Sunflowers, A Macro Study


Macro photography is fascinating and a unique window into the intricate beauty of nature. 



The set-up for this macro shoot: a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens,  a set of 3 Kenko Extension Tubes, a sturdy tripod, a clamp with a flexible wire, a wireless remote shutter release and bright window light. 

Side view of a Sunflower shot at f/16 at 1/5. Vignette added with Nik Analog Efex Pro 2. 

Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

Petals Unfurled




Close-up photography is challenging due to its limited depth of field. The 50mm lens with extension tubes demands an extremely close set-up to the subject. 

Shot at f/16 @ 1.6 seconds and processed with Nik Viveza 2. 

Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

At The Center




Shining a flashlight behind this nibbled leaf  effectively backlit the beautiful fibers and veins. Shot at  f/16 @ 0.6 seconds and processed with Nik Viveza 2.

Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

Already Been Chewed



A close-up of the unopened bud reveals its varying textures. This is shot at f/16 and the image below at f/2.8.

Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

Sunflower Bud



You can see the difference in depth of field in this image. The wider aperture isolated the points of the leaves and petals. An added background texture with Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 completes the processing. 

Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

Sunflower Bud II



This monochrome version lets your eye focus on the intricate patterns of the center. Converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. 

Black and White, Flowers, Macro, Nature, Art, Photography

Sunflower Center


 A few more close-ups. Please click to enlarge.  



“The sunflower is mine, in a way.” 

~ Vincent van Gogh



Categories: Black and White, Flowers, Plants and Trees, Macro, PhotographyTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I love sunflowers and all these intricate close ups capture the heart and soul of these gorgeous flowers.

    • I am with you, Pauline. I just love them. Glad you like my efforts on the close-ups… they are fascinating. Learned that the center pattern follows the Fibonacci sequence. Thanks for your visit.

  2. Beautiful! Sunflowers have such great personalities! Love the bud images.

  3. I love the wit behind you work, it always enlightens me. The sunflower in black and white is another world. love it.

  4. Love the buds, feels like they are opening up before my eyes. ‘At the center’ is cool too. A tease to want to see more of these jewels. Thnx !

    • Hi Diane- I immersed myself in the buds and flower…then got into the leaves. So much took at. I had a real creative time and would love to do more. Just shot CA wildflowers so they are coming soon. Thanks!

  5. I think sunflowers could sustain a photographer for life and never grow old. I like your bud shot–most of us are seduced by the brilliant golden fan effect of the full flower. That one was an unexpected treat.

  6. These are some serious macro shots, Jane! Amazingly beautiful. Thank you for providing the camera info.

  7. Lovely shots Jane – the details are wonderfully crisp and the compositions are spot on. Loved them.

  8. Elegant = like a star shinning!!

  9. Lovely pictures of the sunflower, you mentioned Vincent van Gogh, i live in the same village as he lived in from 1883 to 1885, so i feel a little bit connected 🙂

  10. Lovely set of images. Your attention to detail in composition and technique is evident in your beautiful work.

  11. Sunflowers are a great subject, so I understand (and share) your fascination with them, especially in close and therefore relatively abstract views.

  12. Loved this post – the technical info and the stunning results.

  13. Jane, a very nice collection.

  14. Stunning imagery and thank for sharing the info behind each shot. Wow!

  15. Wonderful detail and such a beautiful subject!

  16. really beautiful shots….Loving ‘at the center’…GREAT eye!!!

  17. So artistic, so sensitive, so good. Super stuff. I like you included Vincent’s quote on Sunflowers as he certainly has immortalised them in his fabulous paintings.

  18. ABC- already been chewed 😉

  19. A so pleasing to the eye ; the black and white is dazzling.

  20. Sun flowers are my home’s signature flower ….. So particularly loved this post!

  21. A look inside ~ great macro shots Jane, such detail.

  22. So much fabulous detail Jane!

  23. The crisp play of yellow and green is such a treat and there really couldn’t be a sunflower post without a quote from van Gogh!

  24. You’re right Macro photography certainly is fascinating and beautiful. Beautiful shots.

  25. Absolutely lovely. Great pictures. (Suzanne)

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