Field of Dreams - Carrizo Plain National Monument

My Portfolio and Photography Services


(Click the photo to see it large, you know you want to :)


The plan was to visit Carrizo Plain on April 2-3 for some wildflower shooting. But it wasn't clear how good the bloom was, and I was feeling broke, and a number of other lame things, so I ended up not going. Then Jeff Sullivan started posting up some killer shots from Carrizo that same weekend and I was really really kicking myself for not making the trip.


So this past weekend, flush with a little extra cash from teaching a seascape photography workshop, I decided nothing was going to stop me from getting down there. And boy was that the right decision. I arrived in Carrizo Saturday afternoon under a sky full of gorgeous cumulous clouds, and though I had heard the flowers were nothing special this year, the vast carpets of tidy tips still blew me away.


I spent the next 20 hours chasing the flowers, getting chased by rain, getting stuck on muddy backroads, and generally having an awesome time.



Tech Notes on this Photo


Nikon D300s

Tokina 12-24 f/4 at 12mm on a crop sensor

ISO320 - to help speed up my shutter (didn't want to go much higher than this in order to prevent noise from entering the photo)

f/16 - I needed some extreme DOF here, as my camera was probably only 10 inches out of the flowers. This is a single shot; no focus-blending here. Gotta love UWA lenses for their amazing DOF!

1/25 sec - a relatively quick shutter (compared to shooting seascapes that is) in order to freeze the flowers in place. This photo was taken during a brief period of extreme calm when the flowers were barely moving.

Lee 2-stop soft GND filter




In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2)

- Processed single raw file twice: once for majority of image, and once at +0.3ev to brighten flowers in the mid-ground which had been overly-darkened by my GND filter

- Global contrast for added pop

- Local brightness and contrast adjustments in the clouds to make them pop a bit


In Photoshop:

- Noise reduction via Neat Image

- Selective sharpening of flowers only

- Hand blend of two tifs to brighten mid-ground

- Minor curves adjustment to further brighten midground


Thanks for your visits!



  • Tony 4y

    Awesome picture Josh!
  • Sathish J 4y

    Nice. I was debating between going snowshoeing in Tahoe and shooting wildflowers - and in the end, went snowshoeing. And this is what I missed.

    I have always missed the wildflower displays in Carrizo, though I caught it all over the place outside Carrizo last year. Maybe next year.

    Fantastic shot. It is just sheer delight to stand amidst vast fields of wildflowers. It is an eternal pleasure. The low angle certainly emphasizes the vast expanse of flowers.
  • tropicaLiving - Jessy Eykendorp 4y

    Josh, this is a beautiful carpet of wildflowers..seems endless...
  • Jesse Estes 4y

    Very nice work here Josh!
  • ©Helminadia Ranford 4y

    Gorgeous yellow flowers,Josh..
  • Matthew Kuhns 4y

    just beautiful
  • Jim Patterson 4y

    Some Carrizo goodness right here. Glad there were still some flowers after you got through with the video. ;)
  • Jean 4y

    Outstanding work
  • Xindaan 4y

    Wonderful as well.
  • Photo--Graphy 4y

    Marvelous image, nicely composed and shot.
  • dave lawrence 4y

    magnificent work.
  • Jason Edlund 4y

    Unreal Josh, never seen anything like this! Beautiful location, I would love to see this.
  • Mohammad Al-Mohanna 4y

    Good work ?
  • David Hogan 4y

    Damn, what a beautiful spot and great timing!
  • David Bakunowicz 4y

    Wow! This is heavenly. These flowers are amazing. Well captured!
  • ali ali 4y

    Very cool view
  • james benoist 4y

    That's really a field of dreams......and a wonderful picture !
  • Ale Quero 3y

    Absolutely paradise.
153 faves
Taken on April 9, 2011
  • ƒ/16.0
  • 12.0 mm
  • 1/25
  • 320
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 2 albums
This photo is in 4 galleries

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context