Join Jim for an unforgettable photo tour to a place that must be on your bucket list. Holland in the spring is dazzling, and the highlight of this trip is two whole days to immerse yourself in the exquisite floral designs of Keukenhof Gardens. Nowhere else on the planet will you find displays of flowers like this. Keukenhof is 80 acres of manicured perfection, and you will be enthralled with what you see and photograph. Also included in this tour are classic Dutch windmills, tulip fields, a beautiful traditional Dutch historic village, magnificent Brugge, Belgium, night photography in Amsterdam, and two days in stunning Brussels. Your photographic skills will be put to the test in the areas of macro photography, landscape photography, night shooting, HDR, and architecture photography. You will learn a lot plus take amazing images.
Day 1: Monday, April 23. You will depart the U.S. today and arrive in Amsterdam the following morning.
Day 2: Tuesday, April 24. Amsterdam. Upon arrival, after you go through immigration and collect your luggage, take a free shuttle to our airport hotel to rest from the trans-Atlantic journey. In the late afternoon we head into the heart of Amsterdam for twilight and night photography of the canals, bridges, and beautiful lighting that is characteristic of this dynamic city. We have an early welcome dinner so we can be ready to shoot at the optimal time. Overnight airport hotel. 4 star hotel.
Days 3 - 4: Wednesday - Thursday, April 25, 26. Keukenhof Gardens. We leave the hotel early this morning and arrive at Keukenhof Gardens before the crowds. Nowhere in the world is flower photography more exciting, more incredible, than here. We have two full days to shoot the spectacular floral designs, patterns, and closeups of the huge variety of tulips and other species of flowers that are on display in the outdoor gardens as well as in the enormous greenhouse. In the morning you will concentrate on landscape photography that encompasses large sections of Keukenhof, and as more people enter the grounds you can focus on the dizzying array of colorful patterns that are artfully laid out. Overnight Lisse. 4 star hotel.
Day 5: Friday, April 27. Alkmaar. This morning we visit the famous medieval cheese market in Alkmaar. The operation of the market is re-enacted for tourists, but it dates from the 15th century. It's a photogenic sight with uniformed workers, piles of hundreds of cheeses, and traditional scales. We will get there early to get a good vantage from which we can photograph the activities. After the event is over, you can move in for closeups of the Dutch models and graphic patterns of cheeses. After lunch, we drive to Kinderdijk to photograph the rows of classic Dutch windmills in late afternoon and sunset lighting. Overnight Lisse. 4 star hotel.
Day 6: Saturday, April 28. Zaandam/Brugge. This morning we visit an historic Dutch settlement, Zaandam. In 1697 Czar Peter I of Russia spent time here studying ship building, and in 1871 Claude Monet made 25 paintings based on the windmills and the scenes around this city. The traditional houses from centuries gone by make wonderful subjects to shoot as they reflect in the quaint canals. The large, colorful windmills that attracted Monet will still attract your eye as you look for the best angles to shoot them. In the afternoon, we drive by taxi to the fairytale town of Brugge in the Flemish region of Belgium. Overnight Brugge. 4 star hotel.
Days 7 - 8: Saturday, Sunday April 29 - 30. Brugge. Picturesque cobbled lands and dreamy canals link exceptionally photogenic market squares with soaring towers, historic churches and old whitewashed almshouses. We will be able to photograph this historic town in many types of lighting including twilight and night. You will want to ascend the clock tower to get an aerial view of the square, and the architecture is beautiful from so many angles. Overnight Brugge. 4 star hotel.
Day 9: Sunday, May 1. Brussels. We drive to Brussels today, stopping enroute to visit the spectacular Hallerbos Forest nearby. It is carpeted in bluebonnets, and it will leave you captivated with its beauty and photogenic opportunities. We continue on to Brussels and check into our centrally located hotel. We will capture classic European scenes at twilight this evening as many great photographic compositions are within easy walking distance of our hotel. Overnight Brussels. 4 star hotel.
Day 10: Monday, May 2. Brussels. We have a full day to explore beautiful Brussels. We visit the Atomium built for the 1958 World's Fair, the Grand Palace, the Town Hall, the incredible Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and more plus another twilight/night photography session. Overnight Brussels. 4 star hotel.
Day 11: Tuesday, May 3. Departure. Today we transfer to the airport for our return flight home, knowing we've captured amazing pictures of wonderful gardens, villages, and architecture in Europe.
TOUR COST: $4950. Includes all lodging based on double occupancy, all breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinners, all land transportation, all entrance fees, photo instruction, critiques upon demand.
Single supplement: $1225
Not included: International airfare, items of a personal nature, meals except those indicated.