San Timoteo 2: Sunflowers

In my last post, I described an after-work photo expedition that I took during one of my trips to Redlands. We visited the San Timoteo Canyon Nature Preserve.

Rather than the golden magic hour light we were looking for, we instead were stuck with a dark and overcast sky. Any shot including the sky would be dull as mud, so I screwed a 500D close-up lens on my G12 and decided to see how creative I could get. This is the second set of results from that day.

After shooting the abstracts documented in my first post, I ran across a small stand of blooming sunflowers. I guess in southern California, late January is no obstacle to a determined flower. I found a good looking flower, opened up my aperture as wide as it would go, set the ISO as low I as dared, and squeezed off a shot at 1/40 of a second.

The result was… ordinary. I was almost ready to move on, when I thought about my friend Cole Thompson. Cole is famous for super-long exposures. And I started to think… what if I tried some long exposures?

Instead of setting the ISO as low as I dared, and the aperture as wide as it would go, I did the opposite. Back to ISO 100 and f/8, with shutter speeds hovering around a second. Did I mention I didn’t have a tripod? Again, I used that to my advantage, and started to experiment with moving the camera while taking the shot. After looking at the first few shots in the viewfinder, I got excited. I tried zooming in and out during the exposure, waving the camera around, swirling it in circles. Most of it didn’t work, but the shots that did nailed what I was trying to convey- I joked that this was my Monet period

The next time sometime tells you that photography conditions are “bad,” think some more- they might be better than you realize.

More images available here.