Mary Ann Carrasco  

Sunflower Crop by Mary Ann Carrasco

July 2024 - Sunflower Crop

About the Image(s)

During the summer months, local farms open up for plein air painting and photographers. This was taken at a sunflower farm. I really liked the big tree in the background so attempted to capture it with sunflowers in the foreground.

This is a focus stacked image using four photographs. I used the Nikon Z9 with 28-400 lens. Settings were F/13, ISO 100, 1/80, at 44mm.

Editing was done in camera raw and photoshop. When I straightened the image, I had to use the generative fill in order to avoid cropping it in too much. I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

8 comments posted

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Mary Ann, sunflowers always make me feel happy and so does your photograph. It is a nice, balanced exposure and a good composition. Thank you for letting us know about the generative AI fill. The focus stacking worked really well…but maybe too well? The title indicates your intended subject is the sunflowers and I really want my eye to linger there…but the big, very much in-focus tree keeps pulling my attention away. I think the tree competes too much with the flowers…but I like the tree in the composition. I'm wondering if the background were in soft focus whether that would keep my attention on the flowers? Regardless, very nice camera craft and edit.   Posted: 07/07/2024 23:29:27
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Michael, Thank you for your comments. I had to chuckle because I really wanted that tree and walked quite a distance to get this image from this perspective. So, after reading your comments, I realized that I should have titled the photo something else! You have made me rethink my titles. Thank you for that and the nice comments on it.   Posted: 07/15/2024 17:53:56

Ruth Sprain   Ruth Sprain
Mary Ann, I find your photo uplifting because of the cheery colors of the sunflowers. I especially like the one sunflower that is facing forward when all the other flowers are sideways facing the sun. The cyan sky with wispy clouds is a pleasing color combination with the greens and yellows. It's impressive that you're continuing to experiment with photo stacking. I'd prefer that the partial sunflower on the lower left be eliminated with a slight crop.   Posted: 07/11/2024 12:19:44
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Ruth, thank you for your comments. I worked on trying to bring down the highlights on the pesky sunflower on the lower left and your suggestion will work better!   Posted: 07/15/2024 17:55:03

Andres Valdespino   Andres Valdespino
Very nice composition. I agree with Ruth about the one flower on the left side. But I also agree that with most of the flowers facing sideways the eye is drawn to the one facing straight. Very nice and different. I am not that familiar with photo stacking. Is what you did to take several photos of this scene with different focal points in each and then combine them?   Posted: 07/11/2024 15:26:34
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Andres, thank you for your comments. Yes, focus stacking is a process to take images with different focus and then stack them. My camera will take the images automatically if I set it up. Sometimes I do it myself. And I use photoshop to edit and bring them together. With photoshop, I am finding that it does better with less images. I know there are other software options but I haven't gone that far into it.   Posted: 07/15/2024 17:59:31

Joan Field   Joan Field
Mary Ann, I wonder if this was taken in California as I know there are a number of sunflower farms around that allow photographers access, although grudgingly. I think they want to direct us to acceptable places so we don't tromp all over the flowers, which are, of course, their bread and butter. Although the horizon is pretty centered, I could see no way of cropping this to avoid it. You don't want to cut ou any of the beautiful flowers and you can't cut out the sky without removing part of the tree, so you are stuck with a horizon in the middle Nonetheless, it is a charming photo with a great sky, showing the beauty of agriculture and the wonderful oak trees of the area. Good for you for using focus stacking. It is about the only way to get that sharpness front to back. Good job!   Posted: 07/16/2024 16:41:45

Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Hi Mary Ann,
The sunflowers are very sharp with your focus stacking technique. Your intention to include a big tree does help locking the viewers' eyes after they scrolled through rows of sunflowers. As most of the sunflowers turn towards the sun, there is one sunflower facing your camera which makes it stand out from the fields.
My question is: Since it's a local farm and it opens for plein air painting and photographers, did you have a chance to get to its East side to take photos of the front of the sunflowers?   Posted: 07/18/2024 09:17:09


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