Now available: 2023 Landscape & Nature Calendar

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.

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 the larger native shrubs and bushes of the chaparral community of San Diego County… but 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, where possible, all aspects of the plants (except for their roots, obviously) — 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.

Buy Alex a Ko-Fi ☕️

With a one-time donation or a subscription (starting at just $1/month), you help me as an independent artist and freelancer. I also offer affordable small & medium size prints, beautiful folio sets, and open-edition fine art prints, in my print-on-demand store. THANKS!

8 thoughts on “California Buckwheat”

    • 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. :)


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.