Archive for April, 2010

Eastern Sierra Wildflowers

April 21, 2010

Copyright ©Mike Bohlander
Photo courtesy ©Mike Bohlander

California’s wildflower season just keeps getting better and better. Some of the burn areas in Eastern Sierra are carpeted in gold flowers and you can see poppies, lupine and other wildflowers at the base of the Sierra.

Mike’s “Wispy Sierra Sunset” shot was taken over the past weekend. I had driven past the scene in the middle of the day a week prior (see photo below)

You can see Mike’s photo here on Flickr.

Directions – After you pass the small town of Independence heading north turn left on Black Rock Springs rd until you get to old 395. You can see it all there. The fiddlenecks are abundant along 395 and should be beginning to bloom very soon if not yet!

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page


Replacing Mirror Lock UP with Live View

April 17, 2010

Here is quick tech tip, I generally do not use mirror lock unless I have a shutter speed near 1/15 of a second or if I’m shooting with a focal length of beyond 200mm. Before live view it took slightly longer get set up on mirror lock by going into the menu to activate mirror lock up and again going into the menu to exit the mirror lock up mode. Now with live the mirror lock up is availble in one push of a button. The vibrations from the mirror flipping up and down are down when you need it most. That’s just one extra reason why live view is one of my demands on a camera body.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Joshua Tree’s Cacti Bloom

April 9, 2010

For a short period of time the harsh extremes of the desert do not and exist and life florishes. If you drive into Joshua Tree’s south entrance you can’t miss the painterly scene along interstate 10. A painter must have painted the desert yellow, the brittle brush line both sides of the highways at points. At a 65 mile per hour glance I could make out beavertails blooming along with ocotillos and some arizona lupine here and there.
You can see all the brittle brush here in the background behind me here . I just met Jon Cornforth the current Outdoor Photography Magazine cover shot photographer earlier this week. Pretty hospitable guy, he was nice enough to share his I-phone shot. Hopefully I can meet up with him again after I get back from Northwestern Nevada. The photo shown was taken just outside the park’s south entrance.

Here are a few of the blooming cacti and yucca from the past couple of visits to Joshua Tree. They are all blooming now so it would a great time to stop by, especially if you’re conveniently located on the east side of Los Angeles. If you happen to smell a skunk while you’re out there it might just possibly be the breeze and the smell of an abundance of wildflowers.

Blooming hedge hog cacti
I found these in both the Mojave and Sonoran sections of the park.

Mojave Mound Cacti
I found these mojave mounds at the foot of boulder piles in the main northern section of the park.

The beginning stage of a joshua tree blooming
The joshua trees are in full bloom right now. This one is just at it’s beginning stage but you’ll find many in full bloom.

Beavertail Cacti
The beavertail cacti can grow to the size of a large ice chest with mutliple flowers on them.

Mojave Yucca
The mojave yucca, whew! In my own opinion these can be some of the most beautiful yucca blooms around.

This should give a photographer plenty to capture in Joshua Tree besides just boulders and joshua trees. If you still need more just remember the park is made of mountains, washes, tanks and palm oasis. Get creative and come up with something you didn’t think you would leave with.

The Land of Lupine

April 5, 2010

One of California's best wildflower displays.

This has been the hightest concentration of lupine I’ve ever seen. Thank god the sun broke through for a minute here, I was waiting for it! It was such a beautiful sight to see and I’m glad I can share it with you!

California’s Central Valley (I’m loving it!)

Jackalope Sighting

April 1, 2010

Elusive jackalope

Ever been to the salt flats in Death Valley and wondered what in the world could live in such a place?

Here is a story I won’t forget. While photographing the hexigon patterns in the golden hour as usual it soon became dark and I found these uplifted salt tiles stacked up higher than I’d seen before maybe 2 1/2 ft or higer. While getting a more intimate view, there it was starring me down with those eyes that don’t lie, as I got closer and closer they began to take on an unearthy evil red GLOW! By this time my thumb had already depressed the cable release. I only managed to snap the shutter once before it let out it’s high pitched shrill and charged me. It was so loud by the time the gesture was made to cover my ears, I was knocked over and the air was filled with goose feathers falling like snow flakes on the salty crystal floor.

Then in the almost complete darkness the real panic began, my head lamp must have fallen off my head in all the commotion, I didn’t know if “it” got me or not.. . I frantically rummeged the uneven floor trying to find the lamp, I couldn’t find it. My facebooking, twittering, blogging I-phone lit up the darkness and I could see that I was saved by a mere layer of clothing, my down jacket. It all happened so fast all I could remember was a giant pair of buck teeth glisten in the darkness of night.

Mom always knows best, put on your jacket it’s cold out there, little did she know it could save a person from a little more than the cold.
Some people will believe but some will not, here is a link containing evidence supporting the existence of the wild Jackalope

Which holiday is it today?

The following post has info on wild flowers just outside of Los Angeles, you could be back home in time Easter!

Workshop info

Steve’s Gallery

What’s Blooming Locally in the Santa Monica Mountains

April 1, 2010

Spring always starts early in the Santa Monicas and there is plenty of sporadic blooms of many different species.

Here are a few examples from a drive I took yesterday along Pacific Coast Highway and some of the mountain roads:



Sand Verbuena

Bush Lupine

Red Bud

There are plenty more, I have not found any fields of flowers yet just small patches of them so I wouldn’t go driving from miles away.

Unfortunately the Sunflower Trees are all past peak but everything else is blooming. I found it more of a challenge composing then anything else.

Workshop info

Steve’s Gallery