Earlier this week, I visited one of my nearby state conservation areas to check out a planted/managed field of sunflowers. I noticed during earlier outings to this area that the Missouri Conservation Department (MCD) had planted several fields of sunflowers. They do this primarily to attract doves for the upcoming dove hunting season. Well, the hunting season does not open until September, but I thought I’d go out and do some hunting myself … with my camera, that is. I wasn’t sure if the flowers would be in bloom yet, but was pleasantly surprised to find a “sea of gold” when I rounded the corner and pulled into the parking lot. With my camera, several lenses and tripod in hand, I headed to the far eastern portion of the field so that the flowers would be facing me and the soon-to-rise sun. I will also include a few photography tips in this blog … some I find useful when photographing this type of landscape photos.
Here is a pretty standard, landscape photograph of the sunflower field:
And the always nice closeup shot:
But what else can we do to show a bit of creativity? or just “something different”? Well, one thing I like to do is re-shoot everything, using a telephoto lens. Using a telephoto lens not only makes things appear closer than they actually are, but the physics of the lens causes everything in the photo to “compress” closer together. Remember the first, standard landscape photo? Let’s try it again, using a telephoto lens:
Looks a bit different, doesn’t it! The compression actually makes it look like the wildflowers are so packed in that the flowers are growing on top of each other! Not so, but it certainly gives that appearance.
What else can we do? How about shooting the backs of the flowers? As I walked towards the far end of the field, I got that idea from seeing a sea of “backwards” sunflowers. So how does it look? Here’s an example:
Maybe not an award winner, but certainly a different look. What else? Well, here’s where being creative, having an open mind, and developing an “eye” for different things really comes in handy. This can be difficult for a lot of people starting out. Heck, I still struggle with this aspect of creativity sometimes. But think outside the box … try something new … the worst that can happen is that it just doesn’t work and you have to hit the “Delete” button. That’s not too much work, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Here are a few more images I made of the sunflower field:
The next couple of posts will be from this same location. As I photographed the sunflower patch, I observed quite a few different birds that were navigating the patch, looking for a snack! Join me as I feature these birds, as well as a few other critters, for these fun posts.