Find us on Google+

Sunflowers in Memphis

by Blair Evan Ball on September 9, 2014

Sunflowers are annuals with showy, daisy like flower heads that are usually 2-4 inches across and bright yellow (though occasionally red). Tall and course, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Today, varieties have even been developed for small spaces and containers.

Usually every August, the Agricenter here in Memphis plants rows of sunflowers. Once they start popping out, the hordes of people descend upon them to photograph. Some just want to photograph them, some want to bring couples, families, kids, grand kids out to capture this once a year event. The sunflowers usually last a couple of weeks and are gone until the next year.

I prefer to photograph the sunflowers by themselves. There is something about getting out and decompressing as time stands still. The challenge is getting the right lighting (early morning, late afternoon) and composition. Hey, how many different ways can you photograph a sunflower?

I’ll sometimes use a macro lens, other times I’ll actually use a 300mm lens, to get up close for butterfly’s, other times a wide angle lens.


Sunflowers_Blair Ball Image -1

This photo was taken at dusk after the rain came through earlier. I took a wide angle lens and go up close to the sunflower you see in the foreground.

Sunflowers_Blair Ball_Images

This image was taken with a 300mm lens, had to keep my distance from the butterfly. Typically they don’t stay on the flower for very long.

Sunflowers_Blair Ball_Images Memphis

This image was processed in post using a unique blend of filters to give this effect. Although not for everyone it does lend a different sense of depth and dimension to the sunflower image.

If you want to learn how to photograph and how to process images. My two upcoming workshops would be the ideal learning environment for you.

Digital Photography “101”


For More Information:

Adobe Lightroom


For More Information:



Did you get a chance to watch the final round of the PGA Championship on the  Sunday Aug. 10th?

The young versus the old competed like warriors down the stretch with Rory McIlroy winning by 1 stroke over Phil Mickelson the 44 year old veteran. Phil was the crowd favorite and came so close. Rickie battled all day long and at one point was in the lead. However…Rory’s final 8 holes he came on strong, and finished strong to win the last golf major of the year.

Rory had just won back to back major championships, and the last three tournaments in a roll. At the age of 25 only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods had won 4 majors at the same age.  Pretty good company for Rory.

I had the fortunate experience to photograph all three. Phil Mickelson, Rory McElroy and Rickie Fowler.


FedEx St. Jude's Classic Phil Michelson 2014


Reelfoot Lake Photography Workshop

August 5, 2014

Photography continues to gain in popularity with the ease of digital cameras. What challenges most new photographers is the ability to master their camera, and then utilize it to the best of their abilities in the field. That’s one of the driving forces for me to conduct classroom workshops, but then have out in the […]

Read the full article →

Collierville Classic Car Show

October 1, 2013

Collierville hosts an annual Classic Car Show. The Police Department and Landers Ford this year headed up the event held at Central Church, in Collierville Tennessee. Hundreds of Classic Cars show up and it’s a challenge to photograph. Usually the cars are parked right next to one another and there are parking lot lines to […]

Read the full article →

Lightroom Photography Class

July 19, 2013

How would you like to process your images like a PRO? Did you know you can do most of your post processing right inside Lightroom? In the Digital Age of Photography, it is just as important that you master post processing as you do taking photographs. This is a hands on class to teach you […]

Read the full article →

Reelfoot Lake

March 30, 2013

Reelfoot Lake is a great place for photography. There are an abundance of wildlife, birds, flowers, that make photographing a rewarding and fun experience. You can capture some amazing photographs on shore, however if you really want to get into some great areas for birds such as Egrets, Blue Herons, Osprey, etc. you have to […]

Read the full article →

Monster Jam Memphis

March 2, 2013

  Memphis Monster Jam Event was recently held in Memphis. One of the things I’m passionate about is photographing events, company events, action events, capturing the moment and telling a story with the photographs. Early in February Feld Motorsports contacted me to photograph the Monster Jame Memphis event at FedEx Forum. Families of all ages […]

Read the full article →

Memphis International Blues Challenge

January 26, 2013

The 2013 International Blues Challenge will be the 29th year of Blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition. The Blues Foundation will present the 29th International Blues Challenge January 29-February 2, 2013 in Memphis, TN. The world’s largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues […]

Read the full article →

Photographing LoCash Cowboys Concert in Texas

November 27, 2012

Photographing band events is somewhat challenging. Lighting is always difficult, different color lights which cast that color on the band members face changing the skin tones. Will they allow you to use flash to photograph the event, if not does your camera support higher ISO settings where the digital noise doesn’t become overwhelming and ruin […]

Read the full article →

The Battle of Shiloh 150 Year Anniversary

August 4, 2012

It was a moving experience to photograph the reenactment of this epic battle “The Battle of Shiloh” this past spring. Had the opportunity to go with fellow Memphis Camera Club members Tony and Angie Menne, great couple! You will see a series of photographs that will  give you the look and feel of the battle […]

Read the full article →