Bluebonnets_Texas_2016_2Colors of sunrise illuminate the distant horizon above a field of bluebonnets near Ennis, Texas I enjoyed my time this week photographing bluebonnets in Texas. It was the first time I had seen the flowers, and due to my unfamiliarity with the little blue flowers, I had not realized they were in the same family as one of my favorite flowers of Colorado, the lupines.
Before going out on any photo shoot I do my research: What options are there for a scenic shot? What perspectives do I want to capture? What works and what doesn't? What are the best locations?
From this research I come up with my shot list. This might be a little more formal and organized than needed but it helps me ensure that I am making the most of my time and money (it gets costly to fill up that gas tank on my RV!).
But as organized as I am before heading out to the field, I also allow myself the opportunity to try new things and be open to what photographic possibilities develop when I am out shooting. Horse_Texas_bluebonnets_2016_1A horse feeds in a lush green meadow dotted with bluebonnets near Ennis, Texas
On this trip I wasn't getting a lot of what I had envisioned so I thought about ways I could mix up that shot list.
One way is to think about what equipment you have in your camera bag. Since I drive to every shoot now that I live on the road, I always have my full arsenal of gear with me. A little cumbersome for some but I love the convenience and accessibility. I decided to grab my flash and the color correction filters to see what that would do with the scene. I liked the look of the green color correction filter but not the orange. Bluebonnets_Texas_2016_10A closeup of a bluebonnet from the top side near Ennis, Texas
Another tool in my arsenal that I do not get to use very often (being primarily a wildlife photographer) is my macro lens. This can be especially helpful with photographing flowers because you can get in close to the subject while obtaining a shallow depth of field at wide-open apertures.
Bluebonnets_Texas_2016_1A single bluebonnet stands out amongst the field of flowers on a sunny morning near Ennis, Texas And then I thought about an article I recently read in Outdoor Photographer. The author, George Lepp, talked about keeping backgrounds clean when photographing wildflowers and avoiding distracting elements in the shot. The article provided some great reminders about improving wildflower photos.
One method for doing this is to use a longer focal length lens. Again, being a wildlife photographer, I had my 500mm lens with me. I grabbed that so I could really focus on a single flower while getting a wash of color behind it with a shallow depth of field.
Overall it was a great couple of days.
As the saying goes, "everything is big in Texas," including the state of Texas. The fields of flowers were huge with many perspective opportunities. I spent two days just within a 20-minute radius of the campground. I even had a big field of flowers behind the RV to photograph my husky, Sage in the flowers. And there are many other locations with good bluebonnet fields that I look forward to exploring in the future. Sage_widlflowers_Texas_1Sage sat quietly in a field of wildflowers at Highview Campground at Lake Bardwell near Ennis, Texas