Sunrise On Snowball Hill

(After a short hiatus last week, I’m now back at the computer. It was a stressful week as my air conditioner went totally out on Tuesday evening and had to be replaced. Replacement occurred Friday afternoon, after a week of hot and humid weather, with comfort index reaching as high as 105F! And to top that off, my refrigerator began going out; I moved all the important food items into a spare refrigerator in the basement and will be looking to replace the failed refrigerator soon.)

Today’s image was captured a couple of weeks ago on Snowball Hill Prairie, in rural Cass County, Missouri. I got to the prairie a bit before sunrise and set up to capture the sunrise coming over the eastern horizon, from atop Snowball Hill. The wildflowers blooming are Verbena Rose, a spring prairie wildflower. And the plants that look like oak tree leaves are Compass plants, which always align their leaves in a plane that runs north-south. These plants will continue to grow and will bloom into glorious yellow wildflowers in July:

Sunrise Over Snowball Hill Prairie

To assure focus throughout the image, this image was made by combining 3 different images, each focusing at a different point within the frame.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Tamron 17-35mm, f/2.8 lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 0.5 sec.
  • Image is a focus-stacked image, combining 3 images of varying focus points



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Posted in 2017, Blog, focus stacking, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Wildflowers
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  • Alma

    Hi Jim, I always appreciate when photographers share what type of plants are in their photos and tad bit of info pertaining to them, such as your comment on the Compass plants and the direction that they grow. It’s much more interesting to read about and see the plant in a natural setting then to try and read about it from a botanical book! Thanks for that level of detail in your notes.

    Hmm, always a bummer when larger appliances start to give out. We will be lucky if our AC unit makes it through this summer here in southern Calif as we are having exceptionally hot weather already in June. We typically have June gloom as it is fondly called where the marine layer draws in over the valleys and keeps things cooler for this one month.

    I am jealous of those of you who know how to focus stack the images as that is a level above what I currently know how to do. Have done HDR in the past, and am still trying to learn how to use the Olympus PenF camera that I bought last summer and the many different manual settings for it.

    Blessings to you and thanks again for sharing your beautiful images through the internet with us all.

  • Thanks for your kind message, Alma! I always try to add interesting info whenever I come upon a unique plant and I know it’s identity. :o)

    Good luck on your a/c, hope you can make it last the summer!

    To focus stack, I generally use a software called Helicon Focus. I think they offer a free, 30-day trial if you decide to try focus stacking. I originally purchased it for doing focus stacking on macro subjects (wildflowers, insects, etc.), but have found it works quite well on landscapes, and easier than getting hyperfocal focusing to work! If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me!