Grinter Farms Sunflowers, 2017

Well, here we are.  Another year has passed.  It's funny how time just slips by sometimes.  I remember thinking about going to Grinter Farms again earlier this year, but then realizing it was still several months before the sunflowers would be in bloom.  Plenty of time to do other things. Lots of other pictures to capture.  Then all of a sudden, it's September again.  Time to head out to the farm while the sunflowers are at their peak.  They don't last long, in the grand scheme of things.  Kind of like so many other things.  They are here, then gone in the blink of an eye.  

Trying out a new lens, in search of inspiration.

This year's peak began over Labor Day weekend.  Remembering the crowds from last year, there was no way I was going to attempt to go then.  I waited a couple extra days and headed down to Grinter's the Tuesday evening after the holiday weekend.  The flowers were still full and bright, and definitely photogenic.  There were also plenty of people there that evening.  It has really become the place to be for anyone in the area who likes sunflowers.  I'm not sure how many different photoshoots I saw that evening.  There were tons of photographers with huge softboxes, strobes, and all sorts of props.  It was like a giant outdoor studio.

A change in perspective is a good way to capture an image that is a little 'different' than all the rest.

The great thing about coming here is that you can pretty much go anywhere you want in the fields.  It's not too difficult to get away from the crowds, if that's what you want.  Most people stay near the edges closest to the parking areas.  I go about as far away from the parking as I can get.  Most people also leave as soon as the sun sets.  That just happens to be when good things really start happening in the sky, as the colors really start to pop.  

Don't forget the details.  There is so much to see!

Last year, I stuck around until well after dark to capture the Milky Way.  No such luck this year, as the moon was full (or near full), washing out most of the stars.  By the time the skies are dark enough again, the sunflowers are going to be pretty much done for the season.  That's OK though; it's still fun while it lasts, and such a neat place to visit.  If you've never been there, then put it on your calendar for next year.  It's worth the trip if you are anywhere close to the area. Even if you're not a photographer.

Also, don't forget to turn around.  Sometimes there are interesting things behind you, too!

Holding the camera high overhead on the tripod to get this shot.

The moon was nearly full on this night.

The Wildflowers of Capitol Reef National Park

When driving through southern Utah, one thing that is really striking is the desolation of that land.  There aren't many trees; not much green of any kind.  Every direction is mainly reddish-orange rock or soil of some type.  It's a place that receives very little rain.  A place that is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  It is a harsh place, as evidenced by the sparse population of the area.  Although Utah has a population of nearly 3 million, the majority of those live in the northern part of the state in the area centered around Salt Lake City.  

With the abundance of sandstone and apparent lack of water, you might not expect to find much life.  And certainly not much color.  However, getting off the interstate and taking the time to explore reveals surprisingly abundant life.  A diversity of life...and plenty of colorful scenery.  

I've always enjoyed taking pictures of wildflowers.  Seems that on a hike, I'm always way behind everyone else as I stop along the trail to capture images of the flora along the way.  It's something about the intricate detail and the inherent beauty that catches the eye and begs to be recorded on the digital sensor.  I wrote an article a couple of years ago for the Improve Photography website about flower photography.  Go check it out for more information.  

Now, back to Utah.  You may have been following along with my previous posts about my trip to Capitol Reef National Park.  I'm still working through the images from that adventure and enjoying every minute of it.  I thought it would be interesting (well, interesting to me anyway) to show the wildflower images from the trip.  Just to prove that they are there.  Even in the desert. Take a look.

Tansyleaf Aster

Central Prickly Pear

Utah Daisy


Claret Cup

Utah Daisy

Cliff Rose

Basin Blanketflower

Tufted Evening Primrose

Golden Mariposa

Harriman's Yucca

Dwarf Lupine

Scapose Greenthread

Prince's Plume

Rough Mulesear

Life finds a way