In the early mornings and late evenings of April, I spent my time on a tulip field. I never envisioned my career in Real Estate Photography would end up here, but I'm so grateful it did.
A little back story - when I was young my grandpa would bring me to these tulip fields each year, and after his passing, I continued to visit the fields (usually multiple times a year!) but this year was a little different. The tulip fields at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm were closed to the public for the first time since they opened on Easter weekend 1985. When I saw the announcement on social media my spirit was crushed, to be honest - missing out on the tulip farms, to me, meant missing out on my grandpa too.
The decision to close the Tulip Festival was one the owners of Wooden Shoe didn't take lightly. Especially since it's their biggest event of the year. As a farm, the financial strain of closing for an event you've prepped for seasons in advance is devastating. There was quite an uproar from the public regarding the closure, in which the Iverson family handled with true grace and humility. After spending some time with Barb and Emily (the mother-daughter duo that runs Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm), it was obvious that the concern for public health and safety was their highest priority - even at the cost of closing their biggest event.
Each day Emily and Barb would share photos, videos, and commentary about the fields. This way the public could enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the 2020 tulip season. But we wanted to do something more! If you've been to the farm you know that photos don't do it justice. Even the professional photos still don't encompass the beauty that you see there with your own two eyes. So we decided to try to capture it with our 3D Matterport technology. Keep in mind this camera is designed for INSIDE spaces only. These special cameras have multiple lenses and sensors that send out and capture infrared light as it bounces back. Do you know what gives off the most infrared light? The sun. This means if you try to use these 3D cameras outside it's nearly impossible to capture any data with the pesky sun interference.
After a ton of research and the sheer will to push the limits of 3D technology, we figured out that if we scanned the fields for 15 minutes before and after sunrise or sunset we could get the camera to work with little to no infrared interference. That means 30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes in the evening was all the time we had to attempt to capture acres of tulips. I skipped the gym the entire 2 weeks we worked at the farm because I was literally RUNNING between the rows of tulips to try to capture this for you guys. Not to mention the extra work of jumping, squatting, and dodging the 3D camera as it spins to capture data, haha! If you look close enough you'll find my sister and I in many of the scans - some because we needed to use our bodies as props for the 3D camera to align properly and some because we simply weren't sly enough to dodge the camera 100% of the time.
Since the 3D Matterport camera reads infrared light it picks up textures and items to use for alignment, not the colors it sees - so when you have acres of repetitive flowers that all look the same to the camera, it made for a difficult scan. While traveling through the tulip fields you'll see the props we moved all around the farm with us! Benches, crates, flower pots, the pink tractor, and more! If you look close enough you'll even find some wooden shoe clogs. Thank God my quarantine team was there to help! I often wonder what onlookers working on the fields thought of us crazy ladies running around were up to.
Now everyone can see the fruits of our labor! Our early morning drives and late evening escapades made something beautiful for all to see. And although the fields we're closed this year - we wanted to bring them to you. So you can explore from the safety of your own home.
Take a peek around, and tour the 2020 Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm fields - even months after they're gone.
Love what you see? Please check out the farm website and buy tulip bulbs for your garden, or a season pass for next year. Together we can support our farming community - we sure need them. Thank you to the Iverson family, and the entire Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm staff for making this 3D scan a possibility. We're excited to see what you have up your sleeve for the 2021 Tulip Festival!
Although I'm sad that thousands of people were unable to visit the farm this year I couldn't help but think each morning that my grandpa was there with me, and this special project was a little gift orchestrated by him and the big guy upstairs. ISAIAH 41:10
I hope you love this project as much as we did, leave a comment below and let us know what you think.