Photography by Jim Doty

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Two of the best places in the USA to photograph April flowers are the Hill Country of Texas for Bluebonnets and the central valleys of California for California Poppies.  My brother-in-law and I were in Califronia in April but did not have time to go to the central valleys to the prime poppy locations.  We did find some poppies growing in a field right next to Mission Drive in Fremont (south of Oakland).  We had a great time using every lens we owned.

The sunstar was not created with a star filter (which can soften the overall image).  It is a natural by-product of using a wide angle lens at a small aperture.  Whenever you have the sun in a deep blue sky, you can create a sunstar by using a wide angle lens, stopping down to f/16 or f/22, and meter the blue sky next to the sun for your base exposure.  It is good to bracket around the base exposure by 1 or 2 stops by changing shutter speeds.  If you don't understand bracketing, read the article on exposure. The pictures above were taken using a 15mm full-frame fisheye lens while laying down on the ground, and shooting up through the poppies at the sun.

June 8, 2001

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