Red Poppy

350mm  f/10  1/800sec  ISO400
Last year, when I was visiting a friend during Pentecost or Whitsun, I was amazed about the many red poppy flowers spread all over the landscape. I have published photos from that time here, here and here. This year I again was there during Pentecost weekend and I again was impressed by these amazing plants with intensively red blossoms. Right next to my friends yard there was a small field of red poppy. It was my chance to take beautiful poppy photos once more.

180mm  f/8  1/500sec  ISO400
I grabbed my camera and went to that field. To get a nice perspective I got down to my knees. Depending on the direction I was looking at the field the background was either dark by a wall or green by a meadow. The dark wall is a strong contrast and excellently points out the shape and color of these plants. I tried to frame single blossoms, groups of them or the whole field. This strong red color is just amazing. The silky kind of blossom leaves lets the flower appear fragile and vulnerable but also elegant and royal.

150mm  f/9  1/640sec  ISO400
275mm  f/9  1/640sec  ISO400
These large and thin blossom leaves are ideal for backlight photography. Shooting against the sun lets the blossom glow and intensifies the red color. Shadows create different shades of red. The thin hairs along the stalk start glowing as well pointing out the fragile structure of the flower. I cannot get enough of these beautiful and amazing plants, spreading along road sides and train tracks, flooding green meadows and smoothly weaving in light wind.

400mm  f/7.1  1/1600sec  ISO400
400mm  f/9  1/640sec  ISO400
While last years photos were taken with my standard zoom kit lens, this year I used my excellent 100-400mm L lens mounted onto my EOS 500D camera. With most of the photos the camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. To get reasonable high enough shutter speeds I set ISO to fixed value of 400, even at bright sun light. The background was far away to get blurred enough. The higher focal length creates a nice depth of field even at higher aperture value. Thus the resulting images cane out quite well with automatic calculation. I took the photos free-hand with no use of a tripod.