When I was a little girl I wrote a letter to Jim’ll Fix it requesting the opportunity to walk through a field of poppies, in a white, floaty dress eating a Flake. I didn't get a reply and now, of course, I feel I had a lucky escape, but the desire to walk in a field of poppies has never deserted me. Before I came out to the Gareth Kirkland workshop, I'd checked out previous workshop participants’ photos and spotted some fields of poppies, I figured my poppy dreams may come true.
I may have mentioned this desire a few times to the other photographers and after our visit to Sarlat in sunshine, then rain, then more sunshine, then more rain, instead of returning to the gîte for some much needed snoozing we stopped off to shoot some poppies on a wall. We pulled into someone’s front drive, as it was the only spot we could on a little, winding road, a bit naughty but we were caught in the red poppy mist. I noticed their back garden was full of the hallowed red flowers so had to grab a few rain-splashed poppy pictures from the latest shower, despite it being a teensy bit trespassing!
We've chosen to locate an abundant crop of poppies on a wall so we can shoot then against the now cornflower blue sky. I can decide if I prefer a few lone poppies or a tangle of stems accented by one giant head. Or perhaps a few blooms against the dark wall. Ah, decisions, decisions!
After grabbing about 80+ photographs, enough even for me, we headed off and then ducked into Le Clerc for provisions and to escape the further rain. We've missed our siesta time, but now we’re setting off for our evening shoot. But Gareth has a surprise. Before we head for our vantage point to photograph the river glistening in the late sun we detour to an entire poppy field. I'm in pure poppy heaven! It’s just a sea of red. Behind the field there's a picturesque church nestled amongst the trees. I'm almost overwhelmed by finally being surrounded by these elegant, translucent, papery flowers blowing in the breeze. I'm spinning around, wide landscape shots, close up macros, long shutter speeds to capture the movement, crouching down low and then standing tall.
I'm not wearing a white dress but instead hiking boots, which is lucky as the on and off rain today has turned the clay soil to an icky, sticky mess. Rather than eating a crumbliest, flakiest chocolate Flake I’m welding a camera and very happy with that, though a Flake wouldn't go amiss! Gareth fixed it for me!