Every year close to 1.5 million tourists visit the famous Dutch flower garden “de Keukenhof.” This garden is beautiful, but the real beauty can be seen in the endless tulip fields in the countryside.
As a local I love to shoot the tulips again every year. I can always find new angles and new conditions to shoot. It’s very addicting.
Here’s a series of pictures and a short film that I took during this year’s season. Fun fact: the fields are not at the exact location every year. Why? You can’t grow the same flower two years in a row, so the fields always slightly change. This year we had some beautiful fields perfectly lined up with windmills, making it possible to finally get some of my dream tulip shots.
This short film was shot in the season of 2019 in areas of North Holland and Flevoland:
Tips for photographing the tulips:
- Use a wide variety of lenses from very wide (14mm) to extreme zooms and fast primes. You can really photograph the tulips in so many different ways.
- I love shooting wide and getting very close and low to the tulips. With the help of focus stacking, I get everything in focus from front to back. This can be tricky when it’s windy.
- Increase your ISO a bit when you’re shooting the tulips with a sunset, especially when it’s windy. They easily get unsharp when shooting with a high f-stop.
- Look for out of the ordinary tulips and photograph them with a zoom or macro lens with soft focus.
- Try to match the sky with the colors of the tulips. In tulip fields, you often have lots of tulips to choose from so you can match them up with the sky using a complementary color palette.
- Drones are amazing these days. Shooting top down allows you to get some beautiful abstract shots.
- Try portrait orientation sometimes. It allows you to get more depth into an image.
These shots were all shot during this year’s tulip season.
Photography tourism is increasing rapidly over the years. A few years ago, there were hardly any people in the countryside, but especially this year I noticed it’s getting crowded. People from all over the world come to see and photograph our tulips.
It’s highly important that everyone is very careful with the flowers. Don’t take them, don’t crush them. If a field is fenced, don’t cross the fence. They’re simple rules but lots of people today do anything to take a selfie. All the above shots were taken on fields from local farmers that I personally know.
About the author: Albert Dros is an award-winning Dutch photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. His work has been published by some of the world’s biggest media channels, including TIME, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and National Geographic. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram.