Wildflowers Gypsum CO

ISO 500 200mm f/6.3 1/400sec

So I was going through my SD cards in preparation for a trip to Colorado to photograph the fall colors when I came across a SD car that I hadn’t downloaded to the computer from July 4th 2016! Half of the photos were from an off road trip on some dirt roads above Gypsum CO to the north, and the other half were some firework photos later that evening. I’ll get the firework ones edited and posted in the near future. 🙂 The image above is slightly under exposed to bring out the light blue of the flower pedals. A higher exposure bleaches out the pale blue to white. So one helpful tip when photographing flowers is to under expose slightly to bring out the subtle coloring.

ISO 500 200mm f/6.3 1/400sec

The exposure taken right out of the camera. So don’t be afraid to decrease the exposure when taking the photograph or in post. Artistic photography is not photo documentation, but an art form to express how the image looked to your eyes or how you imagined or wanted it to look.

ISO 400 200mm f/6.3 1/500sec 1200×1100 pixels cropped

While not a dedicated macro lens I find the 70-200mm Nikon does a pretty good job of capturing small detail on the D800 or D850. With large sensor cameras that have a lot of megapixels you have such a large raw image with many pixels, you are able to crop the image close and still have a fairly decent sized image. For example, the photo above is a tighter crop to isolate the flower which is the subject I wanted, but it is still 1200 pixels wide.

ISO 100 92mm f/6.3 1/100sec

This is the view from the plateau we drove up onto looking south east. The closest little town by the ponds is Dotzero, with I-70 running through the valley. Gypsum CO is located behind the ridge straight ahead. At the left end of this ridge, if you zoom in, you can see the Eagle airport with some of Eagle city in the distance.

ISO 400 70mm f/5.6 1/320sec

Love the large meadow on top of this ridge with the contrast of the red rock cliff face.

ISO 400 70mm f/7.1 1/100sec

I also like the contrast between the two different colors of pine cones on this tree, the darker new ones and the lighter brown old ones.

ISO 400 200mm f/6.3 1/400sec
ISO 500 f/11 200mm 1/500sec
ISO 400 200mm f/6.3 1/320sec

I also get excited when I can capture either a fly or a bee/hornet gathering pollen off of the flowers I’m photographing.

ISO 400 70mm f/6.3 1/3200sec

We all like sunny days, but if you are a photographer you are always hoping for some great clouds in the sky when you are photographing landscapes. A cloudy sky is just much more interesting than an empty blue sky, artistically. The photograph above of the clouds is slightly under exposed to bring out the texture of the clouds. Another example of deciding what you want in the final image is the above image and the one below. Here I am adjusting the camera settings to achieve the desired look.

ISO 400 70mm f/6.3 1/1000sec

Same scene except exposure and wider view. Also this image above would be in my opinion a lot less artistic and interesting with a plain light blue sky. The clouds give it more character. Also a sky full of clouds disrupts the evenness of the sun light cast across the landscape and gives you more depth and contrast, such as the photo below.

ISO 400 70mm f/9.0 1/250sec

If I was to take the above photograph again I would probably increase the aperture to f/5.6 or 6.3 and increased the shutter speed to achieve this exposure. Usually, I find the clarity of the 70-200mm lens is clearer with these slightly larger apertures.

ISO 500 105mm f/8.0 1/320sec

I love this wildflower scene, but depending on the look you are going for this may be the wrong lens to use. If you look closely the flowers are in focus, but the fence posts and the back ground have a nice amount of bokeh, (fuzziness). Even with a pretty small aperture of f/8.0 the depth of field is shallow. This is a function of the focal length I am using of 105mm. The higher the focal length the shallower the depth of field at every aperture compared to a wide angle lens. So if the look you want is the foreground to the distance all in focus you need to use a wider angle lens like a 24mm or lower. When I had my Nikon 14-24mm zoom lens, (one of my lenses that was stolen, that I haven’t replaced, maybe someday) it was almost impossible to create separation of the foreground and the background with bokeh (background blur) because of the extreme wide angle of the lens. So for example the above image taken with my Nikon 24-120mm zoom instead of the 70-200mm would have increased the depth of field.

Here is the gallery of the 68 photos of the day that made the cut 🙂

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