This year I made Castroville, Texas a must-see destination for my annual wildflower photography road trip. This is colloquially known as the Castroville Poppy House (located at 606 Florence Street) which is a private residence, that during select days and hours in early Spring is open to the public. This labor of love by the homeowners, is a gorgeous spot to visit, and it’s a photographer’s dream as there are so many vignettes. They have some old structures on the property including buildings from the 1800s and 1940s.
Many of the locals go there for family photos with their kids, and others make appointments for shooting: brides, engagement, graduation, prom photos and more! The homeowners ask for nothing in return except donations to the local VFW and American Legion chapters. The homeowners even collect the seeds, and in addition to re-seeding their own property, to distribute to others in Castroville in their attempt to paint the town red. This year they were doing a World War II theme, so they even found an old 48 Star American Flag to fly tacked up to the old barn.
I loved shooting here, and only wish that I was able to hit this location under better lighting conditions. Afternoon sun on a cloudless day in Texas is very harsh and hard to work with, even with a UV filter and lens hood the grass and flowers aren’t quite true to what I saw, and trying to tweak it in post-editing hasn’t been incredibly successful for me without it looking incredibly fake.
Golden hour lighting here would be magical.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place, and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly, Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead; short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe! To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high! If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.