Endless field of sunflowers during August season in Colorado

Fresh Shots: Colorado Sunflowers

About This Photo

Outside of it’s reputation for the mountains in the west, Colorado’s eastern plains provide a different kind of beauty. Each year, summertime is brought to a close by the blooming fields of sunflowers in early August. Lasting around three weeks before they begin to die, the yellow fields travel on as far as the eye can see. The farmers move the fields move each year, so sometime’s they are difficult to find. The best area to begin a search is just south of Denver International Airport. An old wives tale says that sunflowers follow the sun east to west as it moves across the sky, but when the sun sets in the west, these sunflowers were still facing east allowing me to shoot into the setting sun.

Topics Covered In This Tutorial

  • Brightness/Tonal Contrast
  • White Balance
  • Vibrance/Saturation
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Cropping/Straightening
  • Sharpening/Noise Reduction

Software Used

Included In Your Purchase

  • 25 minute MP4 video showing entire editing process.
  • The original RAW file for you to edit along (released under Creative Commons).
  • My final edited photo.
  • Instructions and helpful links.

Purchase ($5.99)

Gear

EXIF

1/4 seconds @f/14 ISO 400 Focal Length: 95mm

Date / Time

August 17, 2011 7:03PM MST

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March 2014 Desktop Wallpaper – Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta glows under the moonlight on the northern California countryside. This shot was taken last year on a quick weekend trip up the state. It was my first time experiencing the enormity of Mount Shasta, and I hope to return to climb to it’s summit one day this fall. The best part of photographing near this old barn were the horses galloping in the dark. You can see one just to the left of the barn in the photo. In the pitch dark, the herd was difficult to see so you could always hear their hoofs pounding before actually getting a visual.

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October 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Capitol Peak Autumn

The wallpaper is back! My apologies for the delay, but I’m now settled into San Francisco and things are back to normal. This month’s photo comes from my favorite mountain in Colorado, during my favorite season – Capitol Peak in autumn. For a few weeks out of the year, Colorado explodes with yellows and oranges as the aspens change colors. Soon, all the leaves will disappear as winter sets in.

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July 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Window to Capitol Peak

When two good friends pay a visit from California I have to bring out all the goods and show them the best locations to photograph in Colorado. Michael Bonocore, Natalia Stone, and I spent all night photographing the Milky Way over Capitol Peak and just after sunrise resorted to our tents for a quick nap before heading off on our next adventure. The view out of my tent door wasn’t too bad!

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Sunrise Above the Fog – Patience Paying Off

Recently I wrote a post titled 10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life. In that post, the item that I gave the most value to was patience. A few weeks ago this paid off for me in the best way.

Mount Evans is a 14er which sits on the front range just outside of the Denver metroplex. On it is the highest paved road in North America which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Since moving to Colorado in 2007 I’ve kept a daily eye on the weather hoping to see a prediction of slow moving storms which bring low fog through the valley below the peak’s summit. Time and time again I’ve left my house at 3:30 AM only to catch a cloud-free sunrise or a dense whiteout. Watching a new day begin from 14,000 feet made each trip worth it, but continually not getting what I set out to see was a huge test to my patience.

That all changed last week.
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June 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Trout Lake and Mount Shasta

This photo was shot on an early morning at Trout Lake in Northern California. This adventure led me into the countryside where myself and 3 of my photographer friends spent all night capturing the Milky Way over an abandoned barn. We wrapped up the all-nighter at Trout Lake before heading back to San Francisco on little sleep.

(A big thank you to Aperture Academy’s Brian Rueb for the GPS coordinates and location help in finding this and other epic spots throughout this weekend.)

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2013 Casey Mac Photo Wall Calendar

Camping in Colorado

My 2013 Casey Mac Photo Wall Calendar is now available for purchase! These 13 photos are a small selection of my favorite photos from my adventures in 2012. The calendar includes shots (seen below) from Colorado, California, Utah, Costa Rica, and Alaska.

The calendar is $20 + $3 shipping to anywhere in the United States. It is 11″ x 17″ when open and spiral-bound on 100# gloss stock paper. Should you decide to purchase 3 or more calendars, please contact me prior to ordering and I will provide you with a discount.

Thank you for supporting independent artists and allowing me to share these photos with you.





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October 2012 Desktop Wallpaper – Dallas Divide, Colorado

October 2012 Desktop Wallpaper Dallas Divide

Fall in Colorado is the best time of year, and the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado are the best place to experience it. This shot, taken from the top of the Dallas Divide, shows Mount Sneffels, a 14,000ft mountain, towering over the aspens in the valley below.

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September 2012 Desktop Wallpaper – Blue Lake, Alaska

One of my favorite things about photography is that luck can be just as much a part of a photo as years of knowledge and experience. My friends and I only expected to shoot at Blue Lake in Alaska for a few minutes before heading off to another location for the day, but when we came over the crest and saw the still lake, we were greeted with a rowboat that seemed to hover on top of the smooth water – the perfect foreground subject. We ended up staying here for an hour and this was one of my favorite shots. The lake was so calm and the air so still that it’s almost difficult to tell where the boat ends and the lake begins.

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August 2012 Desktop Wallpaper – Mount Edgecumbe, Alaska

Sitka Alaska Mount Edgecumbe desktop wallpaper

I had a incredible opportunity to travel to Alaska in June with two good photographer friends, Colby Brown and Joe Azure. We spent an entire week hiking, taking photos of the ocean, mountains, bears, and all the wonderful scenery that Alaska has no shortage of. Denver has had a stretch of multiple 100+ degree days this summer, so a trip to the cool, cloudy Sitka, Alaska was something that I intend to make a summer tradition. This shot was on one of the first nights in Sitka and one of the few that a sunset actually made it’s way through the clouds. It was worth the wait as this light show on Mount Edgecumbe was amazing.

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