06 May 2010


Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden located near Lisse, The Netherlands. Each year Keukenhof is open for only two months, usually from late March to mid May. This year I visited Keukenhof to take photos of the beautiful flowers.
It was a clear, overcast day, perfect for photography. A sunny day is nice, but the contrast can be too high. Taking close-up photos is a challenge. The flower beds are located in lawns and you are not supposed to walk on the grass. Even though, take a look at the first photo I took:
Keukenhof Red Tulip
I discovered the automatic white balance tends to subdue the bright colours of the flowers. Take a look at the following photos. The first photo is the standard, out-of-the-camera JPEG image. The second photo is a JPEG image, processed with DXO Optics 6.1 from the RAW file with white balance set to daylight.

Photo 1
100504-093842_ 2582_50D

Photo 2
Keukenhof Yellow Tulips

The actual colours of the flowers are like the ones in photo 2. It turned out to be that the daylight white balance produced the correct colours for the photos taken outside.
In the morning, it started to rain just a little bit. Luckily, Keukenhof also has indoor exhibitions. Here are some photos of orchids on display.
Keukenhof Orchids
Keukenhof Orchid
Keukenhof Orchid

After a while it stopped raining, and I could take some photos of the tulips up close and personal.
Keukenhof Tulips
Keukenhof Tulips
Keukenhof Tulips Keukenhof Tulips

Here is an experiment with flash photography. The ambient exposure is stopped down –1 stop. Flash exposure is compensated with –2/3 stop.
Keukenhof Tulips

The colours are really fantastic.
Keukenhof Tulips Keukenhof Tulips Keukenhof Tulips Keukenhof Tulips
Keukenhof Tulips

Here is an interesting artwork. It is called 'Looking at bulbs' .
Keukenhof - Looking at Bulbs

The tulips and other flowers are situated in a beautiful garden.
Keukenhof Lake and Water Fountain Keukenhof Garden

Keukenhof also has other plants, besides tulips.
Keukenhof Blossom

You can see all my photos in a slideshow by clicking on this link, or click on the photo below.


  1. Wow wat een verschil als je je white balance aanpast! Very nice!!

  2. Nice experimenting with white balance, depth of field, and flash. The pictures are very sharp and the colors just pop off the screen. Beautiful!

  3. Great photos Marc! You raised an interesting point about the color balance. Sometimes it's hard to say what's "natural." The leaves on your first jpg version are much more blue compared to photo 2. Some of my photos from cloudy days also seem unnaturally blue when I get them home, so I adjust the white balance as you did. Yours look very striking but still very natural. Nice job!