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Five Sunflowers at the Biltmore Estate



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A small field of sunflowers near Antler Hill Village at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC U.S.A.
Latitude: 35° 33.098'N
Longitude: 82° 34....
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A small field of sunflowers near Antler Hill Village at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC U.S.A.
Latitude: 35° 33.098'N
Longitude: 82° 34.625'W
Read less

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5 Comments |
kerryscott
 
kerryscott March 22, 2017
Nothing is Cheerier than a Sunflower Field, a beautiful photo & scenery JBordons
JBordons
JBordons March 23, 2017
Thank you, Kerry. It was a relatively small field and the first I'd gotten to photograph.
cyndimccoun
 
cyndimccoun March 24, 2017
voted....
JBordons
JBordons March 25, 2017
Thank you, Cyndi!
llowzz Platinum
 
llowzz April 10, 2017
To use the Aussie vernacular it is "Bloody beautiful"
JBordons
JBordons April 12, 2017
This was my first opportunity to photograph a field of sunflowers. They are so radiant and cheerful! Thank you, Mark.
joycecpc
 
joycecpc May 01, 2017
So beautiful
JBordons
JBordons May 01, 2017
Thank you, Joyce. I want to find another sunflower field to photograph.
JVendetti
 
JVendetti October 26, 2017
Simply gorgeous!!!
JBordons
JBordons October 26, 2017
Thank you, Jessica.
See all

Behind The Lens

Location

This small field of sunflowers was a few yards south of Lagoon Trail on the Biltmore Estate (near Asheville, NC USA) less than a mile from the Biltmore House and about 1/3 mile from Antler Hill Village and Winery. You are looking northwestward, with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

Time

The photo was taken just after 5 p.m.

Lighting

It was mostly sunny, with haze that diffused the harsh light a bit. I loved the backlighting and its help capturing the vivid yellow of the flowers.

Equipment

I used a Zeiss 24 mm f/1.8 lens on a Sony NEX-7 mounted on a tripod.

Inspiration

I enjoy bright, cheery sunflowers and had wanted to photograph a field of them for a long time. We saw the small sunflower field as we were leaving the Biltmore Estate at the end of a blazingly hot summer day.

Editing

Quite a bit of post-processing in Adobe Lightroom was required to produce this image. I wanted to render the wide dynamic range of this scene naturally and avoid a high dynamic range (HDR) look. Most of the processing involved taming the dynamic range. I separately processed the sky, mountains and bordering trees, and the five flowers. The sky required darkening and additional clarity to make the clouds stand out. Mountains and trees were darkened and clarity was added to counter the haze. The backlit yellow pedals of the sunflowers were darkened slightly and the seed head mid-tones were lifted. Mild sharpening was applied to the seed heads to accentuate the texture. I compressed the green portions of the sunflower plant so they wouldn’t compete visually with the flowers.

In my camera bag

When I took this shot, my backpack contained a Sony NEX-7 with a Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens, spare battery, lens cloth, and pen and paper. Today, my backpack contains the Sony A7RIII, Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8, and Sony 90 mm f/2.8 macro. I sometimes carry a Sirui carbon fiber travel tripod. Accessories include a spare battery, Giottos blower, lens brush/dry cleaner, IR remote, Eargasm earplugs (a lifesaver for concert photography), and pen and small notebook. I have two other holster-style bags for traveling lighter--one for carrying the Sony A7RIII with the mounted 24-70 mm f/2.8 or 90 mm f/2.8, and the other with the mounted 70-200 mm f/2.8.

Feedback

I always shoot raw to get the most data out of the camera sensor, but with wide dynamic range scenes like this, raw is essential. If it is not windy, bracketing exposures will give you the option of HDR processing. Bees love sunflowers too, so beeware!

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