Please read this entire post!
Last year one of the strawberry farms in Dover started planting their off-season fallow field with zinnias and sunflowers (see image above). They have planted even more this year and by next Saturday, June 4, 2022, the field should be awash with multicolored zinnias and 3 colorful varieties of low sunflowers (the shorter version of sunflowers so you can actually see across the field).
So our next outing will be a visit to Three Son Farms’ (map below) beautiful flower field on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 8:00 AM rain or shine. (Flowers are even better to shoot when the sun is not glaring down!) The farmer has left some large paths in the field and some smaller paths have been created in the flowers. It is fairly easy-going, just don’t step on the flowers!
We will meet at the tables under the tent that they have set up beside the flower field.
What to bring:
I would recommend that you bring a hat, rain gear, water, bug spray, and, of course, a macro lens, Lensbaby, and a wide-angle lens. Wear old or waterproof shoes/boots in case the field is muddy. A tripod is ok but not necessary unless you want to try timelapse, image stacking, or the multi-image cloud painterly look. Bring a plastic bag with a damp paper towel in the bottom (see Rules below)!
The Creative Challenge:
To add to the fun, here are a few ideas of ways to shoot beyond the single flower image:
- Close-up of an individual flower with those behind in a colorful bokeh with a shallow depth of field.
- ICM – Intentional Camera Movement – Increase your f stop, slow your shutter and decrease your ISO and then move the camera up or down, or sideways while the shutter is open. This can be so much fun!
- Multiple Exposures – find the setting for Multiple Exposures in your camera menu, and set it up. Move the camera for each frame and see the amazing abstracts you will get.
- Use the Slow Shutter app and the Average Cam Pro app on your cell phone to accomplish 2 and 3 above.
- Look for insects on the flowers… There are a lot of bees buzzing around, in my experience, they are so involved in eating at all the flowers that they do not care about anything else. I have been able to get within a few inches and shoot them with no problem. But be careful! There may also be other interesting insects and some butterflies as well.
- Wide-angle of the whole field. If the sky has some clouds include them.
- Wide-angle from a low perspective.
- Get really close for a true macro shot (1:1 or closer).
- Multi-image painterly clouds… this requires a tripod and clouds! Set up your camera for timelapse (but not for a timelapse video as some cameras have a setting that automatically creates a video) as you will need all the images. Take at least 50 images spread over 10 minutes. In post-processing, you take all the images to PS as separate layers, select them all, and then use the “lighten” blend mode. Make a duplicate of one of the layers (should be one with no movement in the flowers), using a mask, bring in all but the sky into the image. This should give you a very painterly sky and perfect flowers below!
- Timelapse. Use a tripod. Use the Timelapse movie setting in your camera. This makes a short interesting video, especially with flowers, clouds, and people moving around.
- Image stacking – tripod, set up in camera(if possible) and shoot a number of frames with the point of focus moving slightly with each frame. Combine the frames in Helicon Focus or PS to get an image that is in focus from front to back.
- Use the video setting on your camera or cell phone!
- Images of People in the flower field.
- Make a Selfy with the flowers!
- Anything else you can think of! Just have fun!
- Because we want the farmer to keep planting the flowers every year, we must support him! SO, you must buy flowers (Zinnias last for days and Sunflowers last for a few days) OR buy some produce. I buy tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, etc from their stand and it has all been fresh and tasty! The flowers are what that plastic bag with the wet paper towel is for! We don’t want your flowers to wilt on the way home! Recut the stems when you get home and stick them in cool water immediately.
- Be respectful of your fellow TBCC members, other photographers, other visitors, and our hosts! It is Saturday so they may be very busy!
- Please send me up to 10 of your most creative images and/or your videos so I can create a highlight reel for the outing! I will send out a reminder email after the outing.
- Be creative and have fun!
Since we are not having meetings in person, this is the next best thing….to me, even better, because we are getting to do some fun photography while we get to spend some time together!
We may drive to a local taco place for an early lunch after we finish shooting!
Any questions, email me at email@example.com
PS Here is a link to my Sunflower Field Gallery from last year if you are interested. FYI- The images at the top of the gallery are the tall sunflowers they planted in the fall. https://galleries.theilluminatinglens.com/Places/Sunflower-Field-Dover-Florida-2021/