Monday, March 28, 2016
Valley of Fire Sunset
So last week when I was in Valley of Fire State Park, it was a beautiful day with lots of blue sky and a few puffy clouds. But by late afternoon the sky had totally clouded over and my hopes for some great sunset photos were gone. I finally decided to leave for home. I was just about out of the Park when I glanced at the western sky and saw just a sliver of blue, and I thought what the heck, why not stay a little longer and see what happens. Within just a short time, just before sunset, the sky cleared, and the sunset was amazing and lasted long enough for me to take my photos. I've taken lots of photos of cactus blooms and lots of photos of sunsets, but I think this is my favorite photo of cactus blooms and a sunset in the same scene!
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
On the way home from a weekend car show in Las Vegas with the family, I took a detour to spend a late afternoon and evening in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. The weather was perfect and this is just a few miles off the freeway. Pretty nice place to relax and enjoy the view for a few minutes!
Friday, March 18, 2016
Snow Canyon Blossoms
I typically take pictures of red cliffs, wildflowers or cactus blooms in Snow Canyon, but when I was there a couple of days ago, I saw this one lone tree next to a parking lot that was just bursting with beautiful blossoms. Hundreds of bees had found the tree as well, and I risked being stung getting this close for a macro shot. I soon learned that they were much too busy with their work, (busy as bee!), to bother with me.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Wildflowers in Snow Canyon
Yesterday I shot these tiny wildflowers, measuring about 1/4 inch across, on a sunny day in Snow Canyon, about 10 minutes from our home. I'm always looking for interesting backgrounds for macro shots. I liked the contrast of these bright flowers in front of a large, black volcanic rock spotted with yellow and orange lichen. I have a photographer friend who knows the name of every flower I have ever asked him about, and he tells me this is called Woolly Daisy, AKA, Wallace's Woolly Daisy. I'll take his word since he's an expert in naming western wild flowers!
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Cholla Basking in Sunlight
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
I think this is called Notch-leaf Phacelia
I have a really demanding ( his own word) blogging friend who wanted to see a close up of the flower in my last post. Well, Mr. Author R. Mac Wheeler, this is the best I can do. I didn't have a macro lens with me so this is the best close-up I have. I liked this composition because of the contrast of the dark/solid and light/textured background dividing the frame diagonally.
Below is a different composition with the same flower:
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016
Sometimes we need to survive and grow where we are planted, even against all odds!!
Although this has been an epic spring in Death Valley, the flower show takes place in limited parts of the park. If one turns in the opposite direction, close to where my previous photos were taken, this is what you would see.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Yellow Ribbons in Death Valley
Part of improving nature and landscape photography skills is to take in all the elements of a scene that the eye sees, make sense of it all and then visualize a pleasing and interesting composition. This means narrowing down and eliminating some of those elements and emphasizing other elements, and deciding on foreground to background elements. Then comes deciding the f stop, shutter speed, angle, perspective or point of view, etc. You may do this numerous times with different results. The critical part of deciding whether you have an interesting and pleasing image that is a 'keeper' comes when you critique your images on the computer. This is where you have to honestly determine the value of your work. Here are a few of the many questions you could ask yourself:
Does this image tell a story?
Does this image evoke emotion?
Does this image make a statement?
Does this image show something unique or unusual?
Does this image show something common but seen in a different way? (Different light, different angle, different perspective, additional elements, etc.)
I asked the last question above about this composition. I took lots of photos of these yellow fields of flowers along with all the other photographers in this location. But I always try to think of what I can do to make my photos unique or different from the crowd. I spotted this scene a ways away from where the rest of the people were taking pictures. I liked the way the flowers looked like yellow ribbons as they reached the base of the mountain, and decided that this met the criteria of photographing something common, while including a unique element.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Death Valley Spring Wildflowers
A different view! At this location, all the photographers with their cameras, and all the tourists with their cell phones and tablets were facing the same direction in order to capture the vast carpet of yellow nestled up against the mountains. I joined them, but then, I always challenge myself to face in the opposite direction to find a photo that is different from the crowd. This is my shot.