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Reef Reflections

April 5th, 2012

Reef Reflections

“Reef Reflections”
Underwater Photography

“Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”

"REEF REFLECTIONS"
Don Kreuter Self-Portrait
Orange Sponge, Feather Dusters (Tube Worms) with gills extended with reflection on my mask.
Snowfields Reef, Rum Cay, Bahamas
BEST OF SHOW San Diego County Fair
Del Mar, California 84-103-DYM
© 2012 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Story:
This was a "Gift from God" because I was not trying to make this photograph: with the reflections of the reef and feather duster tubeworms on my mask. I wanted to paint my face and blue eyes with light from the strobe showing my interaction with the sea creature and in harmony with nature and wildlife while looking relaxed Scuba Diving and making photographs underwater in the Caribbean Sea on a pristine living coral reef.

"As a photographer we need to be prepared to accept the Gifts from God we see"
Don Kreuter

Photography Tips and Information:
The reef reflections on my dive mask glass (with the normal clear transparent glass) are something that may be seen if you are alert, aware and look at other divers’ masks underwater. It takes a perfect ninety degree angle from the reflection on the glass back to your eyes and is always a spontaneous fleeting image that does not last long.

The Nikonos III underwater camera (the photograph was made with) did not have a through the lens viewfinder so it was impossible to see the image like in a SLR single lens reflex camera looking through the lens. The Nikons III camera uses a separate viewfinder that estimates what the frame of the photograph will look like.

In this case a wire frame is used attached to a bar with an externally attached Nikon Close Up Kit and Lens on the 28 mm Nikkor lens with a bar attached to the lens housing with a wire frame showing the exact size and frame of the photograph. The wire frame was taken off and just the bar was used to estimate the dimensions and frame of the photograph. Otherwise the shy, sensitive tubeworms would not have left their delicate gills exposed while I approached.

Tubeworms extend their flower like gills into the water to breathe and capture minute types of zooplankton that they eat. Any pressure wave from a fish or diver, or even the bubbles from air exhaled from the diving regulator underwater makes the shy tube worms go slurp and instantly retract their gills into the protection of the tubes.

The reef fish consider tubeworms a delicacy to nibble on and eat. So the tubeworms only defense is to hide their delicate gills inside the protection of the tubes when any predators are near.

This photograph was made on Snowfields Reef a menagerie of coral, sponges and unique creatures found on nutrient rich reef formed by converging currents. The bottom is fine crushed coral snow-white sand that billows up into the water like powdered sugar it the diver plops down on the bottom of the Caribbean. So buoyancy control and making a graceful entry to the bottom and kneeling next to the reef were critical while not disturbing the tubeworms. The alternative was crashing down to the bottom, landing knees on the sand and creating a snowstorm of the billowing white powder coral sand into the photograph. Then the strobe would have created backscatter of the sand particles that would look like a snowstorm in the photograph.

This photograph portrays that being an underwater photographer requires Advanced Scuba Diver skills with excellent buoyancy compensation talents just to get in position to make a photograph.

Fortunately I also got the photograph “Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” I wanted too with my face and eyes painted with light by the strobe!

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready
to have somebody click the shutter.”
Ansel Adams

“Reef Reflections” Won the Best of Show in an International Photography Contest open to anyone worldwide including professional photographers at the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar California.

“Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” is another photograph from this pose with my blue eyes open and face painted by the strobe light without a reflection. “Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” was published in Ocean Realm magazine in an article about Scuba Diving at Rum Cay Bahamas.

Sometimes when models are not available, reluctantly I have to make do and make photographs of myself in front of the camera lens. I enjoyed modeling as an underwater photographer and helping guest photographers create art but prefer to be behind the camera lens making photographs above water and on land.

Nature, wildlife and the beautiful natural wilderness on our planet are much more art worthy subjects for a photograph.

Camera Settings: 
 

Camera: Nikon Nikonos 3 35mm camera underwater camera 
 

Lens: Nikon Nikkor 28mm f 2.8
Nikon Close-up Kit attached, without the metal frame – only the bar was used to focus for exact focusing in the limited depth of field
Filter: None 
 

Settings: 1/60” f22 shutter for maximum depth of field on a day with no wind

Strobe: Subsea Mark 150 high power setting 150 watt seconds
Tripod: None 

Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP 100 ISO Professional Film 
 

Bracketed Exposures: +.5 / -.10 f with multiple exposures changing the strobe to subject distance 


Date: December 1983 Time: afternoon

Summary:
This photograph portrays that being an underwater photographer requires Advanced Scuba Diver skills with excellent buoyancy compensation talents just to get in position to make a photograph.

Fortunately I also got the photograph “Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” I wanted too with my face and eyes painted with light by the strobe!

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready
to have somebody click the shutter.”
Ansel Adams

“Reef Reflections” Won the Best of Show in an International Photography Contest open to anyone worldwide including professional photographers at the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar California.

“Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” is another photograph from this pose with my blue eyes open and face painted by the strobe light without a reflection. “Self Portrait on Snowfields Reef” was published in Ocean Realm magazine in an article about Scuba Diving at Rum Cay Bahamas.

Sometimes when models are not available, reluctantly I have to make do and make photographs of myself in front of the camera lens. I enjoyed modeling as an underwater photographer and helping guest photographers create art but prefer to be behind the camera lens making photographs above water and on land.

Nature, wildlife and the beautiful natural wilderness on our planet are much more art worthy subjects for a photograph.


To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website 
Click:
Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery 



To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact” 

Click View All (top button next to the title)



For a Larger View
 of “Reef Reflections”

Click: Galleries (top tab), 

Click: Photo of The Day Gallery, Self-Portrait or Underwater Galleries 

Click: “Reef Reflections” 84-103-DYM

Dolphin Surfing Fantasy

November 13th, 2011

Dolphin Surfing Fantasy

"Human and Dolphin Intelligence – the Value of Family and Friends"

"Human scientists and biologists respect the intelligence of dolphins as one of the smartest animals, but have always considered them less intelligent than humans. 


Common Dolphins spend the majority of their lives playing, communicating with each other and making love with only a small percentage of time devoted to searching for food and eating. The reason is they live in a pod (group) of family and friends their entire lives and use teamwork to make life so much easier for all. 



Common dolphins always made time to swim over to the boats when we sailed by, to play and surf the bow and stern wakes. Common Dolphins even stopped eating just to play with the boats and make us smile and laugh. 

 Every time we sailed though the pods of Common Dolphins people on the boats would yell and scream in ecstasy, especially the children.

As a captain on luxury yachts, charter boats and sailboats it was my job to entertain people who did not understand or know how to play and have fun. 

 I have always wondered when dolphins swam up to the boats playing, breaching, jumping and splashing with eternal smiles to entertain and delight us, what they thought about humans and our intelligence."

Don Kreuter



Make time to "Celebrate Life and share the beauty of nature and wildlife every day with Family and Friends!"

"Dolphin Surfing Fantasy"
Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis) surfing a boat wake, sending up spray on the shimmering
Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara Channel, California 00-419-DYM
© 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

California Wildflowers Photography

July 3rd, 2011

California Wildflowers Photography

Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact!

"California Poppies"
Eschscholzia californica
Recently planted on landscaped hillside for erosion control, clouds and blue sky
Hillcrest Park, California
11-1129 DP © 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 3/22/11

“California Poppies”

“Infinite patience brings immediate results”
"A Course in Miracles" http://acim.org

Let this be your mantra as a nature and wildlife photographer to become one of the great photographers and make a difference in the world.

My friend and mentor Rich German read the quote one morning in his Daily “Sunrise Energize” program. It resonated with me at the time hearing it and then later in a field of wildflowers while living it.

I walk between 2-6 miles daily to stay in shape for making my photographs and on scouting hikes in areas where I want to photograph. Right across the street, a little over a block away, one morning I saw this stand of California Poppies on a newly landscaped hillside at Hillcrest Park. With record rainfall this spring in Southern California wildflowers are blooming everywhere making it easy to stay near home and make photographs.

Always get out in nature to observe wildlife on hikes or walks to find new subjects to photograph. It is not about traveling to some far off exotic corner of the world to create photographs (even though that is fun). Everywhere, everyday, there is beauty all around us in our lives, we only have to take the time to appreciate it, enjoy it and make photographs to share our vision of nature and wildlife with family, friends and clients.

This was the fist partly cloudy day forecasted, after many gloomy days of rain with a new storm predicted for later that afternoon. The new storm would bring life to the wildflowers but also may destroy the ones currently blooming. So making a photograph of this cluster of California Poppies had to happen that day or the opportunity would be lost forever.

Like everyone else I had a million things to do that day, but making a photograph of this group of California Poppies became my number one priority. From my experience when I focus all my energy and passion into making a photograph – the love for my subject is expressed and portrayed through the eye of my camera lens.

So that was the day it was going to happen no matter what! With thunder clouds sailing across the sky I started by going on a 30 minute hike through Hillcrest Park and up and down the hillsides and the 400+ stairs to burn off some of my excess energy knowing there would be a wait involved to make the photograph with a blue sky and while cumulus clouds in the background.

Then a photo spot was picked to set up the camera and tripod on a sandy barren patch of dirt to respect the wildflowers blooming in the area and not crush them. The camera was set near the ground on the tripod, while lying in the dirt, to get an upward, dramatic close focus wide angle view of the wildflowers and highlight them against the blue sky and white clouds that I knew would appear eventually.

After positioning the tripod and peering through the camera lens a few times I found the composition I wanted. It took moving the camera and tripod a few inches or feet to one side or the other until the composition grabbed me, eliminating distractions then, “Screamed this is it.”

Then the wait began. I had no idea how long it was going to take but it was so close the whole time, it just had to happen. A few test shots were clicked off to capture the composition in case the photo did not improve. Those test shots had gray clouds in the background and a dull drab sky so would not create the photograph I wanted.

I spent thirty minutes meditating with eyes closed to relax and let nature take her course while I put out positive, calming energy. It was hard concentrating on meditating and I would open my eyes periodically watching the sun dance in and out of the clouds painting the bright orange California Poppies with sunlight.

Finally three hours after setting up the tripod I felt the warm sunshine on my face, then opening my eyes and seeing my photograph was ready. The sun was bathing the California Poppies in soft beams of light; the sky was a vibrant blue and for the first time, filled with white puffy cumulus clouds. It was easy to adjust the polarizing filter, click the cable release a few times bracketing and make the photograph.

Since the flowers were backlit it created shadows in the foreground at the base of the plants and on the flowers. To solve that challenge a 12 inch Gold Photoflex reflector was hand held and aimed at the stand of flowers to open up the detail in the shadows of the wildflowers right in front of the lens.

Camera Settings and Information:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm film camera
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-85mm wide-angle zoom f 3.5-4 G
Filter: Hoya 67mm Circular Polarizing
Settings: 1/125” f 9.5
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB Carbon Fiber Tripod
Lens Shade: Nikon HB 28 - to prevent lens flare from the sun
Shutter release cable – to prevent camera shake
Reflector: 12” Photoflex Lite Disk Gold Reflector hand held – for detail in the shadows
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP-135-36 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposures: +1 / -.5 f stop on multiple exposures
Photo Date: 3/22/11
Time: 1:30 pm 1330 PST

Photo Tips:
The shutter speed of 1/125 “ is the slowest to freeze any motion of the wildflowers moving in the breeze. It still allowed an f 9.5 aperture with the polarizing filter for enough depth of field to have the subject in focus for emphasis and blur the background making the flowers grab the viewers attention. The 12 inch Photoflex Lite Disk Gold reflector reflected sun onto the leaves at the base of the flowers and the flowers to fill in details in the shadows from the back lighting (lit from behind the subject). The exposure was bracketed from +1 to -.5 to get the best possible exposure. Taking the effort to create a good original slide in the field is more fun than trying to fix a bad image later on the computer.

Summary:
This would only have been a snapshot if snapped immediately upon arrival at the wildflower bouquet.
With infinite patience, faith and a little planning, the photograph gave me instant results.

“Don’t take snapshots, make photographs and create art.”

The joy of making photographs for me is spending time with nature and wildlife in the wilderness - my sanctuary – even if it is only across the street in a city park! The photograph is the reward for time well spent.

The universe rewarded my patience by requiring me to spend more time in my sanctuary enjoying the beauty on the journey to make this photograph.

“Wilderness is my sanctuary and retreat to meditate, then transcend into creating images of nature and wildlife – my bliss. Love and Light!”
Don Kreuter

To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website
Click: Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery

To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”
Click View All (top button next to the title)

For a Larger View
 of the Photo of the Day
Click: Galleries (top tab),
Click: Photo of The Day Gallery
Click: “California Poppies” 11-1129

Landscape Marine Nature Wildlife Photography

July 3rd, 2011

Landscape Marine Nature Wildlife Photography

“Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact!”

“Rainbow Falls California"

Rainbow, waterfall, pine trees, mountains
JOHN MUIR TRAIL, San Joaquin River, Devils Postpile National Monument,
Inyo National Forest, California
09-1501-DYM © 2011 © 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is my signature photograph for the Eastern Sierra and the image on my business card. It represents the hope and faith in following your passion to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This photo also represents living in the moment and capturing an image of an illusive rainbow that was flickering and dancing around the river gorge as the photograph was made. My research told me that this would be an afternoon photograph for the best rainbow, but I hiked in early in the morining to scout the area and photograph the falls from all angles before the rainbow really was illuminated next to the waterfall. The hike into the waterfall was a contrast between the old burned out fire scarred pine trees from a recent forest fire, then the new growth and wildflowers poking up from the ashes in what had once been a mature pine forest. The cycle of life was displayed with the dead and dying old growth trees being recycled into new growth and blooming wildflowers.

Camera Settings:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm film camera
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm wide-angle zoom f 3.5-4 G
Filter: Hoya 67mm Circular Polarizing
Settings: 1/15” f 19
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB Carbon Fiber Tripod
Lens Shade: Nikon HB 28 - to prevent lens flare from the sun
Shutter release cable – to prevent camera shake
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP-135-36 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposures: +1 / -.5 f stop on multiple exposures
Photo Date: 9/10/09
Time: 1000 am 1000 PST

Photography Tips and Information:
In any canyon or river bottom if you want sunlight to light the subject then the timing has to be perfect for the canyon or river bottom to be fully lit. I asked the National Park rangers and they helped and gave me the right information. Then make sure to arrive early to enjoy the scenery and let nature take her course and give yourself time to enjoy the experience. The use of the polarizing filter helped to eliminate the reflections on the water and also made the highlights pop vividly in the waterfall, rainbow, clouds and sky.

Summary:
The shutter speed of 1/15 is slow enough to create the cotton candy effect of motion of the waterfall tumbling over the rocks. With no wind or breeze the trees and bushes are not moving or blurred with the long shutter speed. Research on this photograph was critical, finding out the time of day the falls would be lit with sunlight in the canyon and the best month with enough water going over the falls to make an image with impact. This was also an opportunity for me to return to my roots and make a photograph in the High Sierra, which completely overwhelmed me with the awesome beauty as an eight-year-old child. I was frustrated as a child since I could not duplicate the grandeur of the panoramas in the High Sierra with my Brownie Instamatic camera on film and normal lens. Imagine that. So for years I made mental photographs instead and burned the images into my mind. Those mental images always were perfect and did not require any equipment. Years later as a professional photographer I realized that landscapes are difficult to photograph properly with the range of light and the sheer scope of a landscape, unless using the right equipment - like with any photograph. It may have benefited me by allowing me to revert back to what impressed me as a child and try and photograph if from a child’s perspective, full of excitement and joy discovering all the new sights on each fascinating adventure.

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” Ansel Adams


To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website
Click: Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery

To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”
Click View All (top tab)

For a Larger View
 of the Photo of the Day
Click: Galleries (top button next to title),
Click: Photo of The Day Gallery
"Rainbow Falls California" 09-1501

California Wildflowers Photography

July 3rd, 2011

California Wildflowers Photography

Photo of the Day "Colossal California Wildflowers"
"Photo Tips to Create Images with Impact"

"Colossal California Wildflowers"
High Desert Wildflowers, Orange California Poppies Eschscholzia californica, Purple Arizona Lupine Lupinus arizonicus,
Yellow Goldfields Lasthenia chysostoma and Yellow Sunflowers
Cumulus clouds, bright blue sky, Gorman, California 05-3121-DYM

Photographed: April 2005
Location: Gorman I-5 freeway
© 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Photography Tips Information:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm
Lens: Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm
Polarizer: Hoya 67mm
Settings: 1/125” f8 - 1/125" (or faster) needed to freeze any motion from the breeze or wind
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod, shutter release, Nikon HB-28 lens shade
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposure: +.5 / -.1 f stop 4 shots minimum, 1 shot right on, then -1, -.5, proper exposure, +.5
Slide film handles underexposure better than over exposure and more then +.5 f-stop will blow out highlights

ALWAYS use a tripod for wildflower photography. Professionals use tripods - amateurs do not. When using a tripod you will create in focus photographs that may later be printed, framed and exhibited. Once you are comfortable using a tripod it will be easy scan the edges of the frame to eliminate distractions for the best photos. It is easier and quicker to use a tripod and bracket (multiple shots of the same subject at different exposures) with a tripod – rather than trying to handhold the camera and keep scanning the edges of the frame for distractions and composition. Bracketing is the ONLY way to ensure getting the best exposure on the original slide film with the camera.

The secret to great compositions is using a tripod to make a photograph!

This close focus wild angle photograph used the hyper focal distance. It means getting the maximum depth of field (area in focus) focusing on the nearest subject of importance and adjusting the focus point while depressing the Depth of Field Preview Button (before shooting) to make sure the subject and important items are in focus.

The wide angle view close to the ground perspective is unique and creates the captivating pull drawing you into the field of wildflowers and making you a part of the landscape.

Always wear good polorarized sunglasses when out shooting. Take the sunglasses on and off to check the polarizing effect. The white clouds will pop against a defined blue sky background with the polarizing filter on the lens, without the filter the photo looks drab during harsh mid day light. Usually 10 am to 3-4 pm is the best time to use the polarizing filter. Under exposing slightly by -.5 f stop or less saturates the colors in the vivid orange, yellow and purple flowers with or without a polarizing filter.

Celebrate Life by enjoying the beauty of wildflowers everyday!
"The earth laughs in flowers" Ralph Waldo Emerson
Make only photographs, Take only trash and Leave only footprints.

To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website
Click: Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery

To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”
Click View All (top tab)

For a Larger View
 of the Photo of the Day
Click: Galleries (top button next to title),
Click: Photo of The Day Gallery
Click: "Colossal California Wildflowers" 05-3121

Landscape Marine Nature Wildlife Photography

July 3rd, 2011

Landscape Marine Nature Wildlife Photography

Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact!

“Mallard Duck Pair”
Anas platyrhynchos
Pair of Mallard Ducks - male and female resting beside water
Laguna Lake Park, Fullerton, California
11-04351-DP © 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Story:
To stay in shape to carry my photo gear in a backpack (with up to 50 pounds on backpacking trips) I hike 2-6 miles per day and also constantly scout for new photo subjects on the hikes. On many of my hikes around Laguna Lake and in this case the inlet stream from the filtered lake water leading into the lake I had previously seen many ducks that were comfortable around people. That morning I happened to be photographing wildflowers and was traveling light with only a wide-angle zoom lens and a new rented 105mm macro lens that was being tested. It would have been nice to have a long telephoto lens in order to photograph the ducks from a distance. As I walked around the creek and saw the pair of ducks there was nothing to loose by trying. It took patience to slowly creep toward the ducks without alarming them. They were sleeping when I first saw them and had one eye open to check things out. Then slowly the eye would close on one duck at a time.

Camera Equipment and Settings:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm film camera
Lens: Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm lens 1:2.8 G VR Vibration Reduction
Filter: NONE – bare lens
Settings: 1/90” f5.6 shutter speed to freeze any motion and concentrate the focus on the subject
Tripod: Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 05XPROB tripod, Nikon lens shade – to prevent lens flare from the sun,
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP 135 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposure: +.5 / -.1 f stop on multiple exposures
Flash: Nikon Speedlight SB-80DX mounted on hot shoe TTL with -.5 exposure on flash to highlight detail in shadows and not overexpose the highlights
Camera Bag: Lowepro AW Backpack
Date: 3/22/11
Time: 900 AM PST 0900

Photography Tips and Information:
Since I had been hiking around in the area frequently the ducks did not seem too concerned about my presence. However I would have to get close to fill the frame with both ducks and only a 105 mm lens. The challenge to get a photograph with impact is all part of the fun. By being patient and slowly approaching the pair of ducks I was rewarded by observing them for over 20 minutes as I slowly crept closer and closer on my knees, then sitting down. The camera and tripod were already set up and positioned so the photo could be made sitting down then I pushed the gear forward one step at a time. Each time the ducks opened an eye I froze and looked down, with eyes hidden under a wide brim hat so they did not think I was a predator stalking them for a kill. I wanted to make the photograph without disturbing the ducks. Flash fill was used to highlight the details in the shadows and help paint the dark iridescent blue green head of the male duck and the eyes with light, since they tend to go black with available light in a normal exposure.

Summary:
Ironically the ducks were not disturbed and let me approach close enough to fill the frame while they were lying down and resting to make my photographs. I saved two frames for an action photo and wondered what to do knowing the photograph would look better if the ducks were standing up and not sleeping with their eyes closed. My patience was quickly rewarded when another Male Mallard Duck came racing across the stream with wings flapping and quacking as he approached the sleeping ducks. The sleeping male jumped up out of his nest and chased the intruder away and then came back to his mate who he protected and was also awakened by the commotion, then both ducks settled down and posed nicely for me.

It was perfect, my slow approach, non aggressive and calm energy (from meditating) made it easy for the Pair of Mallards to completely ignore me and let me make my photographs. Many times while meditating wildlife has been attracted to me while making photographs since the animals enjoy the positive energy being emitted.

Even on wildflower photography expeditions be prepared to capture the images of wildlife to complete the story.

Always respect wildlife and do not disturb the animals and you will end up being in the right place at the right time to make a photograph with impact!

Celebrate Life and enjoy Nature and Wildlife everyday!

To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website
Click: Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery

To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”
Click View All (top tab)

For a Larger View
 of the Photo of the Day
Click: Galleries (top button next to title),
Click: Photo of The Day Gallery
Click: “Mallard Duck Pair” 11-04351

California Wildflowers Photography

July 3rd, 2011

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.

To see all the photographs on the Don Kreuter Photography Art website
Click: Galleries (top tab), then Click a Gallery

To see all the Photo of the Day stories and for “Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact”
Click View All (top tab)

For a Larger View
 of the Photo of the Day
Click: Galleries (top button next to title),
Click: Photo of The Day Gallery
Click: "California Poppy Trio" 09-908