The Darkroom

Selfies with sunnies: How to take the best photo in Maryland's sunflower fields

Maryland’s Instagram-worthy sunflower fields are blooming. While July’s record rainfall has delayed blooms at some venues, the flowers at Rocky Point Creamery and The Sunflower Garden are ready for those perfect pictures. Here are some tips for photographing at these locales:

» To emphasize the number of flowers, shoot with a wide-angle lens.

» Use a telephoto lens to get close to one flower that catches your eye, and then use the rest as compositional elements.

» Explore different angles of light — don’t be afraid of backlighting. Light coming through the petals can add a punch.

» A polarizer can really bring out the color in the flowers and emphasize the blue sky.

» Take only pictures — leave the flowers as you found them so others can enjoy. Unless you’re at a farm that offers pick-your-own flowers for a fee, like the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council.

» Some fields have distinct rows of sunflowers. You can use the rows to create a more interesting composition in your pictures.

» Know when to go. Depending on planting time, some fields can peak in July, others in September.

» For contrast, dress in colors that are complimentary to the flowers such as shades of blue, white or purple.

Where to go

Broom's Bloom Dairy 700 S Fountain Green Road, Bel Air. While there are some sunflowers in bloom, another field is supposed to hit its peak in September.

Clear Meadow Farm 3114 Troyer Road, White Hall. According to their Facebook page: “As a result of very hot, dry conditions and then recent heavy rains and the field being flooding right after the sunflowers were planted, they did not have a chance to take root and they were washed away and/or rotted.” A farm employee said there should be more blooms coming in September.

The Maryland Agricultural Resource Council1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville. Blooms are expected in September. Pick-your-own is available for a fee, $1 per stem or $10 per dozen.

The McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area Just off River Road, Western Montgomery County. Flowers are no longer in bloom for 2018.

Rocky Point Creamery 4323 Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora. Blooms have opened at the creamery, although they are “on the smaller side due to flooding rains we’ve had,” according the the creamery’s Facebook page. Rocky Point Creamery also offers pick-your-own flowers for $1 a piece, donations go to St. Jude’s.

The Sunflower Garden 2390 Manchester Road, Westminster. The blooms “are doing pretty well,” according to a farm employee. They will reach full bloom at the end of August. The garden offers pick-your-own flowers; $12 gets you a large bunch.

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