Poppies in Tuscany 2 ? Digital Flower Pictures

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

It can be hard work locating the perfect field of poppies in front of the perfect view of a Tuscan town. You think it might just be easier to slap in a field of poppies on your computer at home later. Well, these days it is a viable alternative, one much used in the professional photography world, but if you?re going to do it well, there is still a lot of work involved.

This time you are going to need to find two shots: one of the view of your chosen town in Tuscany, ideally with a nicely defined hill curving gently in the foreground, which will be filled with poppies digitally later; the other the poppy field itself in a similar light to your first picture and on a similarly contoured hill or field. A flat field of poppies stuck onto a hill shaped foreground is just going to look like a collage. So no escape from the driving around Tuscany searching for the perfect shot then.

Just as well that it is more of a joy than a punishment to potter along the winding roads between such jewels as Pienza and Montepulciano, |San Quirico d?Orcia and Montalcino, you don?t even need the excuse of photography. Get a friend to drive so that you don?t end up in the ditch, craning to get a better view of Monte Amiata, my favourite mountain, or of the towers of Siena in the distance. A detailed map will help you explore the strada bianca (dirt roads), but they are not always completely accurate, so be prepared to head off into the unknown and turn back at a dead end ? all part of the adventure. The magic of Tuscany is the unexpected view, a hidden crumbling brick farmhouse with cypress trees, a perfect field of poppies.

You?ve located your shots of your background town and your foreground poppies. Take a lot of permutations of the same shot: different depths of field, different points of focus, different angles, different light situations. Return to the same place at a different time of day to get a different angle of sunlight on your poppies. You need a large choice of shots to play with when you get home to your computer. Once home you can?t re-shoot, you have to work with the material you?ve already collected.

Now you have hours of fun ahead of you: selecting the images to work with and then juxtaposing them perfectly and seamlessly to create the ultimate illusion, that looks effortless. Only you have the satisfaction of knowing how much work went into creating the perfect photograph of Poppies in Tuscany.

Copyright 2006 Kit Heathcock

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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