Concentrated Essence of Poppy

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California / California Poppy / Floral Photography / Flower / Nature / Photography


For an all-too-brief period in the spring, California poppies proliferate. They’re just starting to appear here in the Bay Area. In a few weeks — maybe just a few days — there will be more patches, fields, entire hillsides of intense golden blooms shimmering in the breeze. There will be more in this space too. Here’s a preview of this year’s bounty.

(Nikon D850; AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.2; final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

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The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Only in the spring? They’re a weed some places here albeit very beautiful. If you’re interested Nigel took this photo 27 Oct 2018 (NZ spring) and I took these photos 19 Apr 2018 (NZ autumn) They flower for ages in NZ and we think they probably carry on right through from spring to autumn.


    • Fascinating, Liz. Interesting to think of them as weeds but there’s an argument that anything that is strictly a volunteer is a weed. But yes: beautiful. I’m envious that they bloom for so long in NZ. Thanks for the links. Living proof. Those golden poplars are quite beautiful as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The golden poplars looked wonderful, a beautiful surprise that turned up as I wandered around an unfamiliar place – while Nigel was attending some business-related event.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While the tonality of this portrait is similar to that of the previous one, here you’ve added the dimension of depth. And speaking of which: the image is abstract enough that my mind can see the rear part of the flower projecting forward over the front part, as in one of those reversing optical illusions.


    • Thank you very much, Steve. As I noted to Paula, there’s a fuzzy line between realism and abstraction and this portrait is somewhere in that fuzzy area. I didn’t notice the reversing optical illusion until you pointed it out. Now it jumps out at me. It’s like the edit at about 59 1/2 seconds into Strawberry Fields Forever. I will live with this for a while and see if it has enough staying power to go onto my website in the floral portraits section.


  3. Hi Michael, You have achieved a wonderful artistic dimension in these close-ups. So rich in color and tones. Funny, I saw the optical illusion right away. I also in my very first glimpse saw a laughing face…but now I may be revealing a little too much about myself… haha! Terrific series. We are heading to Carrizo tomorrow. 🙂


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