Filters – Iceland Poppies

Summer in our part of the world is compressed into a few short months of floral photograph opportunities. If I am absent from my yard for more than a few days, some of my flowers will have bloomed and moved on to the all important job of setting seed. But I can always count on the Iceland PoppiesPapaver nudicaule – to be show stoppers all summer long.

I’ve asked a few orange ones to pose for me, so that I can demonstrate to you what versatile little flowers they are with a little help from the photographer!

13-poppy-orange1This bunch posed against some iris leaves, and were backlit by an obliging shaft of sun. Some themes add a nice outside border to the photo when it is uploaded, but not all themes do that.

13-poppyorange2I imported the picture into  a program like Photoshop Elements, GIMP, or FastStone Image Viewer where I cropped it to get rid of the bits I didn’t need, and adjusted the lighting. Then I saved it.

Next I opened the saved picture in FastStone Image Viewer where I reduced the size, added borders and my Copyright. That gave me a photo I could put into my blog.

13-poppyorangepastelsOf course, there are lots of other things that can be done to a photo with a programs like Photoshop Elements. This is the same photo rendered as Pastel Art.

13-poppyorangewatercolorThis is the photo again made to look like a Watercolor.

13-poppyorangebwAnd here it is in Black and White. But wait, there is more!

13-poppyorangebwoHere is the black and white background with the orange poppies. Didn’t I tell you these were versatile flowers?

Now, I have to give full credit to the Poppies, because they truly are the stars in this photograph. Then I have to thank The Car Guy for letting me use his Canon EOS 20D Camera. I set it on full automatic mode and just click away! As for manipulating the photos, well I am a rank amateur compared to real photographers using professional programs. I use GIMP and FastStone Image Viewer (both freeware that gladly accept donations)!

If I was strictly a Photo Blogger, I would likely use a theme with a dark background and white lettering. But I normally use more words than photos.  Black letters on a white background are infinitely easier to read, so I choose themes that are designed for readability.

Post 17

18 thoughts on “Filters – Iceland Poppies

    • Hi Snoring – I’ll have to work on some of my photos to see if I can make them look like they were painted. Unlike you, I have absolutely no ability as an artist!

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  1. Not familiar with this variety of poppy in our part of Ontario. Surprising since they are probably hardy enough for our area. Nice photo work !

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    • Hi elmediat – These little poppies are pretty hardy, but are biennials in our colder climates. I’ve had some that cross pollinated with white alpine poppies. This resulted in foliage that was a cross between the two, with white flowers.

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  2. I have been debating downloading photoshop elements for the free trial period. After seeing this recent post however, I believe I am sold. I am looking forward to trying it out, and experimenting with it’s various tools. Thank you for sharing these beautiful flowers.

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    • Hi freshrevelations – Photoshop Elements is a powerful program for the price. There are many excellent tutorials online to help you figure out how to use it. I only have two recommendations – always work on a duplicate copy of your image, not the original. And when you have opened your photo in the program, create a duplicate layer of the photo and work on the duplicate layer (or layers) with each successive filter you use. You can merge the layers later, but in the meantime you can delete or hide any layer that doesn’t work out.

      When I did the orange poppies on the black and white background, I created a duplicate layer that I made into the black and white layer. Then I used the erase tool, and erased the poppies off the black and white layer, which exposed the orange color of the poppies in the original layer!

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  3. I first discovered the orange Icelandic poppies this year and was also inspired to take pictures of them: http://wp.me/p1xboY-bH

    As far as photo editing is concerned, I also like black and white or artificial backgrounds and colourful motifs. If you like, look at the roses series on my blog, that’s my photo manipulation series, but I don’t explain. 😉

    I use Gimp, a free photo manipulation program, very similar to Photoshop Elements. I have had a look at PE too (used it on someone else’s computer), but I have gotten used to Gimp and would neither want to spend money or change my habits.

    Be careful, photography and photo manipulation is highly addictive. I just bought a new camera since it is faster than the little one I used to take pictures with, I now ask butterflies to pose. They aren’t quite as cooperative as the flowers.

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    • Hi sanetes – I’ve never used Gimp, but it looks like a very capable program. I have started using my husband’s Canon camera for the close up photos of flowers. I haven’t been very lucky at finding butterflies, or even bees, though I did catch a daddy long legs spider in one photo!

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  4. Hi,
    What a beautiful color the flowers are, such a perfect orange, they certainly would brighten up any garden, I love color in a garden, and these really do look magnificent.

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  5. Your pictures are lovely! I’ve never had much luck with tulips, but daffodils have been my dependable friend over the years – one of the few flowers I have any luck with.

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    • Hi pegoleg – I grow daffodils too, mostly because the deer don’t eat them. I intersperse them with the tulips in hopes that they will provide a force field around the other flowers!

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    • Thanks Nerdygirl98! I’ve left a comment on your blog about some duct tape projects, and you’ve inspired me to take some photos of them and write a post!

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