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Redbud, Merced River Canyon

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 24 February 2009 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

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).

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Ah, the rush and swirl of fast water coupled with an excellent composition make for a delightful image, Gary.

24 Feb 2009 10:59am

Elora from Genoa, Italy

Great shot! I love the composition and the swirling water. The colour is great too!

24 Feb 2009 1:50pm

WABIKOJA from Shiga, Japan

Excellent composition well framed!

24 Feb 2009 2:23pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


24 Feb 2009 2:28pm

Lee from Fort Frances Ontario, Canada

Excellent portfolio. Great work.

24 Feb 2009 4:47pm

philib from dijon, France

La composition, la lumière, les couleurs... tout bon pour moi, j'adore..... très belle image, bravo et
bonne journée.

24 Feb 2009 5:03pm

Didier from somewhere, France

Very beautiful water shot

24 Feb 2009 8:07pm

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

excellent work ! love the composition, the movement and the colours !

24 Feb 2009 10:05pm

Nina from Hamburg, Germany

This is a wonderful photo, the movement of the water is so beautifully captured just as well as the lovely flower in foreground... simply great!

25 Feb 2009 2:13am

Susan Britton from United States

I've had a great time clicking through your blog. The photos are lovely and your comments about them are quite helpful to a beginner like myself. Thanks!

25 Feb 2009 11:33pm

Raye Michele from Halifax, Canada


8 Mar 2009 5:06pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, USA, United States

a very lovely time lapse shot -- the pink flowering shrub in front makes this shot for me!! just splendid!

7 May 2009 12:29am