to our hotel and sat on the 15th floor balcony looking out over the ocean.

That was a fortunate choice because a pounding rain and hailstorm blew in just after reaching our hotel and it would have been a wet walk after supper. As it was we had a great location to watch (and photograph) the spectacular storm.

In the morning we were up early sitting at a friendly coffee shop enjoying coffee and scones.

Our tickets to the flower festival were for 10:30 a.m. so we packed my car, checked out of the hotel and drove to the festival.

The sunny day was cool and demanded warm jackets, but the sky was blue and clear and there were people pointing their camera’s everywhere. I was surprised at the number of photographers using DSLRs. I usually expect to see lots of cellphones being held at arms length. Jo had brought both a 80-200mm and a 14-24mm lens. I was lazier and only had my 24-70.

Both of our cameras had LCD screens that articulated and we could place our cameras low to the ground without having to kneel in the dirt. Jo’s low angle shots using that 14-24mm lens are really great and I saw her exchanging emails with other photographers that wanted to see her images. The lines of different coloured tulips and the distant snow capped mountains made a pleasing and strikingly colourful landscape. I worked at creating images that I could convert to Black and White. I had some success, but most of my shots looked better in colour.

It is fun to photograph different locations and different subjects. The large fields of tulips were perfect. I think I had better admit that I would have missed that experience if it weren’t for my energetic and creative photo-pal Jo buying the tickets on line and telling me “that’s what we are doing on the way home Monday morning”

Washington State’s Skagit Valley tulip festival is also on, so if that’s closer make a day of that. For us our time at the Chilliwack festival was fun and was worth a few hours drive.

I am not a gardener, but I do enjoy photographing flowers. Soon the blooms on the bushes that fill the yard out my front door will flower…and I will be out with my flash, tripod and camera.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

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