California Poppies (Eschscholtzia californica), Antelope Valley, California
Here in Southern California winter came in spurts this year and never really realized it’s full potential. As a result, the spring blooms were much lighter than usual in places like Antelope Valley and Anza-Borrego, but we can always rely on a few favorite annuals like the poppies and barrel cactus to make a showing even in the dry years. The trick is to shift our attention from the big picture to the small.
As a photographer, the change in weather patterns simply means we need to adjust our perspective. Instead of grand fields of endless flowers that fill our wide-angle frame with edge to edge color, there are still wonderful images to be made, but we need to move in and get personal with the flora. The grand panoramas have now been replaced with shallow depth of field and selective focus that explores the color and detail of our favorite spring-time subjects. This is the time to pull out the macro, extension tubes, or Lensbaby and get intimate!
In the higher elevations where spring will arrive a little later there is still time to put this into practice. Of course the alpine environments with their glorious peaks as a backdrop always tend to win over our visual sensitivities, but once you’ve preserved the big picture it’s time to turn your attention to the intimate landscapes.