Poppy. Here's a snap straight from the camera. I harp on endlessly to anyone that will listen about shooting in the right light. This is a great example. You can actually see this in what most people consider "good light", which is to say bright daylight, right here, a few hours earlier. Notice the flatness of the light; the much better one above was taken in "crap, must get out right this moment" late evening light, and I got lucky: when I got back to the location, the sun was shining through the thick branches of a nearby tree, casting thick shadows around this poppy, but not on it.

Shot with -2/3 exposure compensation to make the dark areas dark. Cameras have meters, not built-in artists; the same reason I shifted the program by nearly two stops to force the background to be defocused. Also notice that the poppy is facing away from the camera in this shot and in the shot with crappy lighting, it's facing towards it. I never believed the person who told me that flowers turn their heads to face the sun during the day, but oh my God, they actually do! I'm sure everyone else knew this already. Hey, it was about 2007 when I realised that everyone else peels their kiwi fruits before eating them; I tend to be late to pretty much every party.

Tech trivia: Nikon D2H, Nikon 55-200mm VR" at about 150mm (sharp right up to the edges!), f/4.5 and 1/640 at ISO 400 (forgot to reset my ISO from the previous night).

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(from the gallery Flora)