Poppy in the Sun

I photographed this poppy early this morning in my garden. It is a papaver somniferum, or opium poppy, but (of course!) I grow it for purely decorative purposes.

The irrigation sprinklers had just gone off. This poppy was newly opened.

Phyllis had made lunches for the older kids, and was getting them dressed. We were running late to get them to school. I had a meeting in a little up at Nicky’s pre-school. But I couldn’t resist this beautiful new bud, looking like a decorative tent in the sun.

The technique here—besides paying attention to the photography and ignoring the maelstrom around me—depended on the wind. I had my Nikon D200 on a tripod with my wonderful 200mm f/4 macro lens. I got down in the wet grass, waiting for the poppy to stop blowing in the wind, and pushed the shutter with as gentle a motion as I could, for an exposure of 1/10 of a second at f/36.

Here’s a close-up of a clematis bud from yesterday evening. This was a handheld low depth of field image with my 18-200mm VR (vibration reduction) lens and an extension tube:


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I like this photo of a coreopsis flower taken about the same time as the clematis because it feels like one is down in a forest of the coreopsis flowers:

Coreopsis Forest

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Like the clematis image, this is low depth-of-field. Like the poppy, it was done using a tripod, with a “decisive moment” shutter release when the wind had positioned the flower as I liked it. I used my 105mm macro lens.

The moral here: even a fairly limited and precise area of photography like taking macro photos of flowers depends on a wide variety of techniques. Getting accustomed to thinking expansively about the range of possible photographic techniques (and equipment) you can use will be fun and keep your creative jouces flowing!

This entry was posted in Flowers, Photography.

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  1. By Summer Bouquet on June 30, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    […] As the official start to summer swings into gear, how wonderful to arrange a light box bouquet. The bouquet is anchored with two-week Iris (also called “Fortnight Lily,” Dietes iridioides, a native of Africa) and Coreopsis.  […]

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