Colorado Wildflower Report
July 24, 2015 • 2 Comments
July 23, 2015
Wilds Along the CreekWildflowers at Minnie Gulch
Every year I head out into the mountains to photograph and enjoy wildflowers. This year is amazing. I have never seen a better wildflower display. This year's variety is fun. In locations above Silverton, the mix includes the high altitude , parry's primrose, columbine, blue bells, paintbrush, American bistort, and in the above photo there are three kinds of paintbrush: yellow, rosy, and sulphur. I enjoy framing wildflowers against flowing water in the creeks. The real challenge is to be able to use a slow enough shutter speed to make the water "flow" and at the same time freeze the action of the flowers blown by the wind. A challenge I accept.
Parry's PrimroseParry's primrose is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in moist areas, bogs and along creeks.
Parry's primrose is one of the first flowers to bloom at altitude near creeks, tarns and streams. At Minnie Gulch, the flowers were like those in June, early, healthy and prolific. Usually by July, the primrose and marsh marigold are finished their bloom, as the creeks dry up. I scouted both Maggie and Minnie Gulch. Maggie Gulch wilds were beautiful near the waterfall, but a bit inaccessible (but the stinging from the nettles on my arm was worth it). Steep in places, I used trekking poles to balance myself.
ColumbineI like to spend a few moments in the area, scoping out the magical light on the flowers.
While balancing myself on the steep area within a few hundred feet of the Maggie Gulch waterfall, I handheld a few images. The shallow depth of focus created at f7.1 gave me a shutter speed of 1000 of a second for this brightly lit Columbine. I often like to photograph deep depth of field, closer to f22, but in this case the "star of the show" and the supporting cast works to give a sense of depth.
Some Photo Assignments in the Field
Isolate a subject
When presented with the wide range of flowers in the basins and along the gulch, see if you can isolate a few single flowers
Isolate a ColumbineMake sure the flower is perfect, hold the camera steady
Show a sense of place
Focus on a near flower, and include the background. Let it be slightly out of focus.
Columbine, Maggie GulchShow a sense of place by including a background.
Most point and shoot cameras, and your smartphone have the ability to focus close up (usually the flower icon on your point and shoot)
Move in close, move in closer, hold steady.
Macro, Close UpGo in close, go closer, hold steady. If you want to learn more, we're heading out for 1/2 day of photography lessons, wildflower identification, macro, grand and intimate flower views on the following dates:
July 30, noon till 8pm
August 5, noon till 8pm
email Kit Frost, to register.
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