Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Postcards from Amsterdam - Part 4

Keukenhof Flower Explosion 4I think most people think of flowers when they think of the Netherlands and I'm no different. I made a short trip to Kuekenhof Gardens (The Kitchen's Garden) which is reported (by the operators of the site) to be the most photographed place in the world. I couldn't resist adding my own.

Flowers are, of course, the main subject matter at Keukenhof.

They are arranged in many beds, with a variety of themes. Sometimes its just an arrangement of patterns and lines.

Sometimes it is mainly lines, with infrastructure such as water playing a role.

Water is essential to growing flowers and I was impressed at the variety of ways that the gardeners worked it into different themes.

The tulip fields, which I had missed being in bloom by only a couple of weeks, had canals for irrigation. I wasn't quite sure what purpose the small boat served.

Water was also a part of themed arrangements like this Japanese garden.

I thought the wooden water lilly pads were for the birds.

I then realized that the display wasn't for the birds, but for the tourists to take photos of the birds to send back to their friends. Presumably this is because there are no birds where they come from. Not even ducks.

But flowers are certainly the central theme at Keukenhof. For a photographer, experimenting with light and composition can lead to very different results from the same subject matter. These two shots were taken in the same exhibit and only a few feet from each other. It was fun playing with different lighting trying to achieve different moods.

Some of the exhibits were sponsored, and the sponsors had displays.

I think in this case, the link was that tulips were mixed into the vegetables used make the vodka, but I wasn't sure why. In the end for this exhibit, I was Absolut(ly) more interested in the glass arrangement than the flower arrangement.

Other sponsors included a Swedish furniture store, whose link was decorating.

Guess Who?

Ah, it's so nice to see commerce and art going hand-in-hand!

For more of my flower shots from Keukenhof, go to my Amsterdam set on Flickr here.

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