After postponing my annual Spring Wildflower and Landscape Photography workshop a week due to an unprecedented week of May snow in this region, a great group of participants came together at one of my favorite woodland wildflower locations for a productive day of learning and nature photography.
We started the day at Berry Woods Preserve, which was the first Nature Conservancy acquisition in Iowa, and is a gorgeous forest a few miles south of Des Moines in Warren County.
A lovely variety of the wildflowers native to this area can be found here. The spring wildflowers in this region tend to be woodland wildflowers (prairie wildflowers, in general, bloom later in Iowa – we’ll catch that action in my Midwest Summer Prairie workshop next month!), and lucky for our group the unusually cold and snowy May caused a slightly delayed bloom this year. We had some fabulous specimens to photograph.
At lunch time we proceeded to nearby Warren County Conservation’s Lundy Acres, and spent the afternoon there working on landscape techniques. It was very windy, and the wind presented some challenges. The attraction of this location is that it is also a native, unspoiled forest. It presented a strong challenge to those photographers experienced with shooting manicured or man-made landscapes, and forced participants to deal with the chaos of nature – working within that chaos to create simple, meaningful compositions. Some participants rose valiently to the challenge; others struggled to find their vision for the site. We worked on this through the afternoon, and some great images resulted.
Check out the fabulous work submitted by some of our participants below, and head on over to our Peterson Photo Workshops Flickr Group to see an even larger selection.
And here are a few behind-the-scenes looks at our workshop participants, hard at work!
Thanks to all of you who participated, I had a great time working with you – and congrats on creating some stellar nature photographs!