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HomeHomeWildflower Loca...Wildflower Loca...Ennis and North...Ennis and North...Ennis Sunset and Sunrises - Mach RD Ennis Sunset and Sunrises - Mach RD
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4/16/2015 10:02 AM

Ennis Mach RD (Images are from 2012)

Picture taken 2012 along Mach RD - Prints are available - click image for order form

2012 was the all-time best for the field along Mach RD which is near the small town of Alma. As I stated before most of my photography has centered around scouting routes for others to come later, so I have not concentrated on shots like sunsets. I have shot sunsets in the past, but not so much with wildflowers. Part of why I am trying to move away from being the scout, it to allow me to have more time to work on my own photography. So these two images I present are not even close to the best sunset shots of Mach RD. I present them here to illustrate the problem I identified in my last post with sunset shots in the Ennis area. Notice how the sun is setting to the right in both shots. If I had turned to the right, I would have capture less of the best part of the field (and actually that night several other photographers were to my right).

The image I have attached here is an HDR blend of two images before the sunset and away from it. Notice the clouds have lit up some. I metered for the horizon for one and the foreground for the other. With the help of some tools in Camera RAW I was able to bring out the color in the sky and foreground.

Are you shooting with RAW? You should be! RAW is pretty much what it says - the raw bits from the sensor with little if any processing. With the RAW image you can work on the temperature, exposure, clarity and create graduated filters to darken and lighten some areas. You can also control shadows and highlights. You can apply this same filter from within Photoshop using a JPEG image, but you have much less leeway and less data to work with..

The second image you can find in my gallery at:
This shot is also an HDR (High Dynamic Range) blend but of several images. One of the images was exposed for the foreground, one for the mid-tones and one for the sunset. These 3 images were then blended together in Photoshop using the HDR automation. Many cameras including point and shoot compact cameras have a HDR setting which works fairly well. But shooting manual shots gives you more control on the exposures. Another trick is to meter for the horizon and then set the f-stop and shutter speed in manual to match the horizon exposure. You can often use Camera RAW tools to bring out one more stop either way. (Camera RAW is a Photoshop tool that understands the RAW images for many different cameras)

So as I promised from my previous post. How can you survey for spots that would have the right topography for bluebonnets without driving all over the place? Well if you notice in the Mach RD shots, there is a small hill and a depression. This is actually visible using the Terrain feature of Google Maps. Also notice how the bluebonnets are doing really well on the sloping parts of the ravine, but not so good in the ravines or the flat area. Those areas probably got too much rainwater for bluebonnets to grow. Often there is a street view which can help pre-evaluate an area.

Do you like these short blogs? Let me know!

HomeHomeWildflower Loca...Wildflower Loca...Ennis and North...Ennis and North...Ennis Sunset and Sunrises - Mach RD Ennis Sunset and Sunrises - Mach RD