Norfolk Sunflowers

While out for a drive this morning I caught a brief glimpse of this field of sunflowers so I did a u-turn and drove off towards them. After driving along the edge of the field I found a convenient place to park (in an adjacent field - thank goodness for 4WD).

Location: A field just off the A1067 (Norwich to Fakenham Road) near the village of Bintree. See the panoramio map at the bottom of this posting.

Inspiration: all those massive fields of sunflowers I'd passed over the years driving through Spain. Always being on a motorway I found it impossible to stop - but like a fisherman I was philosophical about the 'ones that got away' and promised I'd one day return.

Technique: Once in the field I was a bit dissapointed - the flowers follow the sun, and at that time it was high in the sky and in front of me. All the flower heads were looking away from me with their 'noses' in the air. I really needed to be in the middle of the field with a step ladder (not something I routinely carry in the car). Furthermore it appeared to be a little late in the season with half the flowers hanging their heads, with no petals, and ready to drop their seed. There was no option I had to walk around the field to a spot where most of the flowers were facing me, (fortunately Norfolk fields are nowhere as big as those in Spain). Then it was a matter of walking around, climbing up onto the slightly raised scrubby field edges, getting down low in ditches; all with the aim of trying to find a reasonable composition. Oh yes and just one more problem - it was quite windy. Those heads wouldnt keep still so I had to shoot at about 1/125sec. in order to get a reasonably sharp subject. This also meant a relatively high ISO if I was going to achieve any depth of field.

perched high on a scrubby ditch edge so I could look into their faces....

in a ditch (full of nettles) to capture these three
(auditioning for parts in the 'Flower Pot Men' - blob-a-dob weeeed!)

... Photo of the Day ...

Camera Work: Nikon D80, RAW(12bit), 
Focal Length - 60mm,
Exposure - 1/80sec at F/14 & ISO400,
ColorMode - IIIa,
Sharpening - High,
Tone - Auto,
Saturation - Auto, WhiteBalance - Auto

 original (unprocessed) image
Post Capture: In Capture NX2
Camera Settings: Tone - High Contrast, Saturation - enhanced,
Color Noise Reduction: Intensity - 8%, Sharpness 5(on a scale 0 - 10) to compensate for noise introduced by using ISO 400;
Quick Fix: slight tweek to curves to improve mid tones (to bring out detail in the petals), further increase of 8% to saturation;
Adjustments: straighten the horizon, crop to A3+ for printing, Auto retouch to remove telegraph pole on horizon, High Pass sharpening (4px)

Organised Landscape

close-up version of my 'Photo of the Day' - doesn't quite work


  1. Is this there this year (2012)? Just found your blog while searching to find a sunflower field in Norfolk :)



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