Traverse City Sunflowers 2013

Every year in late July and early August, I head out to the flowers. Just north of Traverse City, MI sits a couple fields of

sunflowers. The farmer rotates the crop to different plots, but the flowers are in the same vicinity year after year. Last year was a rough year, we had early high temps in the 80's for about a week, then the temps dropped back below freezing. This killed off many crops and caused hardships for the local farmers. Later in the year there was a massive drought, so what little crops that survived the freeze, died from drought. Last years sunflower crop was virtually non existent.

2013 has seen more seasonable temps and we have had plenty of rain! In my opinion this has been the best I've seen the Traverse City Sunflowers! The property is owned by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. According to their website, the flowers are planted by local farmers that lease the land. In any event, it's a beautiful sight to see and I recommend you get out and enjoy the flowers this year! The fields are between Traverse City and Elk Rapids, MI. Head north on US 31 and turn right onto bates road. From there you can pull over and enjoy the view! Both sunset and sunrise are good times to visit, but my personal favorite is sunrise.

This image was made just moments after sunrise. I used the 24mm TS-e to make this three shot panorama. A ND hard grad filter was used to balance out the exposures between the sky and the sunflowers.