California Buckwheat

I’ve made more photos in May than in April (which is mainly due to the experimentation with a tilt/shift lens), and picking the photo of the month wasn’t that easy. In the end, I picked this macro photo of California Buckwheat flowers because it marks the start of a long-term photography project that I want to pursue: Chaparral Plant Portraits.

Macro photo of an opened solitary bud of a California Buckwheat
California Buckwheat, Black Mountain Open Space Preserve, San Diego, CA. May 2015.
Photo of the Month, May 2015 – click to open in my store (special promotional pricing).

It began with this photo of Buckwheat which I made during one of my morning walks with Toni. When I zoomed in to that photo at home and discovered all the tiny little details, I wanted to see more of that and make a macro photo. From there I moved on to the flowers of other plants in the chaparral, and slowly the idea was growing.

My goal is now to photograph all major and native plants of the chaparral community in the next 12 months or so. We’re at the end of our wet season right now and into our dry season, so for the next five or six months I’ll have enough time to practice. :) I want to cover all aspects of the plants, except for their roots – flowers, stems, fruits, fresh leaves, mature leaves, leaf litter, dry plant in summer, fresh growth in the wet season.

I figured that wildflowers will always get enough attention anyway, because they’re colorful and pretty to look at so primarily, I want to focus on the large and medium size shrubs in the chaparral instead. Besides Buckwheat, this includes Chamise, Manzanita, Toyon, Sugarbush, Redshank, Mountain Mahogany, and many more.

I’ve almost completed the photos and selection for Laurel Sumac and California Buckwheat – both plants are around the peak of their bloom right now (depending on the elevation and location), which makes them excellent first candidates for this project. The macro photo of the California Buckwheat flower cluster above is one of the results. The solitary open flower is only ~3 mm across in reality.

I will create a new portfolio category “Chaparral Plant Portraits” and each plant will get its own portfolio gallery. I’ll keep you updated about my progress in my monthly update posts. The monthly update for what else was going on in May will be out in one or two days. Stay tuned!

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8 Responses

    1. The fun actually needs quite a bit of planning to be there in time when the season is right. Also, I found that just going out there and starting to make photos turns into chaos real soon. I’ve begun to get out with the goal to make photos of just one specific plant per day, much easier to stay focused on what photos I actually want to get. :)

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