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Poppy fields are a favourite photographic subject of mine. Sometimes I am driving in the countryside when I see the red flowers covering large areas of the landscape, and I must stop and explore around. If the light is interesting, I spend time making some photos. If it is not, I try to return later. The latter was what happened with this photo. I was driving before the town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, in the coastal region of southwest Portugal, when I noticed this field covered with poppies.
The light was poor, so it was not worth it to stop at the time, but I made a mental note to return at a better hour for landscape photography. A few days later, I was back in this location before sunrise, for a dedicated photo session. I had my tripod and a wide-angle lens on my camera, and it was a beautiful early spring morning. As the sun started to crest the hills in the east, I took this shot the backlit red poppies and yellow rapeseed flowers. In this type of lighting situation, some care is required not to overexpose the highlights, so I kept watching the histogram while adjusting the exposure. Shooting Raw also facilitated adjusting the tonal range of the image file later.
I wanted the final image to reflect what I had seen in the field, and I managed to achieve that. This type of light lasted less than a few minutes, and I was glad I was prepared to make the most of it.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor