Temblor Range Wildflower Wash

Temblor Range Wildflower Wash

full print size of 28.6x35.6 inches @304.8ppi, above displayed at 1/178
Copyright © David Senesac 2005   view detailed crop

geranium Kern County
Sunday afternoon April 17, 2005, slide 05-I-17
Wisner 4x5 Expedition, 150mm Nikkor, Gitzo G1325 Mk2
Tango Drum scanned Fuji Provia 100F 4x5 film to 300mb RGB file
Adobe Photoshop 6.0 processed for accurate image fidelity
Lightjet5000 printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
signature bottom mid left          

The previous weekend, a friend and I had been to the location of this image and made a couple nice images. The result of some back roads explorations I'd done. This was my sixth and final road trip to Southern California during the fabulous wildflower spring of 2005. On Saturday we visited our primary objectives, which were past peak, thus exposed no film. So in the afternoon we drove back to this secret location and were surprised to see it actually looked better than the previous weekend with even more species blooming. Excited at the prospects, we primtitive camped there overnight in a sandy wash, then spent all Sunday working the area. Afternoon clouds limited our work a bit but also provided some nice skies to complement the dense wildflowers. All I will say about this pristine area is that water flows from here into southern San Joaquin Valley dry lakebeds. As a landscape photographer it is nice to know there are still a few incredible wildlfower locations in California in this day and age of mass communication which have not yet been brought to the attention of the public community of photographers. Here I could go late in the season and not see a single other photographer or find any areas of trampled vegetation.

Most of the species in this isolated environment, are more common to the Mojave Desert. Desert winds have carried seeds here creating a blazing island of spring color. Darkly at the top of the hill at left is a short bushy tree, California juniper, juniperus californica. Prominantly across the lower half of the frame and scattered above are orange hued California poppies, eschsholtzia californica.

Above the lower poppies are purple hued coiled cymes of tansy-leafed aka lacy phacelia, phacelia tanacetifolia. Yellow flowers above are monolopia, aka hilltop daisies, monolopia lanceolata. The large shrubby yellow sunflowers at lower frame are narrowleaf goldenbush, ericameria linearifolia. Several other wildflowers as chia, tidy tips, desert sunflower and others also mix in this colorful scene but are too small and scattered at this distance to stand out.

I spent quite a lot of time locating my tripod position for this image. Unseen in front of the image, the terrain was awkward and cramped. I managed to climb a crumbly steep angled slope, gingerly set up my big Gitzo tripod, and gently proceeded to go through all the mechanics of exposing a frame. However after I had set up, a large cloud had blocked the sun for about 45 minutes. I had to patiently stay frozen next to my camera, ankles rigidly gripping the slope, for all that time because I couldn't risk leaving my expensive gear in such an unstable position. As the cloud moved to the right in this frame, swirling patterns formed. I had but a single Quickload with its one sheet of film stuffed in my belt, so would only have a single chance to take the shot and get the exposure right. Though more film was below in my pack, I would have had to carry my tripod back down, grab more film, climb back up, and then set up the frame again. As the aesthetic of the moving cloud improved, I had to resist the temptation of depress my shutter release cable actuator until I thought it was optimal. Conversely a photographer runs the risk of waiting too long in such situations and end up missing the best shot. Click!

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   David Senesac
   email: sales@davidsenesac.com

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