Interior Designers tell us the beautiful warm colors of yellow and orange go well together. You only need to look at the coastal poppies to know that. Perhaps these colors which call spring out of the earth and us also bring their own balm of healing. Yellow and orange seem to have a special nature that signals both comfort and vibrant emotions.
Although you can find some poppies blooming somewhere all year long in California, this time of year in the Bay Area you begin to see them more plentiful coast side and urban street side. They even have their own song.California Poppy Song Poppies, golden Poppies, gleaming in the sun, Closing up at evening, when the day is done. Pride of California, flower of our state Growing from the mountains, to the Golden Gate. Flower of the hillside, flower of the plain. Flower of the sunshine, flower of the rain. California’s children, be they far or near, Love the golden poppy, of our state so dear.
For some years I felt a little intimidated trying to make poppies one of my main focuses. After all I was living in the same state with the poppy photographer par-excellence. Although George Lepp no longer resides in California his legacy of poppy photography is still in the very air we breathe. But after learning many techniques from George Lepp I am finally confident that I have my own vision of the art of the poppy.
The images I am sharing from this past week were taken at Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore where you can usually find some of the first of the wildflower shows. They weren’t quite there yet, although some lovely individual blossoms and groups of coast poppies were prominent. While the California Poppy is one shade of orange the coastal are both yellow and orange.
Wanting to just capture the feel of the colors I choose to get in close using a 100mm macro lens and a shallow depth of field so only a small selection of the composition was in focus. The wind usually blows pretty strongly in this location even early in the morning. So using a shallow depth of field (here 2.8) you can obtain a pretty fast shutter speed. You just have to be careful that the intended point of focus is not blown out of its position.
Yellow and Orange remind me of the painting “Mother and Daughter” by Meinrad Craighead. It is on the cover of her book “The Mother Songs -Images of God the Mother.” It may be more red and yellow, because the shared fruit between the mother and daughter is a pomegranate, but nonetheless the two looking eye to eye have the comfort and challenge that the yellow and orange need to bring to us this day.