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Wildflowers Assignment Winner Willie Huang

Purple Magic by Willie Huang

Purple Magic by Willie Huang

Congratulations to Willie Huang for his winning photo in the Wildflowers Assignment. This photo was also selected as the Photo Of The Day on April 16th.

Photographer:  Willie Huang

I did not pre-visualize this scene but rather had good fortune to come across this amazing patch of lupines with a photogenic log in the middle of the patch. Due to a light wind, I had to use a quick shutter to freeze the flowers in action and hence I used a combination of higher ISO and wider aperture. I then focus stacked several images to keep everything in focus. I also used a LEE soft graduated ND filter to hold back the sky due to the extreme dynamic range of the scene.

I had been monitoring flower blooms across California and I had just learned the lupines were peaking across northern California. According to experts, this year’s[the photo was taken in April of 2013] massive lupine bloom only occurs once every 5-10 years with the last occurrence back in 2008. As a result of the conditions, I headed out to the Sacramento area and spent several hours hiking to scout out several areas and eventually found four promising lupine fields. The one I ended up at was a huge thick patch of lupines along a hillside that resembled a purple carpet. Within this patch I also found a giant dried tree log with an S-curved shape at the end of it. I looked up the hillside and also saw a tree that stood above the rest. Hence I opted for a vertical framing to have the log as a leading line pointing towards the tall tree on the hilltop. Luckily, the high thin wispy clouds were overhead and they lit up nicely at sunset to complement the colors of the lupines.”

For every Assignment, the OP editors will select a winning image at the conclusion o the entry period. The winner will be featured on the OP home page and in a blog article about how the photograph was taken. To get your photos into the running all you have to do is submit them.

-Christopher Robinson, Editor
You can find me on Twitter @OPRobinson