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California Wildflowers Photography

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California Wildflowers Photography

"Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact"
Celebrate Life by enjoying the beauty of wildflowers everyday!

“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau

Let us join together and become ambassadors of our planet: wilderness, nature and wildlife. It is easy to do and make every day Earth Day. Simply pick up one piece of paper or trash and recycle it every time you go outside on a hike, to the park or, to take photographs. You will feel better and the universe will repay you with dividends by sending better photographs your way – it works ever time.

"California Poppy Trio"
California Poppy Eschscholzia californica
Figueroa Mountain, Los Padres National Park, California 09-908-DMY

Location: Figueroa Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, 1-2 miles past the ranger station, on the north side of the road against the hillside
© 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This Trio of California Poppies was right next to the road. With a whole hillside of bright orange California Poppies how do you pick one flower or group to photograph?
1) Simplify – pick a flower of group that may be separated from the field of flowers to eliminate distractions of partial wildflowers.
2) Look for the prettiest flower or a group of flowers to get a close up look at.
3) Can the tripod be place out of the trail or road so other can pass?
4) Can the photograph be taken respectfully without damaging the delicate beautiful wildflowers you have come to enjoy?
5) Fill the frame with the subject.
6) Eliminate any distracting shadows (especially from the camera or tripod) – use a high sun angle for this.
7) Fill the frame with the subject.

When photographing any plant or animal learning about the subject matter first always helps.
Looking for habitats is always better that looking for the species of wildflower or wildlife.

The California Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster, California predicts mid February to mid May as the best time to observe the California Poppies. With all the early record rainfall this winter the wildflower season is a starting a little early.

The California Poppies in Hillcrest Park in Fullerton (a block away) have been blooming already this week. So please share the best wildflower places you are finding on the blog for us all to enjoy.

California Poppies require warm, calm weather to open their bright orange petals each day. It varies but usually between 10 am 3-4 pm are the best times to find the flowers open. How boring to take a photo of a field of bright orange California poppies all closed up due to extreme wind, or cold weather. A nice sunny warm day 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above, usually works best. Extreme winds will make wildflower photography almost impossible – too much motion of the flower and the California Poppies will not even open their petals in strong winds (over 15-20 knots), or in cold weather.

So check the weather reports before trying to make early morning light in a distant desert field of wildflowers many miles and hours away.

The best and most reliable weather service for me has been www.Accuweather.com just enter the nearest town or zip code to get localized information.

The key is to move slowly, stay on the trails, take time to observe and get in harmony with nature, then many times shy wildlife will appear curious to see what you are doing.

Photography Tips and Information:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm Micro Nikkor 1:1 Macro Lens f4
Polarizer: NONE
Settings: 1/90” f16 there was no wind or a higher shutter speed would be required (at least 1/125”)
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod, shutter release, Nikon lens shade – to prevent lens flare from the sun
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposure: +.5 / -.1 f stop
Photographed: 3/29/2009
Time: 1250 pm

This question always comes up – why am I still using 35mm SLR film cameras vs. 35mm DSLR digital cameras?
1) I have been shooting with film professionally for over 30 years and am comfortable getting the result I want with film.
2) I am lazy and would rather be out making landscape, nature and wildflower photographs – instead of spending more time inside behind a computer screen, trying to obtain the results from digital that I already get with film.
3) The cost of professional digital camera equipment is expensive and a challenge.
4) The advantage of instant feedback from digital single lens reflex cameras DSLR will force me to make the plunge in the near future.
5) I will make the transition from using film too digital cameras by shooting with both film and digital cameras until getting the results I require.

"Digital photography has surpassed film photography in popularity in recent years, a fact that has relegated some amateur and professional film cameras to the unlikely task of becoming a paperweight. In the art world, however, film cameras are coveted. The lesson is simple: choose the tools that you need to get the results you want."
National Geographic Ultimate Field Guide to Photography - National Geographic Photography Basics

This is a telephoto lens and requires a tripod like all photography. The macro work will be impossible to get sharp images without a tripod.
The overhead light made it easy to completely light all the flowers petals without any shadows.

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