Thursday, July 23, 2015

Poppies and contre jour

click photo to enlarge
Light through petals is a beautiful sight. During the summer months I frequently make use of the low sun of morning and evening as it slants across our gardens, lighting up the petals of the flowers. A those times of day there are also pools of deep shadow and the combination of illuminated flowers and shade makes a striking contrast.

However, there is one problem with photographing contre jour flowers - the best effect is seen from behind the blooms because the flower heads are always turned to face the strongest source of light. Consequently, if you are a purist about such things (and I don't think I am) then every photograph of this kind has an unsatisfactory element to it.

Today's shot illustrates this up to a point. To achieve the striking red points that make this photograph work I had to be in a position where all the flower heads were facing away from me. In fact, it matters less in this example because the flowers are working as points of colour in a larger composition rather than being the sole subject. I took the photograph on an evening walk as we passed a field of oilseed rape.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 36mm (72mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/1250 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On