Photo: Sunrise over wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California

Looking back on California’s Super Bloom of 2017 at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Image #01: (above) : Sunrise over wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

“Know Thyself.” – A simple maxim that harkens back to the Ancient Greeks where it was inscribed in stone at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It’s as equally important today that we as nature, landscape, and travel photographers, know why we pursue the types of shots we do. Why do we chase certain subjects? Passion and personal interest are the easy and obvious answers. Yet many times while out in the field, I’ve seen photographers blinded by the desire to get a certain a subject to the point where they’ve missed an incredible shot of something else – sometimes right in front of them. The subject you’re chasing can be an incredible lure, but it shouldn’t be an all-sum game.

Image: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#02: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

I suppose the opposite should also be true: Know what you’re not. I am not a wildflower photographer. I admire many excellent images I see every spring by those out chasing wonderfully colorful displays of wildflowers. I visited Death Valley last year and even poked a little fun at it with this photo of the 2016 Super-Bloom.

After five years drought, 2017 came with heavy rains to California resulting in another great Super Bloom. The siren call rang louder and louder in my ear, and I finally caved in, hopped in my truck and headed for Carrizo Plain National Monument. But as I said, I’m not a wildflower photographer. So why did I go? Well, simply put, I’d never been there before and wanted to see what the place was like. The super bloom of wildflowers simply became the reason to finally say, “Go now.” Yes, I wound up taking a few wildflower shots along the way, but I know my own photographic interest lies more with landscape and travel-style imagery; the wildflower display was just icing on the cake.

So with a mix of landscapes and wildflowers, I hope you’ll enjoy these images that I shot last month during the great Super Bloom of 2017.

Image: Wildflowers on hillside in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#03: Wildflowers on hillside in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Eroded hills of the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#04: Eroded hills of the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Moonset at dawn, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#05: Moonset at dawn, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Clouds over the Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#06: Clouds over the Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#07: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Backcountry road in the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#08: Backcountry road in the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Ridge road along the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#09: Ridge road along the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Road in the Caliente Range in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#10: Road in the Caliente Range in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Light and shadow in the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#11: Light and shadow in the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Temblor Range in black and white, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#12: Temblor Range in black and white, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.))
*

Image: Storm clouds over the Caliente Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#13: Storm clouds over the Caliente Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#14: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Rainbow and storm clouds over the Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#15: Rainbow and storm clouds over the Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#16: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#17: Wildflowers in spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California Purchase a print or license for use in publications.

*

Image: Wildflowers in the Caliente Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#18: Wildflowers in the Caliente Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Sunrise over the southern Central Valley seen from the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
#19: Sunrise over the southern Central Valley seen from the Temblor Range, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

Image: Stormy sunset over the southern Central Valley, California
#20: Stormy sunset over the southern Central Valley, California (Purchase a print or license for use in publications.)

*

If you made it this far, Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time and hopefully you enjoyed these images. Of course, I’d love to know if there was one or more that were your favorite or otherwise caught your attention if you’d care to leave a comment below. Again, thank you so much for looking. Cheers, – Gary.



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top or bottom of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Get free information and updates

Enlightened Images
Sign Up

Get free information and updates

Stay up-to-date about new image galleries, workshops, travel, books, and other noteworthy announcements.