California Poppy Fields 2011
April 24  Lancaster, CA
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For the first time, I decided to try bringing a group out to the California Poppy fields near Lancaster, CA.  It's another opportunity
to shoot with flowers.  Planning for this began shortly after Sakura Watch.  Sakura Watch was a little out of character this year.  
The flowers weren't as abundant as in previous years.  Even though this was my first time out in the poppy fields, I heard that
these have also looked better in other years.  In a good year, these fields would have been carpeted by poppies.  Even so, it's
one of those events where you have only a few weeks to give it a try or else wait until next year.

There is a poppy reserve out in that area, but if you want to get up close to the flowers and play with them, you're going to want
to find and area away from the reserve.  Getting to our field required off-road driving, but it wasn't too bad.  My car wasn't
exactly built for off-roading, and if it can handle it, any car can.  Once we got out there, we faced some very strong constant
winds.  Some gusts were probably up to 50 MPH.  Needless to say, these weren't great conditions to set up extra lighting
equipment or for wearing some highly elaborate hairstyle.  The wind would play havoc with a lot of things.  There were a lot of
lessons learned on that day and I'll remember them for next year.

Personally, this was also a very important trip for me.  This was really the first event that was all mine.  I was the only
photographer here on this day.  I've been on many trips with many people--big events involving several carloads of cosplayers
and photographers.  Those are fun, but for once, I wanted something to call my own.  I've been shooting cosplay for many
years, but I've never really had the opportunity to do my own event.  I'm truly grateful to the girls who asked me to bring them
out to this desolate place for a day of shooting.  It was just the 5 of us, but it was fun and it really meant a lot to me personally.

Nergene Arquelada