Sunflower Fields – Traveling Locally

Sometimes the most amazing places to visit and photograph are right in your backyard!  Sunflower fields are planted in many parts of the world, so they are a great place to spend some time with your camera!

I happen to live in one of the strawberry capitals of the US.  When strawberries are out of season here, the farmers either leave their fields fallow or, plant another crop such as watermelon or squash.  But for the last couple of years, I have been seeing more and more flower fields being planted in April.  Some of the farms only plant sunflowers but a few have been adding zinnias to the field as well.

The flower field that is not far from me has planted that mixture for the last 2 years.  I have eagerly driven by waiting for the flowers to bloom.  In Central Florida, the best time for these types of annual plants is late spring (May & June).  Once the temperature starts to go up and the daily rains start the annuals do not do well!  It’s too hot and too wet!

This year I used my Nikon D850 with the Nikkor 105mm Micro lens for most of my images.  For some of the wider images, I used my iPhone 12 Max Pro.

Sunflowers and Zinnias – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

So when the sunflower fields start blooming it is time to start shooting.  I try to visit the field on multiple days at different times to take advantage of varying light conditions.

Overcast days are my favorite time to shoot these flowers.  The colors are more saturated and there are few shadows.  If it has been raining then you may get some waterdrops!

Zinnia in Overcast Conditions – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

After the Rain – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

This year the sunflowers were adversely affected by the early rains and higher temperatures so even though there were still many sunflowers, the zinnias were the stars of the field.  They are not so delicate!!

There is One in Every Crowd – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

The colors of the zinnias made a great background.  I found the main subject flower that was a bit above and away from the background so that I would have a nice, colorful blurred background.

Standout Zinnia – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I made some straight-down images of the colorful zinnias.

So Red! – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I am always on the lookout for flowers that are not perfect!  That may be an early bud or an older bloom.

Dark Sunflower Bud – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

Not Quite Yet! – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I am also watching for any insects as I walk among the flowers.  This year on the days I visited the field there were not as many butterflies and bees as I saw last year.  I did see a few, though.

Black Swallowtail – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

Long-tailed Skipper – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I had to have some creative fun as well so here an ICM(Intentional Camera Movement) and some Multiple Exposures.

ICM – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

Colorful Multiple Exposure – iPhone 12 Pro Max using Average Cam Pro app

 

Zinnia Spin – Multiple Exposure using iPhone 12 Max Pro and Average Cam Pro App

 

I just had to get a classic sunflower close-up

Close-Up – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

The last time I visited the field, the sunflowers were in pretty bad shape but there were still a few late bloomers.  It rained just as we arrived so we had plenty of raindrops to include in our images.

Dark Sunflower after the Rain – Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I knew the field would be plowed under shortly so I had to get some wide-angle images before it was too late!

Zinnias, Zinnias, Zinnias! iPhone 12 Pro Max

 

Rows and Rows! iPhone 12 Pro Max

 

For this last visit, I invited the members of the Tampa Bay Camera Club to join me in the sunflower field.  Once the rain stopped, we all spread out and enjoyed a couple of hours of flower photography.  Once the light started to get too harsh we packed up and, as always, we headed to a local taqueria for a yummy early lunch and a chance to spend some time a bit closer!  Good photos and good food!

Here is one last sunflower!

Outstanding in its Field! Nikon D850 with 105mm lens

 

I can’t wait until next spring when the sunflower fields are once again brightening the local landscape!

I highly recommend researching your area for a sunflower field during the appropriate season.   Many farmers have set them up for visitors with mazes and other attractions.  PLEASE, be sure to be cognizant of the fact that these fields are PRIVATE property, so do not trespass!  Also, the farmers must buy the seeds that result in all this beauty so be ready to pay for the opportunity to shoot in the field so that they will plant it again!  My local field also sells cut flowers and some great, very fresh, produce as well, so be sure to support your local farms!

Click on any image to see a larger version OR visit my galleries to see and purchase prints and other items with these and many additional images: Gallery Links –  2022 Sunflower Field    and  2021 Sunflower Field

My next post will be about my adventures across the pond!??!

That is all for now!

Lynn

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