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Friday Slide Show: Spring Poppies Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

6 April 2018

Piove. It's raining. The Italian (pee-OH-vay) for some reason always strikes us as more definitive. Perhaps because when it rained in Liguria it meant the oppressive humidity would drop. So we would look out the window and say, with some relief, "Piove."

This morning as we sit down to write about our slide show, it's raining after a week of some lovely sunny weather. We spent the first day of that stretch cleaning up the garden so we could enjoy it the rest of the week.

As part of our reward, a bunch of California poppies came to life. And sitting on the patio one morning (don't let anyone tell you frequent breaks are unproductive), we just kept staring at them.

It's our state flower, after all. Which just adds to its allure. California is among several states forming a bastion of common sense in the current all-thumbs climate, defending immigration, the environment and voting rights against the cadre of special interests that would turn this country into a gated community.


The Italian for poppies is papaveri and it's also the Italian word for bigshots. In a little sprinkling of poetic license, we like to think every Californian is a bigshot, blessed by the place we call home.

There is something about the Twist 60 that we really like.

This irks a lot of other people, we understand.

But, if it's any consolation, it rains everywhere. Even in California. And as we wondered what to offer for today's slide show, we thought these splashes of color would be, in these stormy days for our world, just the thing.


We shot them with a Micro Four Thirds camera using a Lensbaby Twist 60 and a Vivitar 70-210m Macro Series I lens. Both lenses were attached to the camera via a Lensbaby adapter that's no longer available.

We used the Vivitar in macro mode after shooting more recognizable images with the Twist 60.

There is something about the Twist 60 that we really like. It has something to do with the color and its shallow depth of field with the aperture opened up. We used it for our shot of that Easter lily, too.

The funny thing is that it was designed for a full-frame sensor, not a puny Micro Four Thirds sensor. You don't get any special effects on the smaller sensor (they're out of view). But necessity is the mother-in-law of creativity. We didn't have a choice.

The macro shots extended our fun into a world of slightly more detail and some abstract compositions as well. Following the edge of a petal, for example.


We processed all these in the recently-updated Lightroom, applying the Neutral profile before using our presets.

We didn't have any issues, but we aren't a preset guy. Gavin Seim, who makes preset collections like Silver 3, did have problems. Lots of them. He detailed them in a message posted to the Adobe forums.

Briefly, he noted the preset conversion XMP is not an option and it renames traditional presets whose title and name vary (causing them to sort out of order). There's also some confusion about locating presets (with a contextual menu taking you to the new place and a button taking you to the old place).

Then there's LR Accidentally Changes B&W Profile to Color After 7.3 Update. It doesn't look like an accident to us. More of a confusion between profile and preset. But there's a workaround posted.

Adobe has responded in the forums that they are working on fixes to these issues.


Today, in the rain, the poppies are nondescript. They aren't opened up because it's too dark. They only open up in the sun, closing up at sunset every night.

We couldn't help it. We stepped out briefly with the same camera and the Twist 60 to grab a shot of them in the rain so you can see the difference.

In the Rain. Bent with the weight of the rain, the poppies remain closed up.

We could have stayed out there a while, too. Even closed up and bent over, the poppies make a good subject. A symbol of better things to come.

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