Bill Peake  

Field of Flowers by Bill Peake

May 2020 - Field of Flowers

May 2020 - Bill Peake


About the Image(s)

This is an image I took at the Antelope Valley Poppy reserve in 2017. It was a cold, windy day and apparently in these conditions, the poppies do not open, so they look almost like tulips. It was late afternoon and the images I got were so-so. Our camera club is having a contest for Wildflowers/Desert Scenes this month and I wanted to get one local image in. I recently got some piano sheet music by Evanescence and I am learning several songs in it including one called Imaginary. One of the lyrics goes ‘Here in my field of paper flowers and candy clouds of lullaby...’. When I saw this image while searching for possible entries in the contest, I thought of that lyric, and I wanted to recreate that feeling.

The image was taken on a Nikon D7200 with the stock lens using shutter priority to compensate for the wind, set to 1/800, which gave a f/14 aperture at ISO 1000. Post processing was done with Adobe Photoshop. The initial RAW image was dehazed and saturation was increased slightly. The photo was masked into two zones, sky and ground. For the ground, an unsharp filter was used bring out some more details on the flowers which were a little soft. Saturation and vibrance were bumped up and brightness and contrast adjusted. A red photo filter was used to simulate sunset colors. For the sky brightness and contrast were adjusted to simulate a later evening sky. A red filter was then used with blend if to give the clouds a pinkish color of a late evening sky. Finally and light overall red filter layer was added to the whole image. I am enclosing the original image for reference.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
11 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I love scenes like this with miles and miles of flower covers fields. I do not get to see this sort of thing here in the SE very often so this is a special treat. I think the colors are what really make this image and I like the feeling of being able to walk into this field forever. For the scene you have I think this is excellent.

You do not state what the focal length of the lens was so I don't know if my suggestion is appropriate or not.
Scenes like this without some focal point always make me wonder what to look at. Do I just see everything??? I never know.

I have been reading about a technique that the photographer called Over Shooting. It is done with a wide angle lens and works best with a focal length of 18mm or less. It is something I've been wanting to play with, but quarantine has made it hard.

The idea is that you tilt the lens downward at a 45 degree angle or slightly more. Since a wide angle lens accentuates the foreground it would take the flowers closest to the camera and make them appear bigger while the top of the frame will show the rest of the field as it recedes into the distance. In this way your eye would pick up the individual flowers in the foreground giving them enough size that their detail shows but the image will still show the whole field.

Anyway it is just a thought, something to play with.   Posted: 05/06/2020 11:55:29
Bill Peake   Bill Peake
Oops! I forgot to put that in!. The focal length was 18mm and it was shot the stock lens, a Nikkor 18-140mm. I'll have to give overshooting a try. I may actually have some images from the session where a took this where I did what you said inadvertently. This one was probably more between 25-30 degrees.   Posted: 05/06/2020 22:35:35

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
I really like what you did in post processing. Nicely done. I agree with Larry's observation about camera angle. To me this image would be improved if you have angled the camera down to include nearer flowers and diminished the sky. Having larger, in focus flowers in the foreground would give the eye a strong starting place in the image and add interest. Of course I would crop down the sky to remove a portion of the blue without clouds.   Posted: 05/07/2020 08:02:03

George R Phile   George R Phile
You have taken a ho-hum camera scene, which is probably not what you saw, and made it something memorable. I like the pinkish clouds in the sky, which one sees in sunset images occasionally, and the orange flowers really make for a dramatic image. Perhaps there is a bit too much sky in the image but it is a really nice image you have come up with. I have not used a Luminosity mask and will have to try it nor have I used a LUT.   Posted: 05/11/2020 15:09:24

Richard White   Richard White
Bill, very nice shot of the poppies. It was a good year in the Antelope Valley. I had fun taking pictures of the poppies. Your rendition was nicely done and really gives your photo a bounce.   Posted: 05/17/2020 14:36:35

George R Phile   George R Phile
Bill, Great picture of the fishing boat in the Member Showcase this month! Where was it taken?   Posted: 05/18/2020 09:49:31
Bill Peake   Bill Peake
Thanks! The image was taken during my trip to Iceland last July. The town was called Stykkisholmur. It's a very small town, population about 1100. We were told the Fosshotel we stayed at was one of the major employers. Give the small size of the town, it was actually amazing they were able to support a hotel of that size and quality.   Posted: 05/19/2020 01:10:15
George R Phile   George R Phile
I was there two years ago in May. Lots of opportunities for good images.   Posted: 05/19/2020 10:17:14

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
May I also offer my congratulations on your Showcase Image.   Posted: 05/19/2020 07:38:43
George R Phile   George R Phile
Thanks.   Posted: 05/19/2020 10:15:22
Bill Peake   Bill Peake
Thanks!   Posted: 05/19/2020 17:55:01