Charlie, this is a lovely photos. It makes me happy looking at it. The beautiful orange Poppies and that gorgeous blue sky blend very well together and the grasses give this photo lots of contrast. I like that the log is helping guide the eye. Nicely done! Can’t think of one suggestion.
It’s the dead cholla in the foreground that really makes this image work like it does. Having the California poppies sprouting all over the place makes this even better. I love everything about this. Nicely seen and composed. Just a beautiful image.
I heard the poppies were fantastic in Arizona this year, but wow! Lovely image Charlie, like David said, the cholla skeleton really makes this image by giving some structure in all the chaos, very well seen! My only nit with this is the sky. To my eye the blues are far too dark and saturated. Did you use a polarizer with this? It just feels a bit artificial to me, if you could dial back the blue a bit by lightening them and dialing down the saturation a bit I think you would have a perfect image.
This is a great subject matter with a lot of promise. I do, however, want to echo the comment about the sky. B&W photographers like to add contrast to the sky and it usually works well for them but the same should usually be avoided in color photography because it starts to look bizarre. I think that’s what happened here.
That is one colorful looking field of poppies. It looks as though you caught them at their peak. I too like the fallen FG tree as it does make for the perfect lead in and the cactus make for another great element in this gorgeous scene. My only suggestion would be the already mentioned dialing back of the blues in the sky just a little bit. Beautifully done.
Wonderful image with the desert in bloom! Those are some amazing poppies and I love that old weathered cholla remains resting in the sea of poppies. Excellent portrait composition. This reminds me so, so much of what a 4x5 large format image would have been; and I really like that 4x5 crop you did - although I must say your original looks great too!
Won’t harp on the sky any more than to just say I concur. And so thanks for taking the time on the repost - much more natural looking.