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Channeling Spring

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 17 February 2009 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

It's been pouring in Sacramento all day (not that there's anything wrong with that) so I've decided to channel spring. This image is from last spring, but I just processed it today. It'll be in my book, "The Undiscovered Country," scheduled for release this September.

I talk to my workshop students a lot about managing their depth of field. Usually photographers try to maximize depth of field, but as you can see with this image, that's not always desirable. Here I wanted enough DOF to render the foreground flowers (can anyone identify these purple wildflowers?) sharp, while rendering the poppies in the background splashes of color.

I was shooting with my 100-400 lens and an extension tube, so DOF field would be limited anyway (by the extension tube). I did have to play a bit with my DOF preview button to find the right setting, but I finally found something that satisfied me.

It's hard to believe I'll be out shooting poppies again in a little over a month. I really do love all the rain we've been getting this week (Lord knows we need it), but I can't help but get a little excited by the poppy explosion that's just around the corner here in California.

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Marjorie Iles from United States

Gary, the purple flower in your photograph is called "Elegant Brodiaea". It's a member of the Lilly family. If you "google" "vernal pools" there's a site for a non-profit organization that gives tours of the vernal pools in the greater Sacramento area during the spring and early summer. I use their site as a reference for the wild flowers I photograph.

18 Feb 2009 4:38am

@Marjorie Iles: Thanks, Marjorie!

Ashley Hart from San Francisco, United States

This shot is amazing! I definitely needed this dose of spring. I just love how the purple flowers alternate in height - they seem so orderly (except for the one miscreant at the bottom) against the chaotic poppies in the background.

18 Feb 2009 9:35am

@Ashley Hart: Thanks, Ash. Why aren't you studying? ;)