Weekly Pick - NPN Weekly Challenge gallery

My photo of “wall to wall” sunflowers was selected as the Weekly Pick in the Weekly Challenge gallery on Nature Photographers Network.  The theme for the Weekly Challenge last week was “State or National Symbols.”  Naturally, when I think of my wonderful home state of Kansas, sunflowers come to mind (but maybe that’s because I have a sunflower “fetish”).  I posted two sunflower images last week, and this one was selected as the winner.  I feel so very honored.  This is the third WP honor I’ve received.  It was a good week for Kansas NPN photographers – Wayne Rhodus received a WP for his columbine image in the Flora gallery, and Rob Graham received a WP for his image of an oil rig at Monument Rocks in the Environmental Photojournalism gallery.

I made this image near Morrowville, in Washington Co., Kansas last August.  A fellow NPN member, Scott Bean, gave me the directions to this particular field, and I certainly was not disappointed.  I set my camera up in the bed of my husband’s Tundra pickup to get slightly elevated.  Since I’m so short, this is sometimes a problem, especially with tall subjects like sunflowers.  We found a great spot where the rolling terrain was covered with blooms, and I used my 70-300 mm lens to compress the scene, and focused on the first row of flowers nearest to me.  Looking through the viewfinder, all I could see was a sea of sunflowers – perfect!  The sun kept playing peek-a-boo with some widely scattered clouds, so I just waited for the sun to be covered up to diffuse the light a bit, and squeezed off a few shots.  My one regret is that I didn’t have my new Canon 70-200 lens for this, as it is much sharper than my old lens.  Guess that means I’ll just have to try and recreate it again sometime 😉