skagit valley tulip festival

recently, i've been trying to make a conscious effort to explore places i've never been .. yesterday, this was the tulip festival in Mount Vernon, WA .. the tulip festival runs every year during the month of April .. its one of those things that you always say you'll go, but then forget when it is and end up making other plans and never get around to going.  well this year, i decided it was something i must do .. so i got up and left Seattle at 5am so that i could be there by sunrise, and to avoid people in general (big crowds stress me out) .. it is mainly a driving tour, and being ridiculously early, i was able to just pull over to the side of the road by all of the huge NO PARKING signs and park for a few minutes while i grabbed some pictures .. i wouldn't recommend doing this after 8am though - there's a lot more traffic than at 6 ..

getting out there to explore and take photos is kind of hard when you're by yourself, but i'm trying to be better about it .. its a pretty cool thing to push yourself and come out with a great, new experience.  i've been loving the Sony NEX camera that i recently got, so i've been shooting with it primarily, trying to become more familiar with all it can do ..  i ended up renting a lens from Glazers in Seattle to try out, and i must say, i'm pretty in love with it! the detail it gathers on the close up shots of the tulips is pretty spectacular .. the lens is a Carl Zeiss 55mm f1.8 .. all photos taken by me and are unedited - really - they came out of the camera like this!