Trip to see sunflowers with EOS R

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HaroldC3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,661
Trip to see sunflowers with EOS R

I took a day trip to photograph some sunflowers the other day.  I had never been to the area to photograph them so I had allotted several hours to explore and look for compositions.  I also decided to go a more indirect route as I like exploring back roads rather than sticking on interstate highways.  It seems like you see more doing this and that day it was definitely the case.

It was going to take about 3.5 hours to get to my destination and the first 1.5 hours was on the interstate.  After that it was a lot of farmland, small towns and windy roads.

This was my first stop along side a back road.  I had an image with more rolls of hay to the left but really the barn is the main subject here.

The day started out with a lot of clouds.  I had looked at the forecast and it called for mostly cloudy skies with it clearing up as the evening progressed.  Still, I was lucky to get some sun instead of flat light.

Another stop down the road.  I actually drove by this scene and decided to turn around.  I really liked the rolls of hay here.  I found them more interesting than bales.

I did see some clearing in the afternoon but it was still mostly cloudy.  It is the peak of harvest season (wheat) so there were many farmers in their fields and trucks driving to grain elevators.

Bridge spanning the Spokane River.

I had planned to stop at an overlook but saw a sign pointing to this little park and decided to take a shot and stop.  It was a pretty little park (Long Lake Damn Picnic Area) right along the Spokane River.  I got to see a marmot and an interesting hydroelectric structure.

I tried to get something in the foreground but really nothing was available.

So after my short stop at the park I headed up to the overlook.  It was a very short walk to the overlook itself showing the top of the hydroelectric structure and Long Lake.

No water flowing today so I got some calm water below.

There were actually some osprey right by the overlook and I thought about photographing them but the sun was in the wrong direction so I just listened as they squawked away.

From here I proceeded on around the Long Lake / Spokane River.  I passed Tum Tum which is a resort town and was clearly full of people.  Seemed like a neat little area but no place to really take any pictures of interest.  So I kept going on to my destination.

When I arrived it was about 5:00pm and sunset was at 8:00pm-ish so I had some time to explore.  I came to my first sunflower field and a light bulb went off in my head, the sunflowers will be facing south because that's where the sun is, duh!  So I needed to find a road to the south of any sunflower fields.

A quick, no-so-good snap.  I just took it to show the scene.  It would have worked well if the sunflowers were facing north!

So I explore and drive around.  I decide to drive by a popular field near the interstate and of course there are quite a few people there but there is no access to the south of the field.  So I don't even stop to try and take a picture and decide to head up the interstate to see if there was anything up the road.

About a mile later I see a field to my left and take the road heading in that direction.  The road, of course, is to the north of the field.  Not only that but the sunflowers are is horrible shape.  They are definitely past prime.  I stop and take a few pics but none were worth processing.

As I was driving around after that did find an interesting scene and stopped for a bit to photograph it.

You can see by this time the clouds are breaking up nicely.

So away I went some more, driving on gravel roads and trying to field more fields.  I was getting a little nervous as I wasn't finding anything really even though I had seen pictures on facebook to the contrary.

Stopped to take a picture of the wheat in the evening light.

Luckily I found a field that was in pretty decent shape and I think, overall, was the best scene I had seen of the day.  So I stopped and parked by the side of the road, got out my 3-step ladder I just bought the day before, for this trip, and tried out a few angles and compositions.  The road was to the east of the field but I could get a decent angle on the sunflowers so they were mostly facing me.  It's not perfect but I was happy I came away with this image.

Issues with the image are the blank space at the bottom-right and some blowing out of highlights at the top-right.  Nothing terrible IMO.

I decided not to stick around for sunset as it wasn't looking good (despite the clouds saying otherwise, there was a cloud bank to the right just above the hill).

Here you can see the cloud bank that would eventually kill the light.

At the point I called it a day and headed back home.  I was a little disappointed I didn't get more interesting images of the sunflowers but I was extremely happy I decided to take an indirect route and do some exploring.  That definitely made up for it and is a reason I routinely take the roads less traveled.

 HaroldC3's gear list:HaroldC3's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS
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