Beautiful Pink Spring Blossoms in the Bay Area!
Have you ever looked with envy at all the beautiful cherry blossom pictures all over Instagram during the Hanami season? Every March – April, my feed is filled with those beautiful pink Spring blossoms and since I live for beautiful flowers, I admire and I cry at the same time because I can’t be there. They seem to be all over Japan and Washington D.C., but only a few where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Until I discovered that there are, in fact, peach orchards with equally beautiful pink Spring blossoms right here in the Bay Area! And equally shockingly, they are just 45 minutes away from my home! Why have I never heard of them before??
The Peach Orchards of Brentwood, California
So, for the past 10 years that I have lived in the SF East Bay, stunningly beautiful pink flowers have been blooming close to me without my knowledge, and I need to make up for lost time! Armed with just a vague description from a friend of Ken’s, we headed to Brentwood after doing some quick Google Maps research.
Brentwood is a mixed residential and farming community with a ton of U-Pick orchards. We didn’t have any specific address, but I had identified a couple of possibilities from Google Maps, including Mike’s U-Pick. We drove around for just a few minutes when we saw a huge orchard of pink and white blossom and parked at the side of the road. Being an undiscovered Instagram location, it was not crowded, with just a few other families there taking pictures as well.
A Sea of Pink and White Blossoms
It was a beautiful sunny day in mid-March and the bright pink blossoms of the peach trees spread out as far as our eyes could see. I was in pink flower heaven! There were also some white plum blossoms next to the peaches that added a pretty cloud-like effect. It’s time to take some pictures!
I was super happy to have discovered Springtime peach blossoms, and I encourage you to see if there are any orchards close to where you live! Not only are they nice places to visit, they are a great place to take pictures, and you can come home with some fresh fruit even, depending on the season.
Photography Tips For Taking Pictures Mid-day
In general, outdoor portrait photography is best when there is some cloud cover since the bright sun can cause harsh shadows on the face. I like to take pictures in the early morning or just before the golden hour in the evenings to avoid these harsh shadows, but there are some advantages to taking pictures mid-day as well.
One main advantage is that you don’t have to wake up super early to get ready for a photoshoot. I don’t know about you, but I consider that a pretty big advantage! (I use the term photoshoot loosely to mean anytime you want to take a picture with yourself in it.) Another advantage is that the colors appear brighter and deeper on bright sunny days, assuming that you can expose it correctly and not end up with overblown areas.
The frequent presence of harsh shadows on the face when the sun is directly overhead, however, is hard to fix, even with Lightroom. One workaround is to turn away from the camera and show only the side of your face, or the back of your head even. Adding a cute straw hat will also help to hide the light or shadows! You can still capture the beauty of the place and compose a nice picture even if you are not directly facing the camera.
Another option is to bring a collapsible diffuser with you to soften and diffuse the light. These are lightweight and somewhat portable but please note that they will only work if you also have a tripod or a third person to help hold the diffuser above you while taking the picture!
Most of these pictures were taken with a Nikon D750, using the Nikon 105 mm macro lens. (Yes, this macro lens is my favorite lens for portraits!) The last photo was taken with an iPhone 8 Plus. Read more about my photography equipment here.
Dress by Reformation, purchased from Nordstrom. Straw hat from H&M. Straw bag from J. Crew.
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