Last year around this time, a ton of rain had just hit SoCal, and we were reaping the photography benefits of it by photographing various "super bloom" locations. Aside from detail photos at weddings, there is no better use for my macro lens than shooting flowers. What I love most about flower photography is that it's slow-paced and low pressure. The photos are for my own pleasure, so you know there are no consequences to not getting the shot. If you happen to miss a few things, you can always try again.
The Flower Fields in Carlsbad were not new to me. I'd heard of them before, but just never made the time to go. Also, last year we had the super bloom, so there were plenty of places to shoot flowers for free. This year has me paying $16 admission to The Flower Fields to get my flower shots. 😏
The Flower Fields are open 9am til 6pm daily, and we were there before they opened. If you plan on going during the weekend, I'd say arriving at 9am will allow you about an hour of sparse crowds to get the shots you want. I was both happy and disappointed to see "do not enter" tape all around the fields. My research on Instagram led me to believe that you could walk through the fields, but I think those were just people who ignored the signs to not walk into the fields. Instead, there are little inlets that you can walk into, that make it appear like you're among the flowers in the field. They are essentially Instagram/photo spots.
For this photo outing, I brought along my 28mm f1.8, 100mm f2.8 macro, and 16-35mm f4 lenses. I was really happy that I chose these lenses. They were the perfect focal lengths for what I like to shoot, and not once did I feel like I should've brought a different lens.
One thing I discovered in doing my research is that the field is just filled with ranunculus flowers. I mistakenly thought there'd be a huge variety of blooms, but the actual fields are strictly ranunculus. You'll see other flowers in tents, or in flowerbeds elsewhere on the grounds though.
Some rows were in a single shade like red or orange, but my favorite were the multi-colored blooms.
Here is one of the inlets that you can walk into for a photo op. I thought it was pretty clever of The Flower Fields to do this. It provides a better backdrop for photos, and keeps people from trampling all over the flowers.
Right next to The Flower Fields are the Carlsbad Outlet shops. There are plenty of places to eat there if you want to make a day of it. In the distance, you can also see the ocean.
When I was done the flowers, I really wished I had someone to be in my photos. Luckily, my friend asked this lady if we could get a shot of her. So if you're a photographer, I highly recommend bringing someone along with you - preferably with a cute hat that has a bow on it LOL.
The Flower Fields are very kid-friendly. There are a few retail and food booths, guided tours, a tractor ride, educational presentations for kids, and a gardening shop on your way out in case you're itching to channel your inner green thumb. If you're planning to visit The Flower Fields, here's a quick reference guide for ya:
- Tickets: $16 for adults, $8 for kids 3-10 years old
- Bring a cute hat and a model (or someone willing to be in your pictures)
- Bring a long macro lens, a wide lens, and a good portrait lens
- Check out Carrillo Ranch and the Carlsbad Outlets if you're looking to make this a day trip
Happy shooting! 😊