Flowering poppy field, Provence, France
These three photographs of a blooming poppy field illustrate some of the tips that I shared in the Family holiday photography post from last week. Although I had hoped for the best (I pre-visualized a blooming poppy field in perfect light with a picturesque mountain in the background) I expected the worst (no poppies at all). When we unexpectedly came across these poppies I was prepared enough to realize that this was THE chance and spontaneous enough to adjust (or even use, for example the strong Mistral) the peculiarities of this specific field and moment. Although I could not engage my family in the composition of these photographs (I had to carry the bag and tripod myself) and none of the children wanted to take photographs as well (luckily, otherwise I would have had to wait for the camera), they did not mind waiting and I was satisfied with this short and successful holiday family photography session.
I had seen photographs of poppy fields in the Provence before and tried to find out where such a display of bright poppy-red could be discovered. The village of Rustrel was identified as the poppy field capital and was luckily on our route. However, the only red that we observed were occasional poppy flowers on the roadside. When we had already given up on the poppies, further along the road, after Apt, we suddenly glimpsed a red carpet tucked away in between small patches of forest. It was the only flowering poppy field that we saw during the entire trip (or ever) and I am therefore really happy that we did indeed stop.
This short holiday photography session was met with adverse conditions. It was already late, everybody was tired and thirsty, and the children were not in the mood for an extended (and tranquil) interaction with the poppies. Luckily, they could be pacified with an audio book and thus generously agreed to the wait. In addition to the waiting family and my thirst and hunger, a throbbing headache tried to rob my concentration and patience. Therefore I may have composed the photographs more hastily and less carefully than I probably should have. Nevertheless, the short stop was worthwhile and lasting memories are attached to these photographs - exactly because of the sub-optimal conditions that accompanied the moment of their creation. I hope that you can enjoy one or the other of these photographs, even without the personal memories.