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BLM Areas
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How To Photograph Wildflowers
Some photography tips for capturing Utah's desert and mountain wildflowers on film or pixels.

Here's How:

  1. Desert wildflowers bloom at varying times in the spring and summer. Check the Wildflower Viewing Page to see what is blooming now.
  2. Mountain wildflowers bloom later, from mid-July through mid-August.
  3. Use a film (or digital camera setting) with a good compromise of film speed and grain to get the sharpest picture. I suggest around 100 ISO.
  4. Use a tripod, and a wind screen to get the steadiest shots.
  5. Use a warming filter when shooting in the middle of the day. This filter will reduce the blue cast you will get in the shadows.
  6. Use fill flash or reflectors to bring out the detail of the flowers.
  7. You may have to use a flash as the main light source in order to be able to use a shutter speed to stop movement.
  8. Pay attention to your composition. Try not to cut off an essential part of the flower.
  9. Come in close. Use extension tubes or macro lenses to get extreme close-ups.
  10. Reduce the harshness of the sun by using a shade (something as simple as a silky scarf held between the sun and the flower will do the trick).
Tips:
  • It is best to get there in the early morning or late evening when the light is best.
  • Get a good field guide so that you can identify the flowers you photograph.
  • Early morning is a good time to shoot, before the canyon winds pick up.

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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