Finally the Poppies decided to bloom in the California Central Valley along the Arvin foothills, albeit not nearly in the volume as in previous years during this time of year. Not to be deterred, I drove up and down Hwy 223 until I found a patch of Poppies on a hillside. A majority of the land where the Poppies bloom is owned by a private group called the Tejon Ranch, consisting of 270,000-acres, and is the largest single piece of private property in the state.
As I was prepping my gear, a gentleman pulled up in an unmarked pick-up truck and rolled down his window to remind me that climbing over the fence would be trespassing on private land. I brought my Mamiya 645 Pro, tripod, 80mm Macro lens, 45mm lens, 210mm lens and two rolls of Ektar 100 and two rolls of TMAX 400. I also brought a Red filter to darken the sky and foliage while brightening the Poppies to use with TMAX 400.
I carefully walked around the patches of wildflowers ensuring I didn't step on any and was very cautious when using my tripod. After shooting for an hour I packed up and was about to leave when a family pulled up. Out of the car came 2 year-old girl, her Mom and grandmother. We exchanged pleasantries and I took some pictures of them using their smartphone. I reminded them to be sure to leave the area as they found it so others may enjoy the wildflowers and to be careful where they walked as there are rattlesnakes in the area.
The following day I processed both rolls of film and was pleased with the Kodak Ektar. I usually shoot Portraiture, such as Kodak Portra or Fuji Pro 400H, but Ektar is ideal for rich and saturated colors and it definitely shows in the pictures.
In the past month I've photographed three species of flowers, but none quite met my expectations for a Fine Art photograph. I did learn a lot and now have more experience going forward.
If you liked any of the pictures in my three-part flower series, please head on over to my store and surprise me with a purchase 😉