This one has been around for awhile but it's still one of my favorites. I chose it because it's on the route I take to and from Yosemite (Highway 140 through the Merced River Canyon), a route I've found myself on fairly frequently lately.
In March or April this stretch of 140 just west of Yosemite is lined with blooming redbud shrubs just like this, as well as an abundance of poppies and other wildflowers--I try not to miss the bloom and in fact timed my April workshop to coincide. On my drive home from Yosemite yesterday I scanned the roadside for any signs of the impending bloom. I found no redbud, but was surprised to see lots of poppies blooming on the slopes at the west end of the canyon. This is early, even for California, and I hope it bodes well for a nice wildflower bloom this spring.
This redbud image is a 3/4 second exposure on a windless afternoon. I'm frequently asked what shutter speed is required to blur water. Unfortunately this question has no simple answer, depending rather on several factors such as focal length, distance from the water, and the speed of the water.
Certainly a tripod is required--shutter speeds slow enough to effectively blur water are also slow enough to induce camera shake, even with image stabilization. Varying the shutter speed will cause different effects, so I suggest that you bracket shutter speeds (since your aperture decision is important in a shot like this, I suggest you bracket your ISO, a luxury the high ISO performance today's digital SLRs give us).
* Website: Eloquent Images
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