Sunflower Sunset by Mark Anderson
Some of you may know that I like flower photos. You may also know that I like sunset photos. So it may come as no surprise that I fell in love with this shot as soon as I saw it, not only because it involves flowers and a sunset, but also because it’s perfectly executed.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you might want to check out the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area where this photo was taken. Located about an hour outside of DC in Montgomery County on River Road, this looks like a great place to be one with the outdoors, to exercise your camera gear, or to fire off your rifle:
Hikers will find trails for miles and miles, meandering through the forests, fields and wetlands. The C&O Canal and trail actually border the area. From here, you can hike or bicycle east all the way to Washington, D.C. or west as far as Cumberland. Hunters enjoy the pursuit of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, woodcock, squirrels, waterfowl and many other species.
According to the photographer (who has an inventory of lenses to make anyone jealous), these fields of sunflowers peak around the middle of July, so chances are they’re not looking quite as spectacular anymore. But as he points out, when the sunflowers go to seed, this area may be a great place for bird photography. You’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a 500mm lens, right?
As for the specifics of this photo, the photographer used a graduated ND filter which allows a variable amount of light into the camera’s lens. It worked out great for this shot since the sky was much brighter than the field of flowers. Without that filter he may have ended up with an overexposed sky or and underexposed foreground. Of course he could have achieved similar results with an HDR shot, but those are pretty tricky to pull off well, and filters are just fun to play with.
You can see more of Mark’s sunflower shots here.