Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wildflower Power!

Last week I had the opportunity to venture out to Table Mountain in Oroville, CA. The warm weather has brought the best out the wildflowers that lay over the open field. It is truly an amazing sight that we have every year to see so close to home.

People enjoy the weather atop Table Mountain as they fly kites and hang out Monday, March, 23, 2009 in Oroville, CA. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

A lone purple flower pokes out amongst the yellow on Table Mountain. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

I spent the day taking a mentee from Chico High's C.H.A.M.P.S. program to learn about landscape photography. My intentions that day were not to take many photos, but rather to teach. But when I saw all the color before my eyes, I couldn't help but snap a few.

People walk through the colorful wildflowers Table Mountain Monday, March, 23, 2009 in Oroville, CA. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Cows graze on Table Mountain as the Sutter Buttes are seen in the background Monday, March, 23, 2009 in Oroville, CA. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

While searching out photos I would teach my mentee about how to always be looking. This is one of the adventures to being a photographer is that I am always investigating the world. I always tell them to exaggerate their skills. When you want to take a photo from a low angle, then get really low. Don't kneel down, but take the camera away from your face and lie on the ground. Put the camera on the ground. This might only change the height of the camera only about a foot or so, but the angle of view has such a dramatic difference.

A rock wall rests along the open fields of Table Mountain. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

This idea of exaggerating your intentions was seen most apparent on an image of California Poppies. I stumbled on a hill of poppies glowing in the sunlight. I began taking pictures of them from a standing angle, but wanted to get a closer look. I knelt down, but still could not get the shot. I loved the deep blue sky behind the rich orange poppies. I just needed to figure out an angle to match those two items together. Then I decided to just go ahead and lay down. Once I was lying down, the shot still wasn't quite there. I had to lay my camera on the ground. I would use the live view option on my camera to compose the shot. I took about 50 images to get the one. I ended up being very pleased with the shoot.

California poppies cover Table Mountain Monday, March, 23, 2009 in Oroville, CA. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

California Poppies pop out of the ground on Table Mountain in March. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Being that I wasn't out there on a work day, I didn't feel any of the struggles to get a shot quick and get back for deadline. I actually was able to take the time and enjoy my surroundings. And I think it paid off. I am pleased with the end result. Just walking around I was able to shoot for myself. The wildflowers are still flourishing if you get a chance to get out there. But don't worry if you miss it. There is always next year. It is one of the joys of this geography that we have the opportunity to see nature's beauty just a few miles away.

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