As so many of us, I love poppy fields. It is rather 'cliché' but when I saw this photo from , I was amazed how Vik succeeded to give it a totally new dimension by editing it creatively. This work is full of poetry and smells so good springtime.
That's the reason why I wanted to ask Vik to answer a few questions about the making of this exquisite photo.
Dear Vik, I read in the information of this image that you really want to shoot a poppy fields since a long time. Please explain how and where you discovered this location
When I’m not out with my camera, I’m out driving as I work for a large Supermarket chain, delivering frozen food around the UK mainland. When I discovered the Poppy field, I was working. I was on my way to Peterborough, and I just happened to look over to my left, and noticed that there was a red field not too far from the main road, which was just on the outskirts of a little village called Oundle (which is only a 20min drive from where I live). Needless to say, I got a little excited, as I’d been wanting to shoot some ideas involving a Poppy field for a couple of years. I made a mental note of where it was, and when I got home I had a look on Google maps to see if there was any way of getting close to it - luckily, there was!
It belonged to a couple who owned a lovely little Bed & Breakfast, and ran a little farm. After seeking permission, my husband (assistant) and I started working on bringing my ideas to life……...
How did you proceed to obtain such a beautiful result? Did you have a model?
What camera settings did you use? How long did it take to have a satisfying result?
This is a self portrait, and at the time of shooting this, my hair colour really was red - It was one of those shoots where everything just fitted together perfectly. Right time, right place!
It was a really bright day with clear blue skies, trying to get the right exposure was a little tricky, so I decided to expose for my skin colour (which is milk bottle white), which meant that the overall image was underexposed. I also took into consideration the movement of the dress, and hair flicks. A a high shutterspeed was needed as I didn't want the material/hair to be too blurry. A couple of test shots, and I was ready to go.
Camera & settings - Fuji XT1, 10-24mm, ISO 200, F4, 1/4000.
Is this a single shot or double/multiple exposure?
What editing programs did you use? How long did it take to get the final result?
To get the final result, I used around 5 different images in total, which was mainly for the hair, and flow of the material. I started with a base image, then from there I started layering the other images over the top, to get the result I was happy with.
I used Photoshop to do the bulk of the processing - putting the images together, colour correction, exposure, overlays & textures, etc. I then use an add-on called Alien Skin Exposure, to put the final touches to the image. Once I’m happy, it goes back into PS for tweaking (levels, curves, image resizing……).
The whole image took around 4 hours to complete - lots of masking, lots of cursing, and lots of hair loss……..
It was a very special day for you. How was your mood and how big was your excitement while finally shooting what you were searching for since a long time?
I was super excited when the owner gave us permission to shoot in the field. I only needed the field for 2 ideas, so we weren't there long - probably about 30mins in total.
The other idea that I wanted to achieve was a tribute to Remembrance day, and to honour all those that died in the line of duty, whilst fighting for the freedom that we have today.
As the Poppies weep…
Thank you so much for reading, and huge massive ‘Thank you’ to Yvette for showing an interest in my images, and big thanks to 1x for their continued support.