Carrizo Plain Tidy Tips Sunrise 1

Carrizo Plain Tidy Tips Sunrise 1

I left Carrizo Plain National Monument on Saturday morning (April 17) after photographing this attractive display of tidy tips at sunrise near the south end of Soda Lake. It was my first visit to the area. Most of the wildflowers were already about 1 week past peak, but I still found this delightful 10’x10′ bloom that was worth photographing. The blowing wind made still images of the flowers impossible in the afternoon, but I woke up to calm conditions with gorgeous skies both mornings. The fleeting pink-purple cloud color lasted just a few moments. I used my Singh-Ray 3-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter to balance the exposure of the sky above the wildflowers. I also created this image with a loaned Carl Zeiss 35mm f2 ZE lens. I’ll be writing a blog post about it and the 28mm f2 lens soon. I have appreciated using them so much that I do not plan to return them!

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4 thoughts on “Carrizo Plain Tidy Tips Sunrise 1

  1. beautiful work, jon! those flowers are incredible! Great job using that ND filter…gotta get one of those for myself!

  2. Thank you, Larry! I own 5 of them, but the 3 that you need for 97% of the time is the 2-Hard, 3-Hard, & 3-Soft.

  3. Beautiful colors and balance in this scene, a very pleasing palette. Good use of a split grad too, they are to me, often way too obvious in many shots, but the flat horizon helps in this scene for sure. I quit using split grads and find I can extract the necessary dynamic range in a properly exposed RAW file, using Lightroom’s grad filter. Have you not found the same? And additionally, besides the Zeiss name and general quality, how does it compare with other canon lenses at say f/16 or so (btw, what was your f/stop on this one). Even the best lenses seem to break down a bit at f/16 to 22.

  4. I agree, there is a subtle artistry required to use a graduated neutral density filter. You will notice that I am pretty well-known for using them effectively, I am even sponsored by Singh-Ray. I do not shoot images with something sticking above the “horizon” because the filter then darkens the wrong stuff. I use Aperture & now frequently use the dodge & burn tools to adjust the sky +/-.25 to .5 stop, however, I strongly believe in initially shooting the images as close to “real” and requiring as little time on the computer as possible.

    I will be posting some comparisons soon of my Canon 17-40mm f4, a borrowed Canon 35mm f1.4, and the Carl Zeiss 28mm f2 & 35mm f2. I am always pushing my depth of field. I frequently let the bottom of the image go a bit soft in order to get as close as I can to my foreground subjects. So, I pretty much only shoot f16 to f22. Some photographers might scoff at that, but that is how I get the dof that I am known for. Certainly f22 is softer than f16, so I usually compromise at f16 or f18. As far as the overall image, there is no barrel distortion like with my zoom and the images are much sharper from corner to corner. That is my main complaint with my zoom. More soon.

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