A while ago I wrote a post about Springtime photography at the Stebbins Cold Canyon (California, USA). Last Thursday, March 31, I decided to take my own advice and go there.
I joined a free educational photo walk led by the photographer and naturalist Jock Hamilton. We were a group of ten, plus the instructor. Jock led us into the canyon, showed us some wildflowers and how he photographs them, including discussion of equipment. It was a pleasant morning with variable but generally gentle breeze, and partly cloudy. We went on a relatively fast pace and took turns sharing the “models.”
Since I did not have much time for each subject, I chose to shoot wide open (2.8-3.2). This allowed me to have a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement of the flowers in the wind, and move faster without the tripod.
Wildflowers are adorable, and in view of their cuteness, I am relatively pleased with my results, a few of which I show below. If you live in the Sacramento area and can afford to go, don’t wait. Go now! Spring is advanced here in California, owing to yet another dry winter.
Click on each image to see a larger, more detailed version. If you like those photos and would like a print of a California wildflower, I have a small portfolio here.
Photography tips: When shooting macro wide open and without a tripod, take many photos of the same subject. The tiniest movement will change the focus point, and it may change it to somewhere you don’t want it. Taking several photos will ensure that at least one will be just like you envisioned. Also, to get a larger area in focus, try to keep the camera as parallel as possible to the main axis of your subject. For wildflower portraits, chose the ones that are relatively isolated from the vegetation, and pay attention to the background, which should not have anything bright shiny, for instance distracting rocks and sticks trying to steal the thunder.
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