It's dogwood time in Yosemite. Each year the peak dogwood bloom varies by a couple of weeks around May 1; this year it's on the late side, a result of April's rain and snow. I'm fortunate to live close enough that I can usually manage at least one visit as soon as I hear the dogwood are ready, so I imagine I'll be back up there next week.
Like poppies, dogwood are great in full sun. I try to photograph the side opposite the sunlit side; the sunlit side is just too harshly lit, but the backlit side appears incandescent, especially if you can photograph it against shade. And while poppies usually require sprawling on the ground, dogwood is easily found at eye level or higher.
This image I captured while demonstrating my backlight technique for a workshop student. I start by finding a dogwood blossom in full bloom, ideally with a combination of shade and sunlit dogwood in the background. I usually opt for a wide aperture to limit my depth of field so everything lit in the background becomes brilliant splashes of color. I meter on the brightest part of the dogwood and set the exposure to something around +1 to ensure the highlights don't blow and the shadows approach black. And of course after the capture I carefully review the image in my LCD to determine whether I need any exposure and/or focus adjustments.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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