Flower Sunrise

Flower Sunrise

Another one in the never-ending series of pictures that fall under the category of “Shots I almost didn’t get because I was too lazy,” this is kind of a simple picture of a flower at sunrise but there’s a few things that stand out to me not only about the photo but about how it was shot, so I figured it was fairly well suited to end up here on the blog. We have had an unusual amount of rain in Oklahoma this year, with May being the wettest month ever since records have been kept. So much precipitation, in fact, that sunny mornings like this have been more the exception than the rule. This has led to an incredible amount of greenery and other natural growth that doesn’t usually happen until a bit later in the year, if at all, and is part of what made this shot possible in the first place.

As I was driving to work (instead of biking, thanks to the wet weather) I saw this field near our house that had exploded in yellow flowers overnight. My first thought was “Hmm, that would make a good picture” and then I just kept driving. Seriously, I almost didn’t get this picture because I decided I couldn’t spare 30 seconds to stop my car and walk across the street. Thankfully I quickly realized that this was a pretty lame course of action especially given how often I preach about getting your camera off the shelf and going out to shoot with it. A half block later I pulled into a parking lot, grabbed my camera, and ran back to the field to take a few pictures because…well, why not?

I liked how the sun was peeking over the horizon which not only gave a nice bit of backlighting on the flowers, but also gave the rain and dew on the ground an ethereal, almost otherworldly look. (Truth be told it reminds me of some areas deep within the planet Zebes.) I purposely left the image a bit low in overall contrast to give it a somewhat dreamy quality, as if you were looking at it soon after waking up before your vision has cleared. As is my custom I did not review the shots on-site, and instead just got in my car and continued on my drive to work hoping I got a good picture. Turns out I did, or at least I got one that I’m happy with. And really, that’s often all that matters with photography anyway :)


  1. Simon —
    Enjoyable way to begin the day! I liked the photo a lot. Especially the bokeh with a 2.8 aperture. I would have thought you would have to go with an even wider aperture to get this much of the background out of focus. I also like that you can see some of the condensation as well. I take several things away from this week’s episode. First, the “Golden Hour” is a great time for photography. Second, the subject of the photo can be just about anything–it is how it is presented that matters. Finally, you have to have your camera with you to take photos! Now, where did that D7100 go?

    • Thank you David! I’m glad I could help give you a bright start to the day :) I was also a bit surprised at the smooth bokeh with just an f/2.8 aperture, but I think part of that was due to the sheer physical distance between the flower and the rest of the background. I know what you mean about having your camera with you, too. Yesterday I came across a scene that I thought would have made a great Weekly Fifty pic, but all too late I realized that I did not bother to bring my camera with me. Whoops :) What about you? What are some of your favorite shots you’ve taken with that D7100?

  2. This is lovely Simon, so whimsical and sweet!

  3. Simon —
    I have owned my D7100 for about a month. I had a GAS attack and upgraded from my D5100. I like portraiture and street photography. My favorites are of my girls and my Mom and now deceased Dad. There is so much to learn with these cameras! Being old and technologically challenged doesn’t help!

    • Oh man, I know what you mean about Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I get it bad, some days worse than others, and sometimes even when I get something new I start looking for something even better the next day. *sigh* Do you still have your D5100, or did you get rid of it to buy your D7100? Both are fantastic cameras, and I’m sure you are taking some excellent pics of your family with them. And you know, hearing you mention your deceased father is a good reminder that at the end of the day it’s the memories we create with the people we love that matter most. Even if we just have an iPhone or pocket camera and can snap a few memorable pics, sometimes that’s all you need. Maybe it’s time I stopped looking at new cameras and started looking at the people around me a bit more…

      • Well said, Simon! It never ceases to amaze me how posting a simple picture of a flower cab generate this much discourse. I give thanks to our mighty Savior for the ability to enjoy this. Have a blessed day!

  4. I love this type of shot. I am lucky to have a relatively late start time at my office job, so I am blessed to have time to go out in the morning and shoot.
    I usually go for higher contrast, but I really like your approach. I may try it. That is if you don’t mind.
    Thank you for leading us through your thought process. I learn by listening to photographers I admire.

    • Why thank you, Rebecca! I enjoy looking through your photos on Flickr, and get a lot of ideas from the things you shoot as well. I normally like higher contrast photos too, but it was fun to try something different here :)

      • Oh, I’m honored. I still have a way to go, cleaning up my public – vs – private files on Flickr. One day it will not be such a jumble.

        • I know what you mean! When I first signed up for Flickr years ago I though I’d use it for all my pics, but now I only put a select few on there. I know they have some good organization tools for public vs. private sharing, and maybe I should look into that a bit more.

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