Saturday, July 06, 2013

Wayward red poppies

click photo to enlarge
The flowers that, I think, feature most on this blog are the tulip and the poppy. I haven't actually counted the number of occurrences of each type but my feeling is that these two will predominate. That isn't surprising because they are two of my favourite flowers and we have many examples of each in our garden.

In some ways the tulip and the poppy are similar: both feature large and small varieties; both have single, large, striking blooms held high on a stem; both tend to flower in clusters; and both are very eye-catching. However, there are differences. Where the tulip is prim, tidy, firmly upright, everything properly in place, the poppy is much more wayward. Often they straggle, the stems bend and dip, the petals flop about and flutter in the breeze, and some varieties produce a tangled accumulation of foliage and blooms. Given those contrasting characteristics it's perhaps surprising that I like both plants. But I do, and it is the root of this antithesis - the somewhat bedraggled versus the orderly - that appeals to me. I think there is a place for both these qualities in a garden.

Today's photograph was taken contre jour in the morning when the sun was still comparatively low. The way it emphasised the tissue paper-like translucence of the petals and edged the stems with highlighted hairs appealed to me. I took a few shots of the subject but this one, with the dark shadow of a shed behind, seemed to emphasise these attractive qualities best.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 300mm
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
ISO: 160
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On