Closer than the eye can see

Intimate Poppy, Point Reyes National Seashore

Intimate Poppy, Point Reyes National Seashore
Canon EOS 10D
1/125 second
ISO 100
100 mm

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Photography’s gift isn’t its ability to show the world we already know, photography’s gift is its ability to reveal a world we haven’t imagined.

I found this poppy on a visit to Point Reyes about nine years ago, just one of thousands sprinkled among a collage of swaying wildflowers. Before this day I’d aborted any attempt to photograph poppies that hadn’t yet opened to the sun, but with the fog showing no sign of lifting, I dropped to my knees for a closer look at this poppy furled tightly against the morning chill. Despite all the visual activity to distract my eyes, my camera distilled the scene’s kaleidoscope of color a single poppy’s buttery swirl.

With an extension tube and 100mm macro lens, my camera provided a far more intimate view than my eyes were capable of. Setting my aperture wide open, I focused on the poppy’s outer edge and blurred the rest of the poppy to liquid gold. The resulting image was nothing like what I saw on my hike that morning, but because my camera’s reality is no less valid than my own, I now know poppies just a little better than I did before this image.

5 Comments on “Closer than the eye can see

  1. Utterly beautiful view of one of my favorite flowers. It’s the closest I’ve ever seen of catching its unique glow.

  2. Hello Gary,

    Thank you! The words you share are as eloquent as your stunning images!


  3. I love your photography Gary and I really appreciate that you share exposure information. Thank you.

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