Bluebonnets in the Texas hill country

It's springtime in Texas, and that means bluebonnets!

For those of us living in central Texas (and some other parts, too), springtime usually means that the wildflowers will start popping up everywhere.  And though there are several types of wildflowers that we get each Spring, by far the most-mentioned is the lovely bluebonnet.

In addition to being our State Flower (which makes it illegal to pick), it's just beautiful.  And when you find a field covered in these flowers, you just have to stop, look and take a picture (or more likely, several pictures).  

It's very common to see cars pulled over to the side of the road, with the family sitting in a field of them getting their picture taken.  Or just arranging the kids for a photo.  Or the dog.  In other words, we all like to get out and take pictures of these flowers.  Like I said, they are beautiful.

They are also a bit fleeting, lasting only a few short weeks it seems, before they die off.  So, you have to act quickly.

As a photographer, I am no different than anyone else - I want some shots of these things, too.  I got up early one recent weekend morning, and took off to the Texas hill country to look for some bluebonnets to photograph. While I did find a few nice spots, I have to say my timing was probably a little off.  Specifically, I believe I was a couple of weeks early.  

At the time, the flowers blooming on the side of the road in Austin were looking pretty impressive, and since I had the time, I went for it (and knew I wouldn't have another chance to travel to the hill country).  But in the hill country - at least the places I went - they were much less common and I really had to look for them.

Thankfully, I found a few good spots (and took a lot of photos), but if time permits I may have to get out in Austin over the next couple of weeks and grab a few shots closer to home.  Before I know it, they will be gone.

Easter flower

Happy Easter! 

Hope everyone has a great Easter celebration, if that is your thing.  I do not have any images that I thought completely fit the holiday, so how about a nice, beautiful flower?  Is that ok?  Excellent!  Enjoy your day!

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Bursting with color

Though my preference is travel-related photography (landscapes, cityscapes, and stuff like that), I also enjoy taking shots of flowers in the wild.  I always enjoy big color, and spots like this are bursting with it!

Blonde in a red dress

I haven't posted a floral in ages, so thought I would share this one today.  Seems like Spring is getting close!

88 petals?

I found this in the archives, having taken it a while ago and forgotten about it.  Just playing around with various camera settings and the like.  A simple picture, really.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Orange lily

I found this orange lily while walking around somewhere in Austin one day.  It was just sitting there looking pretty.  I enjoy macro shots of flowers and find it fun to see what sort of details you can bring out in the post-processing.  In this case I used PSE and Topaz Adjust.  Topaz Adjust really does a great job of helping to accentuate things like that, and it is a program that I use very frequently.  Single exposure, f/5.

Poppy bokeh

This single poppy really stood out to me, and as you can see was standing taller than his peers.  I thought he was quite attractive.  I was also able to conjure some nice bokeh in the background so that always gets me a little fired up!

I have been traveling for work all this week in San Francisco, so I am way behind on photography but that is ok.  I did get some great shots while I was away so tune in next week to see some wonderful Northern California goodness!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 

Dew drops

The recent rain has caused a floral explosion here in Central Texas, and given us a mild spring the likes of which I can't really remember.  Then again, my memory sucks.  Either way, we are getting some great color and I am lovin' every minute of it.  This was shot in my backyard - you don't even have to leave home to get good photographs in this weather!

Single exposure, f/5,6. -1.3 ev.  Minor contrast adjustments in PSE and a little finish in Aperture.  Get out there and shoot some of these wonderful flowers!

Red poppy

I have driven by a certain house in Austin probably a dozen times over the last few weeks, and every time I notice and comment on this wonderful field of red poppies that is bloomin' like crazy in their yard.  I keep telling myself that I need to bring the camera and get a picture before it is too late.  Well, today I finally listened to those voices in my head and brought the camera.  Here is one of the pictures that I got, and I rather like it.  I am a fan of bold colors (check!), bokeh (check!) and simple shots (check!).  I feel like I got it all in this shot...what do you think?

Single exposure, f/5.6, exposure bias of -1.7 ev.  I adjusted the contrast slightly in PSE and actually had to tone done the red saturation in Aperture.

Red camelia blossom

Just a quick post today - this is a red camelia blossom that I was fortunate enough to see recently.  In this shot I used my Hoya macro filters, which you can read about here.  They work really well.

This is a single image taken at f/5.6 and -1.0 ev.  I made some minor adjustments around Contrast in PSE and that is it!  Enjoy!