The Ottawa Tulip Festival is fast approaching and the rain we’ve had this spring can only help the blooms! This is one of my favourite times of the year in the capital – spring has arrived and the tulips really beautify the city. I have loved seeing my own progress and improvements in taking photos of the tulips over the last few years and I wanted to share some of my favourite shots and locations to help you out too! This could be for a photographer, a blogger or someone who just enjoys the tulips! While you don’t need a fancy camera (iPhone shots included here), playing with depth of field and bokeh with the tulips helps with the focal length you choose for your camera.
Tulips in the Foreground
Focus on a single tulip in a flower bed, with tulips blurred in the foreground. This creates a depth of field that adds interest to your photo. I used my 55-200 mm lens to create the depth of field in the above images.
Parliament in the Background
There are tulip bed in Major’s Hill Park that are so easy to include Parliament Hill in the background. The photo on the right was taken during blue hour with tulips in one of the planters on Wellington Street. You don’t need a huge bed of tulips to get some interesting photos!
National Gallery in the Background
Similar to the Parliament photos, set up your shot with the National Gallery of Canada in the background. Golden hour provides an excellent colour in the sky!
It took me a long time to find bokeh inspiration in the city. The setting sun shining through the trees during golden hour provides a perfect opportunity for bokeh in your background, providing another level of interest to your photo. The tulip beds at Major’s Hill Park and Commissioner’s Park have a ton of trees you can get this effect with.
Shoot during Golden Hour
Golden hour is a wonderful time to take photos in general. The light is so warm and inviting. Just remember that tulips close as the sun goes down and open as the sun goes up. If you’re an early bird, go early for open tulip photos (although, I still love the look of a closed bud).
I don’t have a drone, so I like to get low. It offers a difference perspective that I love.
Finally, take a photo of a single tulip. They really are such beautiful flowers.
Show me your photos by tagging me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you come up with.