Sunflowers Once Again

Sunflowers are the best subjects. At their peak of bloom sunflowers have bright yellow petals which surround the center.  When the sun hits the petals the flower glows.  I have photographed sunflowers once before – in France. That’s when I got the idea to call them Funflowers.  Click here to see the first Funflowers blog.

Sunflower Field
Sunflower Field


Standing Tall
Standing Tall

My friend and I wanted to get an early start so that we could get to the sunflower field at dawn. The field we go to is Draper Wildlife Management Center, in McConnells, SC. If there was any pretty color in the morning sky at dawn we wanted to photograph it.  Plus, photographing early means you have a low angle of sunlight. This light works well with your subject because shadows are softer on your subject than when the sun rises above your subject.

Sunny Face
Sunny Face


Petal and Leaves
Petal and Leaves

Whenever you shoot flowers, be sure to look for unique angles. Don’t just photograph straight on.  Look for different angles of your subject that might have a unique perspective. In the following photo I took an angle from above focusing on the leaves behind the flower.

Or select a part of the flower to emphasize such as this close-up of the petals. Use a long telephoto lens, such as a 70-200mm lens to focus in on the flower with a large aperture (f/4.0 or 5.6) to blur out the background.

Closeup on Petals
Closeup on Petals


The season for sunflowers is just about over here in North Carolina but I look forward to photographing them next year!

Here is my set up: Nikon D700 camera on Tripod, Lens attached: 24-70mm or 70-200mm.

Next up: My goal is to focus on the National Parks in this 50 Anniversary Year of the start of the National Park System in the USA.

Stay Tuned!

4 Replies to “Sunflowers Once Again”

  1. Loved your sunflowers. You are such a gifted artist.

    I would like to know your National Parks schedule for 2017 as I see myself retired or semi-retired by then and love our National Park system and would like to share that experience with you, if possible.

    we need to stay in touch as our interests are so similar – you rise early to get the best sun angle and I rise early to
    find the most birds!

    I miss you.


    1. Eva,
      Thanks for your kind words!
      Thinking of retiring? You will love the freedom.
      Yes, I would love to work on a schedule for visiting the National Parks in 2017.
      Getting up early is a must for good photographs.

      Wish I lived in RKE still so we could get together more easily!

      Take care, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Mary, for your comments! They are happy flowers. They can make your day
      just photographing them. Your sunflower photos are inspirational, BTW.

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