This past September, the camera club had an outing to a sunflower field.  The problem was that it was a two hour drive from home.  Yes, it’s not that far, but it’s not that close.  To spend four hours of our day in the car was just not appealing.  There were too many things that had to be done around the house.

But then I decided to do a little research and see if there were any sunflower fields closer to home.  And what did I find?  There was a field just on the other side of town!  It was only 5-6 miles from the house!  Let’s try that!

So Annette and I drove over there and found that we were richly rewarded.  There was a large field of mature sunflowers.  It looked like 50 acres!  So we pulled off the road, got out our camera gear and started shooting.

I came away from the field with this contrasting pair of images amongst my captures.  These two images are a study in focus: soft vs. crisp.

This first photo, the (relatively) crisp focus image, shows nice detail in the petals and seeds of the flower.  The aperture was wide enough that the background blurred, which allowed it to not compete with the actual flower.


Crisp Focus Sunflower

Crisp Focus Sunflower

In this next image, the soft focus gives the image a wonderful, dreamy quality, which is a significant contrast from the highly detailed image above.

Soft Focus Sunflower

Soft Focus Sunflower

In several photography workshops that Annette and I have attended, we have been instructed to simplify and isolate, and that was my intention here.


I have simplified the photos to just three things/zones

  1. The center of the flower
  2. The petals
  3. The background


  1. I have isolated this flower from the multitude of other flowers in the field and,
  2. Through the use of a wide aperture, I have isolated the flower from the background.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Get out there and keep shooting!