Sunday Scene: Sunflowers

With their happy colors and intricate details, sunflowers have been a steady source of inspiration since I started doing landscape photography.

I am fortunate to live near several public sunflower fields that are welcoming to photographers of all types. When I needed something to photograph from the safety of my own home during COVID-19, grocery store bouquets of sunflowers filled this purpose while also lifting my mood.

With big, open, expressive faces that practically pose for the camera, sunflowers are the perfect subject for landscape and nature photographers like me. And, the images I have taken of sunflowers have brought me a lot of luck.

Sunflowers were the subject of one of the first photos I felt brave enough to show friends, family, and colleagues. I’ve also had my eye on membership in a prestigious online photography community, and a photo of a sunflower was my first qualifying image. My first big print order — now hanging in the lobby of a medical building — included, you guessed it, a sunflower field!

This particular image is special to me because of the conditions in which the flower was growing. I went out early one morning to capture the sun rising over downtown. The spot I chose was near the site of one of the public sunflower fields, but given that it was early winter and well past sunflower season, I didn’t expect to take any sunflower images that frosty morning. Yet, this lone sunflower was standing tall, and flourishing despite less than ideal conditions.

This image serves as my reminder that no matter what is happening around me, I can find a way to thrive. I hope it can help you remember how strong you are, too.

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