Sun, Moon and Flower

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Sussex County Sunflower Maze

 

There’s just something about sunflowers that seems to draw people to them.  It could be the larger than life, in your face, (literally) flower.  It practically screams “happy happy joy joy” with its yellow petals.  They stand tall and pay their respects to the commander in the sky.  I personally look forward to the time of year when I can find a field of these to take some shot of.  Living in New Jersey, there isn’t as much diversity in land as I’d like.  With that being said, I am lucky enough to be near the Atlantic Ocean for sunrises, and the Delaware Bay for sunsets.  I just have to start driving more and start exploring the mountains in Pennsylvania and New York now.

 

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North New Jersey sunflower field

 

Part of me wishes that we had more open land with these towering blossoms.  Imagine a sea of green and yellow, greeting your gaze as you went about the day.  Always there to greet you on the summer mornings.  Take a closer look at a sunflower field, and you’ll also see where the sun rises.  That’s right, sunflowers generally face the sunrise, but they follow the movement of the sun across the sky from east to west.

 

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The Sunflower Life-cycle

 

How about some more facts?  “Helianthus” is the scientific name of Sunflower, Helia for Sun and Anthus for Flower, and it is the only flower with flower in its name.  The spiral formation of seeds in a sunflower almost always follows the Fibonacci sequence.  The worlds tallest was just over 30 feet high, and the smallest mature flower measured in at 2 inches using a Bonsai technique.

 

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Moonlit

 

Believe it or not, the above photo was taken at night.  The moon lit up the field nicely.  As the night went on, a cool and calm fog crawled its way into this little valley of sunflowers.

 

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Sunflower Panorama

 

Here’s another photo of the moonlit sunflower field.  Having such a strong natural light at night can be perfect for something like this.  But if I wanted to take a photo of the stars, the moon light would wash out the sky.   My original intention on that night was to try and capture some stars overhead, but it wasn’t happening with such a strong moon in the sky.  I just refocused my original intent, and made the flowers the star subject.

 

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Country Summer Night

 

Luckily on this night, there was no moon.  I really wish this  sunflower field was still at this location, but they moved it.  I really like the farm silos in the background.

 

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Gathering Darkness

 

And last, but not least, my FIRST ever star trail.  I was getting ready to leave, and thought I’d give it a shot before I left.  This was at the Sussex County Sunflower maze in New Jersey.  When I showed this to the owner of the field, he absolutely loved it.  The local news station did a piece on the farm and this shot made it into the news too.  It was then I knew I had to start learning more about night photography.  Sadly, I have lost the original files for this shot.  I would have loved to go back and re-edit this.  I also would have composed this differently now with ALL of the flower in focus.  But we all have to start somewhere!

Thanks for taking the time to check these out!  And as usual, feel free to leave me comments, or questions. And feel free to share this by using the social media buttons below.  If you’d like to follow me on social media, there are buttons at the top of every blog post, or just click this for my Facebook page.

Swing by my Etsy store.  I don’t have any sunflower photos up for sale, but you can request a print of any of the photos you see here!

 

-JFG

 

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