Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 6, 2018

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve 3/6/18

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve (SRRP) is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California near Richmond and is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. This 277-acre oak/bay parkland preserves the habitat of the extremely rare Alameda manzanita as well as other indigenous plant and animal species.  We hiked the short Manzanita Loop. Most of the manzanita had finished blooming and some were even starting to fruit. The highlight was the most Indian Warrior/Pedicularis densiflora I have ever seen. The light was poor for photography as the sun was bright creating lot of contrast. Here are my best efforts with some of the contrast toned down in the digital darkroom.

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  1. Wow, nice Indian Warrior find! There are tons of them at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve too (especially just below the Ridge Trail / Chaparral Loop), but they’re more scattered around. Alas, bright sunlight does complicate things. For a single specimen, a diffuser or even an open jacket can be very effective. For larger groups like you were fortunate enough to find, photographing at the edges of the day usually has the best results. Alternatively, a bit of fill-flash or bounced light using a reflector can be somewhat effective in lightening the shadows and reducing contrast. Of course, we all just hope for calm, overcast conditions when photographing wildflowers, but it seems those days are all too few and far between. Thanks for sharing!


    • Thanks for your comment. An excellent of summary of how to deal with bright sun when we don’t get those calm overcast days. I use them all but do prefer those bright but cloudy days with no wind.


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