Stages of my photographic journey

I thought I would take a departure this week from my typical post.  I’ve spent some time cleaning up my image library and have reflected on my own photographic journey.  I remember starting 8 years ago with my first Jack Graham workshop.  We witnessed the must beautiful sunrise I have ever seen, it was at Rooster Rock.  But my image… well…it sucked. The image you see below is Peter’s.  Mine were not salvageable.  I was very much at the bottom of this curve, struggling with my own technical proficiency – learning to use my camera, filters, cards, remote, Photoshop……  It was all so new.

I have been helping some of my friends on their journeys and it occurred to me that they were moving through similar stages.  I think many people start at the bottom of this chart and work their way up.  There are a fortunate group of people that have a vision and can communicate it in a compelling art form right from the start.  I’m still working my way up. Continue reading

It’s Wildflower Season – Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

The California Poppy (Golden poppy, California sunlight, or cup of gold) is the state flower of California.  One of the best places to see poppies in the world is the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, CA.  Here is what you might see: Continue reading

It’s Wild Flower Season: Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, CA

The Poppies and other wild flowers at Diamond Valley lake are terrific right now.  The problem is the people are not.  The wild flower trail is closed this weekend because people are “trampling” the flowers trying to get selfies and family photos, even after the being told “to stay out of the flowers.”  It was appalling to see,   Anyway, if they open up the trail again, this is what you might see. Continue reading

It’s Wild Flower Season: Chino Hills State Park

With the record rain fall in Southern CA, we are having a “every ten year” super bloom.  Because we were in Big Sur last week, we missed the peak at Anza Borrego.  We are planning on Antelope Valley next weekend.  Yesterday, we did a quick hike at Chino Hills State Park.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading

Lensbaby Challenge: Week 4

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This week I tried to face down my nemesis….the dreaded Plastic optic.  I had to find peace with the fact that nothing would be sharp, I’m shooting through plastic after all.  And then I remembered, some of my favorite photos of all time, I took in my early days as a photographer with the Plastic Optic (focus has always been a challenge for me, so it was freeing). Continue reading

Once again, how to photograph cactus.

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Sometimes a part is more powerful than the whole.

The desert always provides plenty of opportunities to make photos of cactus and succulents.  In the spring, flowing cactus are an annual event, not to be missed.  Here are a few hints for making the most of your spring cactus shooting. Continue reading

Photographing the Carrizo Plain

 

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The wild flower season in Southern CA started off so promising with good rain in December and January.  However, a persistent “high” over the Pacific Southwest has kept most of the El Nino rain since then in Northern CA and the Sierra Nevada.  There is some color on the Grapevine near Gorman, but it is not a big bloom.  We also just heard that the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is a total bust this year.  So, Mary and I made the long 3 hour drive up to the Carrizo Plain to find some flowers.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading