Thursday 23rd June 2016
I had a fantastic couple of days in the poppy fields last week. I visited my first field on Thursday, a red poppy field located just outside of Salisbury in Wiltshire. An hour drive from home and a quick scour of the local area and I found it with no trouble. It was 90 minutes before sunset and the sun was shining, although clouds were making it patchy. I wandered along a track in the field, and as the sun burst through the rain clouds again I took aim and started firing off a few shots. I loved the clouds in the sky, and with my Lee Landscape Polariser attached to the front of my 16-35mm lens I took this image.
I was happy with the above image, and a couple of others on the card, and started looking for other ways to photograph the scene, without such a wide view of the poppies. Cue a wonderful dilapidated old barn at the edge of the field. I recomposed to include a smaller section of the field and took this image.
At last I was pleased to have found a field with such a large expanse of poppies, and I did something I had never done before. I turned around and faced away from the field. The light was beautiful on the fields, and I was instantly drawn to the stripes of colour I could see behind me. This ended up being my favourite image, as well as my last image as the sun was blocked by clouds.
Saturday 25th June 2016
Less than 48 hours later and I was awoken by a 1:45am alarm. Crawling out of bed after less than 3 hours sleep I knew the hardest part of the day was done. I headed out of the door just before 2am, and went to pick up a good friend who had decided to join me to see the sunrise. We headed South into Dorset, stopping en route to meet up with fellow photographer, Stu Meech. Arriving alongside the Opium Poppy field I was delighted to see the familiar pinks of these beautiful flowers. It was 5:30am as we parked up and headed into the field. We wandered to the far side so we could see the impending sunrise, set up our tripods and waited. I fired off a few shots before the sun was up, but wasn’t really too happy with any of them.
Finally the sun broke through the cloud and the reward was some beautiful golden light. I was already composed and focussed, ready to shoot, but even I could not be prepared for the dynamic range I would see. I ended up having to use a 5 image blend to make this exposure true to life, but it was well worth it as I think this is one of my best images to date.
Stu had by this time wandered off to make his own images, and happy with the images of the previous composition I decided to look for something else myself. I turned to my left and the view of the field bathed in rich golden light was too good to resist. I focussed the lens and took this image, cropping to a 16:9 in post production to add impact.
The cloud was back and the shooting was done, we were over the moon with the conditions we had seen that morning, and headed our separate ways on a our long journeys home.