Photo Opportunities from Charley Starnes

I wanted to let everyone know that the Flowering Crabapple Trees in Des   MoinesWorksPark are blooming.  I stopped by today to see how they are coming along.  At least 30% or more are in full bloom.  Most of the white crabapples are in full bloom.  The pinks, reds, burgundies, and others are starting to explode.  I fully expect the park to be at least 50% to 60% in bloom by Mother’s Day.  With 1,200 flowering crabapple trees, the park should be bursting with colors through the weekend of May 18th.  I expect the full peak sometime the middle of the week of May 13th.

Shooting Tips

  • Shooting in the early morning is best.  I normally arrive shortly before or after sunrise and shoot until at least 10 a.m. or later.  You can actually shoot all day and get the light coming in from all different angles.
  • Shooting in the late afternoon is also great.  However, there is a row of some fairly large pine trees that block the late afternoon sun in the center of the park.  There is still some great shooting on the north and south ends of the park.
  • Shoot directly into the sun so that the flowers are back lighted.  Basically, try shooting at all different angles while you are there.
  • Definitely drive around the park first to get your bearings.  Then find a good place to park and WALK!
  • There is a water feature on the north end of the park and a gazebo on the south end of the park.
  • Definitely shoot with different lenses.  Try some really wide angle shoots, NOT standing!!!!  J
  • Don’t get horizontal’s disease!!!  Try some vertical shots as well.
  • Definitely bring extra memory cards!
  • Definitely bring your Macro lens.
  • Shoot early, stay late!  J

Des Moines Water Works Park

Crabapple trees in Des Moines Water Works’ Arie den Boer Arboretum are now in full bloom.  Visitors to the park may drive or walk through the Arie den Boer Arboretum between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. to view the spectacular, colorful display of over 350 varieties of flowering crabapple trees.  The Arie den Boer Arboretum was established in 1930.  It contains 1,200 crabapple trees, making it the third largest collection in the world.  Some of the distinct crabapple varieties cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Other Photo Opportunities

  • Make sure to hit Gray’s Lake which is right across Fleur Drive.  It is a great place for photographing people.  On the weekends, people will be out in canoes and sail boats.  Again, I love shooting there as the sun is coming up or setting in the evening.
  • The flowers and trees around the Iowa State Capitol are also blooming.  The red bud trees might also be in full bloom at the WWII Memorial that is just east of the capitol.  Since we don’t all the humidity in the air, this is also a perfect time to get photos of the capitol.
  • The flower planters along Locust Street in downtown Des Moines were full of tulips.  With the cold weather some of them may still be in bloom.  I would recommend making the drive down Locust all the way to the capitol.
  • Since you might be driving down Locust Street or Grand Avenue, you might as well stop by the PappaJohnSculptureGarden.
  • While downtown along the river you might also want to hit the GovernorRobertD.RayAsianGardens

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