Monday, June 21, 2010

Poppies - At Last!

Every spring I notice the oriental poppies blooming and wonder if this will finally be the year I add this flower to my collection of images.

Poppies are usually hard to find as a cut flower at the market or anywhere else. Short of sneaking into someone’s yard in the middle of the night, (which I must admit I have considered) I wasn't sure how I would obtain one of these exotic blossoms to take into my studio and photograph.

Of course you can shoot them in their natural setting, but they are such a delicate flower that even the slightest breeze could blur your photo. Besides, I like to take what I call "flower portraits" using natural light in a studio setting.

As soon as I saw the poppies springing up all over town, I decided that this time I would find a way to get that flower photographed. So I did what I could have done many times before - I bought a plant! Every year I have thought of this, but for whatever reason, usually a lack of time and commitment, I never followed through with it.

If you read last week's post, you know that I declared publicly that I was finally going to self-publish the book of floral images I have been wanting to do for years. This focus is helping me accomplish things that I would have normally procrastinated about until it was too late - like buy plants!

Armed with a new determination, I went to the nursery and found a plant with a few healthy flowers as well as some very cool looking buds.

I took the entire plant to the studio and took a few photographs before cutting the flowers to use in a still life setting.

Once you cut the poppies, it's a matter of minutes before they start to look very depressed, so I had to work fast.

Then I did something I am very proud of - I took the plant home and planted it!

It has been great having a poppy plant - if you take care of them, they keep on giving! More than a few times, I have gone out and cut flowers, rushed to the studio and played with them until they could no longer stand (literally).

What really makes me excited is that I actually did something I had only thought about before. For me, art is all about having a vision, an idea - and then doing whatever it takes to make that vision a reality. Doing this gives me a little more confidence in myself and my photography and that feels great!

Here are just a couple of examples of what I have done so far with the poppies. I am still editing hundreds of photographs of various flowers, but am very excited about my first poppy images!

©2010 Dianne Poinski


  1. Beautiful results - very painterly! I'm so glad you planted it too.

  2. Dear Dianne,

    I appreciate you showing a little of what it takes to properly take photographs as it involves so very much.

    Your lighting is very clean, resulting in flawless images.

    If my aging memory serves me well, Irving Penn did also a book on flowers and the poppy is among them. His lighting was high-key.

    I have been further researching self-publishing and the offer still stands.

    Wishing you all the best,

  3. I just came across this article on self-publishing you might be interested in:

  4. Beautiful photos Dianne! I love poppies. I too have bought lots of plants to photograph, although I'm not such a great gardener! They don't always survive!!

  5. Absolutely beautiful. I agree with Katherine these are painterly, masterpieces from your hands.

  6. Thanks everyone! I am having a lot of fun with this but as the weather warms up, the plants in my yard are not looking very good. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted!