best show, even if it is human cultivated
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I have lived in San Diego
for most of my adult life and had never been to the Carlsbad
Flower Fields. Since I got Kathleen a very nice macro lens
for her Fuji XH-1, we both thought it might be fun to see the
fields in person. So, we grabbed some our various cameras
and headed up I-5 to see the sights.
The photos below are
what we saw.
Having a "good lens" is no panacea when it comes to taking
close-up photos. Special lenses, called "macro lenses" are
made to make small things look big. But, getting up close
creates other challenges, easily shown in the photo above.
The bloom is perhaps 3" long, but note that the camera could
only get a very small portion in focus. This phenomenon is
called "depth of field" or DOF. The DOF of a lens is
determined by several things, but the 2 biggest factors are
focal length and aperture. My macro lens is a Sony
90mm. The longer the lens, the shallower the DOF as shown
above. All other things being equal, it is possible to
deepen the DOF by "stopping down" (making the aperture smaller)
but at the end of the day, this approach will be limited by the
amount of available light and the length of shutter speed you
are willing to suffer. The photo above was hand-held at
ISO 250, f/5.6, 1/250.
We got out of the shadows and into more light and I reduced
aperture to f/9 and it markedly improved DOF. All
subsequent close-ups were taken at f/9. Note the yellow
pollen on the flower petals.
This flower had a clean structure and pastel colored petals.
This species of flower is present close to our home.
The non-yellow flowers were more appealing to me. Note the
These flowers were bursting with pollen. The dark spots
Note the fine hairs on the blooms.
The shape of this flower was novel compared to the others.
The morphology of some of the flowers was complex.
Kathleen working the camera.
I have no idea who this girl is, but she did make a fine subject
when surrounded by the beauty of the flowers.
And speaking of beauty, I am guessing this was a mother-daughter
Ah, to be young again.
Farm tractors were used to shuttle folks around the
fields. We opted for the shoe-leather express.
As we got higher on the hill we could see the old Carlsbad power
plant. The cultivated flowers created blazing bands of
color in the hazy sun.
The colors were so vivid it made our eyes water.
The yellow colors were perhaps the most intense.
Looking toward the water gave a different view with new color
A wonderful sight.
The fields are actively used for flower production and there
were workers in the distance harvesting the blooms for sale by
Clean, well defined structure.
Sometimes, the colors of the flowers were intermixed.
More interesting structure.
Not all pollen is yellow. This bloom had black pollen.
The bloom on the left is almost fully open while the bud on the
right is just starting to open.
Sadly, I never noted the species name or common name of the
blooms. But "a rose by any other name....".
The admission to the
fields was almost $20 a head, but it was worth it to see the
blooms up close. I was sorry that I waited all those years
before coming, but we will surely come again next year.
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