Monday, August 16, 2010

Thunderstorms & Wildflowers in the Sierra

Summer in the Sierra brings dramatic displays of both thunderstorms and wildflowers. A few weeks ago we had a dramatic storm that started to clear at sunset, leaving a spectacular display of clouds and rainbows. I set up my tripod on a hill near my house to get these shots of rare mammatus clouds and a rainbow at sunset. 


Clearing Storm at Sunset, Tahoe Donner 

Clearing Storm at Sunset, Tahoe Donner


Thunderstorm at Sunset, Truckee
  Thunderstorm at Sunset 

I also visited one of my favorite locations for wildflowers - the Carson Pass area. Even though it was mid- august the flowers were still blooming due to the very cold & snowy early summer. These shots were taken at sunset. I was pleased to get a few shots that worked given that it was extremely windy. Wind and low light are not a good combination for wildflower photography. I had to crank the Hasselblad H4D iso up to 800, and underexpose by a stop, to get down to 1/15 of a second which only worked to stop blowing flowers during the infrequent pauses in the wind. Out of the hundreds of frames only these 2 were really usable due to wind blur. I was not able to get the depth of field I like since I could not shoot at f22  due to the need for a higher shutter speed, so the background is not as sharp as I would like, but it was the best capture possible given the conditions. 

These new images that are unmanipulated, just developed to maximize tonal range in photoshop cs5. Nature can sure put on spectacular shows!


Summer Meadow at Sunset 

Wildflower Meadow at Sunset


Evening Glow
 Evening Glow

 



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