I have attended the special photographers night held at the Sussex County Sunflower maze by Liberty Farms for three years now, and it never disappoints. I saw that Liberty Farm had the fields ready, and I asked about the special photographers night. The owner Raj is so accommodating that he asked when would be a good date. I took a look at the moon calendar and let him know that the last week of August there was a new moon, so our best chances for capturing the milky way and doing star trails would be that week. He picked the date, and plans were set. When the day came, I made a three hour drive up not knowing what I’d see. The intent was to take photos of the sunflowers underneath the night sky, but we had some seriously cloudy skies. It didn’t even look like it was going to be a good sunset. Things turned around though! The above shot was just about sunset.
When I heard that the giant sunflower were in the back field, I hustled back to check them out. They were easily 10-12 feet tall. The orange tones on the clouds deepened into red. Let’s keep moving!
Taking photos at sunset is always a challenge. I prefer to scope out an area ahead and get an idea of what I want to compose in the shot. But there were SO many neat areas in the maze. Ah yes, the maze. Trying to get to areas was a fun challenge too. You could see a cluster of tall sunflowers 50 feet away, but you’d have to meander around the maze to find them.
The orange and reds from 10 minutes gave way and began to pull in purple now too. Sometimes I’m just awestruck with the colors nature provides. It’s absolutely invigorating.
In just about 30 minutes after the actual sunset, you can see how much the sky changed. For me, it was one of those events that will stay burned in my memory for a long time to come. I love being surrounded by so much natural beauty. During my rush around to get a few shots here and there, I heard the night time choir of crickets volume slowly turn up.
How about one last parting photo before the light fully fades? In all honesty, I had a difficult time deciding which photos to publish. I’m sure I’ll be going back to this batch a few time more, and I hope you all still enjoy them when I post.
The original reason for going here was pretty much a lost cause. The clouds I had loved a few hours ago, I was later cursing at. No Milky Way could be seen. Maybe I should have bought the candy bar for good luck? But somewhere behind this old farm tractor, and those cursed clouds, the Milky Way rose. The sunset made up for this and then some, don’t you think?
I wanted the thank Raj and his team at the Sussex County Sunflower Maze for accommodating all of us so well. From working with me on the new moon week request, to pulling out the old tractor, and even offering us up a slice of pizza afterwards. It was worth the 5 1/2 hour round trip drive for me, and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to check it out. They even have a tent set up where you can buy local crafts and farm produce. Plan out a trip there!
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