May 03, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Every year around May 1, millions of wildflowers of the species Trillium grandiflorum bloom in G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area in Virginia. I visited Thompson WMA last year to shoot the trillium. On Friday, I drove back out there to shoot them again.

I arrived just as the sun was rising. The very first rays of light streamed up my path and lit up the trillium in the following photo. The light lasted only a matter of seconds, but I think I got it just in time. I used an ultra-wide angle lens in order to get in close to the flower and capture some of the surrounding context.

The first rays of the morning sun light up a Trillium grandiflorum in Thompson WMA in Virginia.Trillium at Sunrise The flowers and the trees in Thompson WMA on Friday seemed to be in a disagreement about whether we were in the midst of spring. The trillium were in full bloom, but the trees were barely budding leaves. Last year, the full trees created a green cover, blocking my view of the sky. Since the trees didn't completely block out the sky this time, I decided to use the opportunity to turn my camera upwards and shoot the tops of the trees with a showing of sky in the background. I love the color and perspective in the following photo:

A view of the sky beyond the trees in Thompson WMA, Virginia.Looking Up On the other side of Thompson WMA from the trillium parking lot, near Thompson Lake, I found this pastoral view:

Pastoral Virginia

I decided to take a chance at a high-dynamic-range panorama. The image consists of 15 images: 5 high-dynamic-range images stitched together using Autopano, each of which is a high-dynamic-range image consisting of 3 separate images blended together using Nik HDR Efex Pro. It took several attempts to get this final image. The wind was blowing and the movement of the clouds kept shifting the light around. I like this image for the interesting lighting, the color, and the layers created by the hills.



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