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Old May 4, 2009, 11:40 PM   #1
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It turned out to be a very orange weekend for me this past weekend.

First, the beginning of Saturday, taken at 65 mph (or there-abouts) in the middle of the Mojave Desert:



It's hard to take pictures of a sunrise when you are moving at highway speeds:



Coming up to an overpass:



On Sunday as we neared home, I finally found a field of California poppies.

It's the state flower, a wildflower with spectacular orange blooms in the spring. This hasn't been a good year for them in Southern California, not sure why. I was delighted to see this field, and managed a few shots, even though the wind was very strong.



I wasn't the only person visiting this field:



I then wandered over to where I could get closer to the flowers. Set up the tripod again and waited patiently for the wind to die down briefly, so I could grab a shot. It's very helpful to have the tripod - set it up and wait, then just push the shutter. Much better than getting things lined up hand-held just about the time the wind starts blowing again...



I found another, smaller spot of orange-red on one of the lupine. By this time the wind was pretty constant, so I tried to use as fast a shutter speed I could, hoping that I would catch the lady bug in focus on the lupine stock on one of it's oscillations. I actually managed a couple of reasonable shots, which surprised me no end.



I didn't try to take anything at 1:1, the conditions were too difficult - I think that would require a calm day and macro rails to do properly. In all, it was a very satisfying weekend, even if it turned out very orange.
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Old May 4, 2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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The sunsets are very nice, can't really tell they were from your get away vehicle.

The last two are great, with lots of detail and contrast.

Tom
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Old May 5, 2009, 12:34 AM   #3
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So beautiful!

Hope it wasn't you driving and shooting, Marc style:-)

Kjell
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Old May 5, 2009, 1:11 AM   #4
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Orange is one of my favourite colours and so are some of your shots, those sunsets are beautiful and who doesn't love Lady Beatles.
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Old May 5, 2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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Harriet, These are wonderful. I love the ladybug one. You did it!

As I sit on the plane on my way to LAX knowing when I land we will be racing to Bakersfield so I can see my dad before he goes in for his procedure, I only saw your description "orange weekend" and the top of the orange sky. I was afraid there was a fire and I'd be stuck. Thank goodness it was the beatiftul sunsets instead.

Patty
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Old May 5, 2009, 10:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for the complements - I was really disappointed with the egret pictures. I tried with both the DA 55-300 and the A300, and neither of them did very well. Looks like I'd need either Bigma or a good TC to get anything better. And as you can see, the area is already gone to its usual brown - I'm afraid it will be a long summer. Poppies look much better when surrounded by green to off-set them. I find it difficult to get a decent field shot of them (but have noticed that many others have the same problem, so think it's the nature of the subject). Close-ups are much easier.

I wasn't driving when I took any of these pictures- my other half was driving in the sunrise pictures and I was parked by the side of the road for the flowers. The last two pictures were taken while sitting on the ground, tripod legs spread out, the Wrangler parking near-by along a dirt track. Can't ask for a better spot to spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon.
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Old May 5, 2009, 2:46 PM   #7
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Harriet,
Nice pictures! The one of the egret in the poppy field is to me (an Easterner) somewhat out of context to the surroundings that we usually see them in. Back here they are usually seen in a flooded meadow or a salt marsh. Were they indigenous to the area or in migration?
I have a sister in law who is wild about ladybugs. I have taken many macros and made them into collages for her. I have been looking to get a shot like yours with a ladybug on a flower or a fern…..nice going!

Lou

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Old May 5, 2009, 2:52 PM   #8
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Very Very nice Harriet!
They are all great but the poppies sure brought back some fond memories.

GW:bye:
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Old May 5, 2009, 6:20 PM   #9
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Egrets are usually migrating through our area, though last yearI thinka pairnested not far from this spot (I saw it several times at a pond just across the freeway from where this picture was taken). There's some spring fed sink ponds not far from where I was - across I-5 and the San Andreas Fault. I sometimes find it strange to be photographingmigrating birds, mountains,and wildflowers with 8 lanes of heavy traffic whizzing by, separated from me by only afence.
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Old May 5, 2009, 9:00 PM   #10
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These are all great shots. It must have been an utterly glorious sunrise. The field of poppies is also very striking, and I agree it would be even nicer to get that shot with the hills covered in green vegetation, but with nature photography you gotta take what you're given. And you certainly do masterful things with whatever subject you are given.
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