[/caption] who is ready for some spring flowers? Over the past week I have been taking my 6 month old Australian Cattle Dog on some long hikes in Forest Park, which is within the city limits of Portland. The rain has been so relentless that my puppy is muddy from chest to paws. But as I hike along the muddy trails I can’t help but think about how many spring flowers must grow along these trails in Spring. This started me thinking about the many festivals that take place all around the Pacific Northwest. The photo shown here was taken at the Woodburn Tulip festival last April. I was using my Canon EOS Rebel T1i along with my Sigma 50mm macro/prime lens. The only filter I was using was the UV filter. Since I don’t use a tripod when using my macro lens, I don’t want to have any camera shake while using a CIR-PL. A PL lens eliminates the amount of light that enters the lens, so this will cause a very shaky photo unless you’re using a tripod. Since I try to include as much light as possible when using my macro lens, I am able to get within only a few cm from my subject and avoid any camera shake. It also eliminates the need for a tripod. This also makes it more enjoyable to crouch around the flowers as well as speeding up the process. Since a macro lens focuses on only parts of the subject and then blurs the rest of the subjects in the photo, I try to find the most interesting area to take the picture. I usually try to focus near the middle of the photo as well. In this instance I focused on the orange tulip, which caused parts of the photo to be in focus but the rest to be out of focus. I was trying to keep most of the tulips in focus while blurring the background. I was about 3 inches from the nearest tulip when I took this shot. I set the camera to its close-up mode and set the manual setting on the lens at Full. The F stop was at F 5.6 and the shutter speed was at 1/200 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at 0.3 due to the brightness of the sky and the fact that I wasn’t using the CIR-PL. One of my favorite parts of photography is taking photos of flowers. The Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful flowers in the world along with some of the most diverse species ever seen. However, visiting some of the many festivals gives you the opportunity to take photos of an endless supply of flowers.