Photographing sunflowers with an Infrared camera can produce some unworldly and fun images. (John Enman photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Sunflower Festival a perfect place for photography

This past week I made an agreement to meet a photographer in Chilliwack. He had decided to reduce the size of the camera bag he carried on his weekly hikes and was selling his large DSLR to make room for smaller Mirrorless equipment.

I asked my friend Jo if she had time to join me on my three hour Sunday morning drive and she said, “yes and we can go to the Sunflower festival too”.

I checked and the advertisement said: “The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival is brought to you by the creators of the Chilliwack Tulip Festival. Take a stroll along our numerous wide one-way pathways on our 10 acres brimming with floral beauty. We have 25 varieties of Sunflowers, including our stunning Sunrich Orange and the new Giant Sunflowers plus two picturesque display gardens with Dahlias and Gladiolas.”

I thought that would be a great way to test out the new camera and we both packed our wide-angle lenses for the trip.

We arrived at the festival grounds, were directed to a parking spot, and then walked to the entrance. There was a large sign telling everyone that the festival only allows a certain amount of people at a time and reminded everyone on entering to practice “social distancing”.

The day had clear blue skies with a very slight breeze and we wandered along the wide paths with tall sunflowers on both sides photographing everything.

There were high viewing platforms that allowed a great overview of the grand field, plus a wagon, tractor, old bicycle, swings and even a Dutch windmill for people to pose against. (Each included a hand sanitizing station) And, of course, everyone was carrying some type of camera to take pictures.

We rambled among the flowers, explored, took pictures and had a good time. There were so many colours, and Jo had to put up with me asking her to pose, hmm…everywhere. As I walked and casually distanced myself from other people I kind of missed those days when I would talk with the people I met. We would sometimes stand shoulder to shoulder as we exchanged comments and become momentary friends.

I also brought my Infrared camera and was surprised with how the sunflowers absorbed the IR light. The colours were not what I hoped they would be, but the photos were fun and a bit unworldly images all the same.

I like short drives to new environments that are filled with photo opportunities. This year one has to be a bit careful, but with a little common sense the adventures are still there. Maybe the ocean cruises, plane flights and trips across the border are an out for some of us, but for me there is still plenty to explore with my camera right here in British Columbia. I’m already planning for next week.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.

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