A sea of beautiful pink Spring blossoms right in the Bay Area…
Such wonder, joy and happiness it brought to us that day!
Just as spectacular as any flower field,
and just as beautiful as cherry blossoms!
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 wish so hard that I could see them in person too! They seem to be all over Japan and Washington D.C., but only a few where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Where are the pink Spring blossoms in the Bay Area? I thought I was out of luck…
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 blossoms and parked at the side of the road (I believe we were on Eureka Ave near Walnut Blvd). 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. What a beautiful setting for a photo shoot!
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
An orchard full of beautiful pink blossoms is a perfect location for a photo shoot. But if it’s a bright sunny day with few or no clouds, then there will be some challenges.
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 when those times don’t work, or you’re just lazy like I am, then you need to work around those challenges.
If you want to take closer up pictures including your face, one 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!
If you don’t have a diffuser with you, then I suggest that you focus on pictures where you are further away with your face turned at least slightly away from the camera in order to avoid the sun’s glare, which is difficult to edit even with Adobe Lightroom. Adding a cute hat such as this popular one from Lack of Color that you can buy on Amazon will also help to hide the light or shadows on your face. You can still capture the beauty of the place and compose a nice picture even if you are not directly facing the camera.
My Photography Gear
I love the art of photography and I love being able to capture the beauty from my travels both near and far. Here’s a quick list of the equipment that we used for this photo shoot:
Nikon D750 – a fantastic full-frame camera and one of the most economical ones on the market today.
Nikon 50 mm f/1.4G Lens – my go-to lens for portraits and for general photography.
Nikon Micro 105 mm Lens – this macro lens is my favorite lens – it’s super sharp and has great bokeh.
Dress by Reformation, purchased from Nordstrom. Straw hat from H&M. Straw bag from J. Crew.
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