Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Desert Wildflowers are in Bloom

The cactus flowers are spectacular this year

This year marks an epic cactus bloom. It's the best display of wild cactus flowers, and continues to be so.  I heard this bloom is considered a 100 year bloom (prolific). A combination of cold and rain in April and May have watered the gardens of the desert and the cactus are the stars of the show.

I like to create compositions that tell a story about the life of the prickly pear cactus

By photographing with my macro lens (Nikon 60mm), I am able to get within a few inches of the subject
and by choosing a large aperture, like f2.8, the background blurs considerably.

Camping close the the subject

In the evening light, the blooms along the slick rock were singing. ©Kit Frost
One of the primary reasons I love camping is to be close to my subjects when the right light hits.  I knew I would only photograph for a few hours after breakfast and again before sunset. The BLM lands in Southern Utah make camping accessible and private. When I scouted the subjects a few weeks ago, the blooms were amazing; up to 50 flowers on each plant.  By the time I came back for a weekend, many of the bigger blossoms were finished.  But persistence pays off, and I found many plants still in full bloom.
In this image, I focused on the main, large, bloom.


Using my 60mm macro lens and manually focusing gives me choices.

I love the pink bud hanging out with the yellow flowers

And then, hit the river.

Needing to cool down after a hot morning in the sun, it was time to move camp to the San Juan River.  I love the Sand Island Campground near Bluff.  We had our pick of sites along the river because it was "past season" in Southern Utah.  But the river trippers "put-in" is at Sand Island so I sat, lounged and watched the river flow and the rafters and kayakers go by.  I occasionally sat right in the "eddie" to cool down.



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