It’s summer, the sky is mostly clear, it is really hot out, and I am struggling to find subjects to go photograph. I still go out hiking in the heat of the late afternoon even though it is hot and try to find something to shoot, but I struggle to find anything that I feel like shooting.
The grass at the wildlife refuge is long and golden and would sway if there was a breeze. I have walked around trying to figure out what to do with the long grass and have nothing to report. There are still a few wildflowers out and there is a patch of pink wildflowers that I have been working on one of the trails in the back of the Doeskin Ranch unit of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. I have come back to these pink wildflowers several days now, tried to figure out how to shoot them, gone home and looked at my photos with disappointment, and returned to try again. The wildflowers kind of mound, and my idea is a mound of flowers in focus with other mounds fading off into the distance. The main problem I have is that they are growing on very rocky ground and the rocks expose as brightly as the flowers and ruin the effect.
The below photo is my best result. I waited until the sun was just on the horizon and was only hitting the flower tops and not the rocky ground beneath. I also have to get the camera at the right elevation so that you could see the flowers behind the main bunch. And I had to be able to shoot without the sun washing out my photo. I still had to do a lot of work to knock down the rocks in Lightroom. What do you think?
The next day, I figured that I needed to change things up and went to the Warbler Vista section of the refuge, several miles away, to hike and see what I could find. The trails at this unit are generally much more shaded by trees and I went at midday and walked around for a couple of hours. I only took my camera out to shoot a couple of times, including once when I saw a flower under a tree that was getting its own beam of sunlight.
I worked on this flower for ten or fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to shoot it. When I got real close with a wide angle, I noticed that the juniper in the background seemed to fanned out from a single point behind the flower and I liked this effect. I got closer and farther away from the flower; got down low and up high trying to get it just right against the tree. Below is what I think is my best shot.
The image is shot ultra-wide with the camera on the ground and inches away from the flower in order to exaggerate the perspective between the flowers and the tree in the background. And I did work this quite a bit in Lightroom to bring up the pink flowers and bring down the yellowish ground clutter.
These are my results of trying to find something to photograph in the hot, dry summer at the refuge near to my town. Not too exciting, but it is nice to get out and shoot.