(Originally posted October 26, 2014)
Ok – so I said I was back in my photography groove, and while that may be true, I’m admittedly behind in my post-processing! (It’s amazing how family visits and outstanding weather just keeps me from wanting to be in front of a computer!!)
But enough about my procrastination – the good news is that the Great Sand Dunes pictures are finished. (See the latest pictures in the Dunes gallery for those shots and the older goodies.) As I suspected, it was a pretty good haul even though I came home with fewer total shots to sift through than ever before. No worries though because those prairie sunflowers were out in force and became the common theme in a lot of my shots!
Late summer is always my favorite time down at Dunes because that’s when the prairie sunflowers bloom, bringing bursts of yellow against the brown-gray sands, the green-gray mountains, and the crystal blue skies. It’s such a fantastic color mix and the flowers themselves make for fun elements to play with when composing shots. It’s fun (and a little challenging) for me to find the flowers in bunches or all alone and use them in different ways. As many times as I’ve been fortunate enough to go to the Dunes, I try not to repeat myself too much. That said, I know the place well enough that I usually have a good idea for some things to capture and other shots I want to improve on.
This most recent trip was no exception. I managed to find sunflowers in different settings and use them slightly differently.
The shot below is one I’ve always considered a classic since it got burned into my brain after seeing a John Fielder shot similar to this years and years ago. Every time I go to the Dunes in late summer, I always try to top myself (and my memories of that Fielder shot).
Later on, I chose to get in closer – much closer – on a different set of flowers, giving an entirely different feel and perspective. I’m still not sure if my favorite part about the image below is the sunflower against the texture of the sand, the shadow of the flower, or how one bloom is shining so brightly in the sun while the other is turned in a bashful way.
One of my last shots of the trip may have been my favorite. Of course it featured the flowers again, but this time they were front and center in their element. To me, the flowers in this last shot act like an usher at a theater or a maitre d’ at a fine restaurant welcoming you through the doors and inviting you in to see the rest of what the Dunes have to offer.
At the risk of revealing how much Top Chef I’ve watched over the years, I guess you could call these pictures “sunflowers 3 ways”. To me, it’s a good example of how something as simple as a flower can be used in so many different ways in a short span of time.