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Golden Blue



A rolling field of bluebonnets against the setting Texas sun. These bluebonnets were captured near Bristol, Texas in a large meadow along the famous 'Blueb...
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A rolling field of bluebonnets against the setting Texas sun. These bluebonnets were captured near Bristol, Texas in a large meadow along the famous 'Bluebonnet Trail'.
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Canon Rebel XTi DSLR Camera
Contest Finalist in The Colors Of Spring Photo Contest
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2 Comments | Report
nandicmb
 
nandicmb October 05, 2015
Congratulations on your win in The Colours Of Spring Photo Contest!
cmorisset PRO+
 
cmorisset October 07, 2015
Congrats! Great capture ( :
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Behind The Lens

Location
These bluebonnets were captured near Bristol, Texas in a large meadow along the famous 'Bluebonnet Trail'.
Time
Just at sunset, in April which would have been close to 7 pm.
Lighting
Natural light is the best when you can get it. Lucky for me, in this instance, I was at the right place at the right time.
Equipment
I shot this with my trusty old Nikon D90 and the 18-105 VR kit lens that came with it. No flash, no tripod.
Inspiration
In Texas, spring bluebonnets are something of a cultural phenomena. In mid April, everybody flocks to the famous Bluebonnet Trails which are located in the farms and roadsides between the tiny towns of Ennis, Palmer and Bristol. Most of the flowers can be seen on the rolling private glades and farm fields in the area, and along the rural farm roads. This particular field near Bristol was literally bristling with sight-seers, tourists, and photographers who had crawled under a loose section of barbed wire fence to walk among the protected flowers. (The Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and protected by law) Not wanting to miss a golden photo opportunity, I too crawled under the fence to get my shot. I could not lie down without crushing flowers, so found a gentle rising slope that pointed up to the sun as it set behind a line of large oaks. From the bottom of the slope, I leaned down as far as I could, keeping the camera a few inches off the ground and used the live video display to aim and focus. Because I was bracketing shots with a very low ISO, I had to hold as still as possible so not to blur any of the three exposures needed for HDR. I did this several times to get the best possible shot, which is the one seen here.
Editing
To capture all the color, I bracket my exposures in aperture priority, shooting three images at a time. I used Photomatix Pro 5 process the high dynamic range and import the processed TIFF file into Adobe Photoshop CS6 for final tweaks and cropping. Very little post manipulation was needed, although Photomatix wants to sharpen blurred backgrounds, so a little Iris Blur in Photoshop was needed to take the edges back to what they were.
In my camera bag
For daytime field photography like this, I bring my Nikon with it's 18-105 VR lens, sometimes a polarizing filter (not used in this image), and I also use an inexpensive monopod to steady my shots when I bracket.
Feedback
Know where your photo is, before you shoot it. In this case, I had drove out to Ennis, Texas a couple of weeks earlier only to discover I was too early for the spring blooms. I drove out again on a Saturday and took hundreds of great daytime shots, but was still exploring the area. I did not see this field until too late and missed the opportunity to capture the sunset. Determined to get my shot, I drove out again the next day to see the field swarming with families and tourists, so I too crawled beneath the fence to capture my image.

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