I dedicate this gallery in memory of my wife, Deborah.
For several years I have enjoyed photographing sunflower fields. So much, in fact, that I usually go in search of fields each year. I try to find one within an hour drive of Wichita so I can get there easily for sunrise. Sunflower fields are few and far between in this region of Kansas. Some years I found no fields at all. And just because I found a field, there was no guarantee that same field would have sunflowers next year. This year, 2017, was one of those years in which I could not find any fields. Debbie knew of my passion for photographing sunflowers. She was looking at the Wichita Eagle online and noticed a video posted by a staff photographer. He had posted drone footage flying over a beautiful field of sunflowers near Oxford, Kansas. I decided to make the drive the next evening and be there for sunset.
The sky was cloudy all day and things were not improving late afternoon. I didn't think I would see a sunset at all but went anyway hoping to at least get some interesting clouds above the flowers. Upon arrival, I set up my tripod and waited. I took a few shots just in case this would be as good as it gets. As 8:00 pm (sunset time) approached, I had lost hope of seeing the sun. I had wandered several rows out in the field when suddenly, the sun appeared as a huge orange ball through a gap between the clouds and the horizon. I looked through the camera's viewfinder and took a few shots, realizing I had a wide-angle lens on the camera. The sun looked like a pin hole. I needed to switch to a telephoto lens to enlarge the sun in the photo. The orange ball was disappearing fast. I ran to the car and grabbed my telephoto, ran back and changed lenses as fast as I could, just in time to get one shot as the sun fell below the horizon. "Wow, that was exciting!"
These were the last photos I captured before Deborah's passing.
If not for Debbie, I would have missed out on this intimate moment with nature.
If not for Debbie, I would have missed out on a lot in life!
© Thane Rogers Photography