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Sunflower Sunset



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Colorado used to be the sunflower capital of the US, but that has changed over the years. There are still huge stands of these amazing plants. This one is un...
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Colorado used to be the sunflower capital of the US, but that has changed over the years. There are still huge stands of these amazing plants. This one is unique. The storm just broke and the sun came through, but the heads were still facing East, even though the sun was setting in the west - normally, the heads follow the sun. This shot, the sun and the flowers are all facing me. Colorado, USA.
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Awards

Lucky 3 Award
People's Choice in Beautiful flowers Photo Challenge
Contest Finalist in Dancing Flowers Photo Contest
Superb Composition
ianjewell andreasanders_9346 zhekiviloria ChelleyTheRed crainbow57 deepangurung dustinmartin +21
Top Choice
Adipsterparis vijhapg niacorbett christopherdeguzman Chris_Catullo smaster5265 SmallBeginnings +13
Peer Award
Egoryan David-B JessicaKG jeffsnell mikhs1 glenmarshall tazzzer62 +11
Absolute Masterpiece
emilycarson04 Koel02 PratikTalekar03 Steve_Thomas amandabriggs_8412 colincharland mcampi +7
Outstanding Creativity
nabahatnab Am-RoPhoto jubertcaburnay syedmuntazirmehdi donnalouisehaley suzettebrouwers EricCrossman +6
Magnificent Capture
thatunicorngal NatureLoverJJWal carmenvich
Superior Skill
Capture-Life
All Star
anreuys

Top Ranks

Morning Glow Photo ContestTop 20 rank
Morning Glow Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 1
Creative Boundaries Photo ContestTop 30 rank week 1
Color Explorer Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Inspired By The World Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Inspired By The World Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Flowers And More Flowers Photo ContestTop 30 rank
Celebrating Earth Day Photo Contest 2019Top 30 rank
Celebrating Earth Day Photo Contest 2019Top 30 rank week 1
Flowers And More Flowers Photo ContestTop 30 rank week 1
Yellow Beauty Photo ContestTop 20 rank
Yellow Beauty Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 2
Yellow Beauty Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 1
Spring Photo Contest 2017Top 10 rank
Spring Photo Contest 2017Top 10 rank week 1
Flares In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Dancing Flowers Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Dancing Flowers Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
The Sun Behind Photo ContestTop 30 rank
Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Lens Flares Photo ContestTop 20 rank
Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
Lens Flares Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 1
Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 1
Sunrises vs Sunsets Photo ContestTop 20 rank

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4 Comments |
NatureLoverJJWal
 
NatureLoverJJWal April 05, 2017
very beautiful! Congratulations on your award!
barbararybolt PRO+
 
barbararybolt July 25, 2017
Beautiful image! Congrats on your award.
Pamelabole PRO
 
Pamelabole July 25, 2017
Beautiful!! Congrats on your People's Choice Award!! : )
kathyk_abq
 
kathyk_abq July 25, 2017
Beautiful image! Congrats on your award! :)
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Behind The Lens

Location

I was driving from Boulder to Fort Collins on on the way up, I passed this sunflower farm. Colorado used to be the top producer of sunflowers in the state. Anyway. it was late in the afternoon, and I pulled over to take photos in the field.

Time

Each day I would pass this going to and from work. One summer morning, I decided to pack my photo kit and stop on the way home - it was about an hour before sunset - around 6:00pm. The thunderstorm had just broken and the sun had just finally come out for the day.

Lighting

This is truly a unique photo. You may or may not know, but as the sun moves across the sky, in a normal day, the heads of the sunflowers follow the sun. On this afternoon, as it was dark and rainy most of the day, the sun was setting BEHIND the sunflowers, and they were still facing me. I had two strobes on poles and set them up behind me for this shot.

Equipment

I had my normal kit with me - my Nikon D7000 at the time, with a couple of Nikon strobes and my standard 18 to 70 lens. I shot pretty wide open and around 20mm. I wanted to get the widest angle possible. At the time, I did not have my Tokina 10-17mm wide angle.

Inspiration

As I said earlier, I passed by this huge sunflower farm each day, and was inspired late in the summer when the heads were so large. I just wanted to see if I could get this composition - I took about 200 photos at this shot, I liked this one the best.

Editing

One of my goals was to put together a HDR image made up of 7 bracketed shots - each +/- .3 EV. I knew it was an afternoon with low light and high contrast, so I thought it would be perfect. I shot several bracketed series from different angles. For this image, I pulled all of the brackets into Lightroom and created one HDR image. Then I removed a little of the highlights from the sun flare, but the foreground lighting was planned and the colors are pretty much spot on.

In my camera bag

I'm a Nikon kind of guy. At the time, I was shooting my D7000, but now, I carry a D500, with a D7100 body as a backup. I have several lenses - a 50mm primary, a Tokina 10-17mm wide angle lens, my standard 18-70mm F3.5 nikon lens and my long 70-200 F2.8 Nikon Lens. I keep a Manfroto carbon fiber tripod in my trunk, and it has a ball head - I use that most often. I also have an arsonal now which I am playing with.

Feedback

Everyone is inspired by different things. In this case, it was a scene which I passed each day, and watched the sunflowers grow from when they were planted to this moment. My commute to Fort Collins took about an hour and I found myself daydreaming a lot. On the way, I would take different routes to see what I could find. I came across a few old barns, some wildlife, and other farms which proved to be great subjects. Always keep your eyes open, and let your mind wonder. If you can visualize it, you can try to capture it. The world is truly a beautiful place - take the time to slow down and see what is right there in front of you. You may be amazed.

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