This week the photography club took a trip to the Lavender Fields in Ickleford, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire. We chose a very hot day, but the lavender looked good, the bees were humming and the occasional splash of red from the poppies added to the scene.

From a selfish photographers perspective, it was quite crowded but I managed some shots to capture the colour – and the atmsophere.

Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

A busy white-tailed bumble bee.Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

Poppies against the lavenderHithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

Poppy Parents

This clump of poppies appears each year on a service road behind a local Tescos supermarket.
It was one of those sites from which, last year, we collected the old poppy heads – and then the seeds. They produced the flower featured in yesterday’s blog post.
On a walk past the location this year I saw the poppies against that old painted hoarding, the blue paint beginning to flake off – and I was really taken by the textures on the panel – and the brilliance of the poppy ‘red’.

I only had my iPhone with me – no other camera – but the phone did the job! I hope you agree.

Home Grown Poppy

Last year I ‘harvested’ some of the many poppy heads that were left after these amazing plants had finished flowering.
I collected the seeds and we planted them in pots in the garden – I didn’t imagine that much would happen. I was wrong!
This is just one of the many poppies that graced our garden this year.

Poppy Seed Head

I’m trying to get to grips with the detail of Macro photography.
This was taken on the Nikon D800 with a 50mm prime lens reversed onto the camera ( using a suitable lens reversing ring ). This gives almost a 1:1 magnification : that is, the size of the image as it falls on the sensor is the same as the size of the object in real life.
From what I have read, that is the definition of true Macro photography. Of course, the magnification can – and does – get greater. but we have to start somewhere. 🙂

The shot was lit with a single Nikon strobe turned down to 1/8 power and fired through two layers of tracing paper to soften the light.
A polystyrene sheet to the right acted as a reflector to soften some of the shadows.

The depth of focus is not great – it’s certainly not sharp all the way through the image. It needs a dose of focus stacking. Maybe next time.