Saturday, 18 June 2011

Playing with poppies

My wife travels to Canterbury for work and told me of a field of poppies on Chartham Downs Road (between Chartham and Stone Street). Last weekend we dropped by on our way home from a shopping trip and I took a few shots. It had just rained and there was some interesting cloud cover and more poppies than you could imagine - 8 acres as a rough estimate.

Taken with a 24mm lens at f/6.3 to slightly diffuse the trees/background. A polarising filter was used to tone down the sky and help saturate the colours as it was early afternoon.
Tip: Polarising filters are at their most effective when shooting at 90 degrees to the direction of the sun. If the light is directly behind you or in front you will not get any real effect.

105mm at f/4
I like to work with narrow apertures, sometimes even in landscape photography, to help to draw the eye to a particular place in the scene. I don't think this would have the same impact at f/16.

200mm f/5.6
Taking things a bit further, using a longer lens to really throw out the background, careful to leave a small part of the woodland to hold in the top of the image. The vertical cropping helps to focus the eye on the single, sharp poppy head.

200mm f/4.5
After all that red indulgence I wanted a softer feel for this image so I knocked down the saturation in Photoshop. (All other images are pretty much as shot, just levels/brightness adjustments).

The flowers are still in full bloom so why not get over there and don't forget your tripod!

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