Shooting wildflowers amid the desert’s vast vistas is a wonderful experience, but also a great challenge. Harsh light and wind are your biggest enemies, along with vicious attacks from cactus thorns and cholla that love to hide right where you need to be for that perfect composition. Bright sun on a clear day will leave you with blown out highlights and harsh shadows.
Clouds act as a natural diffuser, so when it’s overcast you’ll get the most even light. If the skies are not cooperating, you can use a diffuser, which can be a fancy, elaborate affair or a simple piece of fabric — anything that will block the harsh rays and soften the contrast and allow the camera to capture the full tonal range.
— Suzanne Mathia
Photographer Suzanne Mathia is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways. Her image of a Mexican goldpoppy appears on the subscriber cover for the March issue of the magazine, and the image that appears above was published in the December issue of Arizona Highways. For more information about Suzanne and her work, visit http://www.azicit.com/index.html.