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Diamond lake flowers

I have been neglecting my camera, but I finally got a chance to use it recently.  California has received some unprecendented rain this year, and the plants are coming back to life!  Everything is green and full of pollen.  I have been taking an antihistamine every morning to avoid death by sneezing.   

My family combined a trip to my grandmother with a trip to Diamond Lake, where there's a nice trail around part of the artificial lake.  This trail is bordered by thick clusters of wildflowers and native grasses of a wide variety of colors and textures, and photos can't really convey how pretty it all is.  

I used my XT4 and my 90mm Panagor macro for everything.  I did have my 18-55mm, but I find myself using it less and less.  I do like it, but just prefer the 90mm for most of what I do with my camera. 

The macro lens is good for landscapes (technically it's closer to a 1:2 lens than 1:1 but that is totally fine for my hobbyist needs). 

And of course, the macro lens is good for close-ups. 

 All of these images (except the next, which has been cropped) are straight out of camera.  This was early in the morning, maybe 8 am, and the light was bright but not harsh.  Colors are rendered accurately and generously.  I was excited to get everything into capture one and mess around, but I'm honestly very happy with a lot of images as-is.  I do want to spend some time and crop a few, and also do minor adjustments, but the camera and the subject did a good job of making some pleasing photographs. 

I got a few good pictures of this horsefly.  I took quite a few, and only a couple were sharp enough to keep. 

I liked this rock.  Contrasting angles and texture with surrounding flowers. 

This lizard was kind enough to hold still.  I regret not getting a picture with focus on the head and the tail in frame. 

Classic California -- lupines and poppies! 

Just some flowers. 

A very large grasshopper!  Also kind enough to hold still for a few photographs.  I don't think I'm 100% happy with any -- the ones where the head is in focus crop some of the tail, and vice versa. 

I think this was a thistle of some sort.  Looked spiky and dangerous but is actually soft. 

I do not know what type of flower these tall stalks are, but they provide some visual interest rising above the bright poppies below.  

One of my favorites from the day.  Just some flowers, being pretty.  

More lupines!

A bi-colored flower of some sort.  I saw bees frequenting these flowers but did not get a useable image of a bee all day.  

Some pretty grasses!

This is one of the early shots when I was figuring out the right exposure/aperture for the day.  Turned out very dark overall but I like the effect. 

And on the other hand, the brightness of this one just works.  

I like these curly flowers.  

A pollinator!  Poor framing, but this is the only image I got, as it was spooked immediately after and flew away.  Some cropping will help the composition.  


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