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Shooting Wildflowers At Anza-Borrego Desert
is reportedly the largest desert state park in the contiguous U.S. It contains
500 miles of dirt roads, two huge wilderness areas—comprising two-thirds
of the park—and 110 miles of riding and hiking trails. If you enjoy photographing
flowers, this park often yields a colorful display of annuals in the spring.
Borrego Palm Canyon Trail is a popular trek, and baby ocotillo, Wishbone in
bloom, Sacred Datura, Fillaree, Phacelia, and Barrel Cactus can frequently be
Tips From Local Photographer, Sam Webb
If you’re looking for desolate desert landscape locations to photograph, you may want to leave the paved highway. The park has more than 500 miles of dirt roads that provide four-wheel drive access into the most remote locations. There are also many hiking trails that you can follow into rock-lined canyons or to palm oases or badland overlooks—all offer great photo opportunities.
The desert’s vast vistas are a compositional challenge, best photographed during the early morning or late afternoon hours. The sun casts long shadows over the rocky terrain, which adds depth and contrast to your images. Desert plant life and wildflower photography can sometimes be done midday. I like to tightly crop my wildflower and cactus bloom close-ups, and include other natural elements such as rocks and dried wood in my photographs.
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