Wildflower Photography-WDA – Spectacular bluebonnets, paintbrush and DYC’s (Darn Yellow Composites=yellow daisies all look the same) are in full bloom along Texas highways, back roads and pastures.  Get out the cameras, check the batteries and make sure you have plenty of room on your capture cards.  But most of all BE CAREFUL-290 is a busy highway and tempting as the wildflowers may be, you will be safer on private property (your own or with permission, someone else’s).  Don’t forget Arbor Gate, it’s a flower photography wonderland any day of the year!  Wildseed Farms near Fredericksburg is another safe place to photograph wildflowers.  Back roads are another possibility but make sure you can park off of the road and watch out for the traffic-infrequent as it may be!

It’s also important to be respectful of private property and don’t pick wildflowers along the roadside—that’s a no no.  We all like to take photos of our loved ones—especially the children so I’m not going to suggest you forgo the family group photo but don’t forget the candid photos.  Youngsters left to their own devices and with a little instruction will be glad to frolic in the flowers.

If there’s one common mistake folks make when taking pictures it is they don’t get close enough, so get close and then get closer.  Not every shot needs to be a macro close-up but a family group shot so distant you can’t tell Grandma from little Suzie misses the mark.  Oh and don’t forget the selfie!

Wildflower Photo Gallery:  Alamo Fire bluebonnet, Blue Spiderwort, Blue-eyed grass, Coreopsis, Evening Primrose & Bluebonnets, Scarlett Penstemon, Pink Phlox, Bluebells, Simba & LucyLoo, Texas Gold Columbine, Texas Purple Paintbrush, Tiptoe through the Bluebonnets and Winecup.

A great opportunity to learn more about wildflower photography is on the horizon.  The Garden Writer’s Association is sponsoring a wildflower photography workshop at the National Wildflower Center in Austin, TX on Friday, May 23, 2014.  Co-sponsors are Arbor Gate Nursery, Wildseed Farms and Medina Hasta Gro.

You don’t have to be a GWA member to sign up- just go to www.gardenwriters.org and click on meetings, then look for the Region V meeting and register.  The cost is $55 for non-members and you can choose from one of two all-day sessions—Still Photography with Bruce Leander or Video Photography (using amateur equipment-YouTube in mind) with Kevin Gragg.  This is a combination classroom and in-the-field photo op including a chance to learn from two of the best.  Bruce has a number of magazine covers to his credit and has been a volunteer photographer at the Wildflower Center for years.  Kevin is the Senior Director/Videographer with the Oklahoma Gardening television show.

The price includes admission to the Center plus coffee and lunch—if you know of a way to have more fun for $55 please let me know!

Written by Bill Adams William D. (Bill) Adams is the author of numerous articles and his photos have been published in a number of magazines, calendars and books. He is the co-author/photographer of “Commonsense Vegetable Gardening for the South” with Tom LeRoy and he is the co-author of “The Lone Star Gardener’s Book of Lists” with Lois Trigg Chaplin. Bill and Tom also teamed up for another book—THE SOUTHERN KITCHEN GARDEN. Most recently Bill authored THE TEXAS TOMATO LOVER’S HANDBOOK a guide to growing the most delicious tomatoes on the planet. This latest book published by Texas A & M University Press. Bill worked in mass media most of his career appearing on radio and TV programs, and writing a weekly column. Adams also served as the Harris County Master Gardener Coordinator with over seven hundred active members. These days, after retiring from the Extension Service, Bill is concentrating his energies on gardening, writing and photography. He is a much-requested speaker at Garden and Civic Clubs and he is a regular contributor of articles and photography to Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazine. Bill has been a member of Garden Writers Assn. since 1972 and has served several terms as a Southern regional director.