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I first went to the annual Ottawa Tulip Festival in 2006, not long after I had bought my first DSLR camera. I took a lot of pictures, but I knew a lot less about photography back then, and looking back now, there are very few images from that cloudy May day I enjoy seeing again, and only one I’d considering turning into either a framed enlargement or a greeting card. At that time I had the basic, standard-issue lens that came installed on the camera, and almost no photography experience. None of the shots were brightened or improved in Photoshop or Lightroom before going to print. So they now remain as 4×6 prints stored in a rarely viewed album.
In 2017, the situation was very different. I had over 10 years of photo editing experience, a first-rate Canon 100mm lens, and a significantly powerful 18 MP camera. Besides the decent gear it was a mostly sunny spring day. My Dad had offered to take me again, but there was a family health emergency he had to deal with, so I asked a friend, who decided to go. This was on May 24, 2017, two days after the festival had officially ended, but I was informed the tulips still looked great.
I searched online briefly for blogs to see what photo galleries other visitors to the event had posted, but really didn’t see much beyond a few instagram posts and short news articles. This was surprising, because it seems most visitors I saw carried cameras, and apparently over 1,000,000 people visit! So I decided to add my contribution here for anyone who had wanted to go to the tulip festival in Ottawa this year, but couldn’t make it, or actually went and wants to relive the experience.
I chopped my full collection of 276 pictures from the photoshoot down to 65 pics. Some are wide shots that show many tulips, but most are closeups. The specific names of each tulip were not clearly noted (e.g., name beside photo), so I haven’t included them here and can’t tell you what they are. The exception is the special red-and-white 150-year tulip.