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Sunflower Safari at Sunset

Photograph a wide variety of sunflowers in the late afternoon and at sunset at Burnside Farms

Quick Details


Located an hour outside of DC in Nokesville, Virginia, Burnside Farms is a small, family-owned farm that plants 25 acres of sunflowers which bloom from the end of July to Labor Day. There are 30 varieties of sunflowers to photograph – yellow, variegated, red, white (yes, white!), large, small, and fancy, to name a few!

There are also flowerbeds of Zinnias, Cosmos, and Mexican Sunflowers which attract butterflies.

a close up of a flower

In addition being open during the day, Burnside Farms is also open for Sunsets! The safari will begin at 5:30 and conclude when the farm closes at 8pm, which is around sunset.
During the safari, we will concentrate on photographing sunflowers based on:

• location – in close proximity to other sunflowers or on its own; facing toward or away from the sun
• height – some are only 4 or 5 feet tall, others are 6 to 7 feet tall; and
• characteristics, such as a dark or light center, frilly or variegated petals

A mid-range zoom lens affords the greatest flexibility when photographing sunflowers. The minimum focusing distance will allow you to get fairly close to the sunflower, so that you can frame the whole sunflower, “zoom in” to capture details in the flowers, or “zoom out” to capture a wider view of the sunflower field. Macro lenses are also good for capturing details. A diffuser and reflector are also recommended. A flash can also be helpful for illuminating the center of a sunflower when shooting into the sun.

The instructor will also bring her crystal ball, so that interested Safarians can try creating unique images.

Crystal Ball at Burnside Farms

Since this is a cutting farm, you are permitted to walk through the rows of sunflowers as long as you are careful not to damage any of the plants. And, three sunflowers are included with the price of admission, which is included in the cost of the safari. Additional Sunflowers can be purchased for $1.50 per stem. Garden snips are available for use when you enter. If you plan on taking some sunflowers home, bring a container and water so that fhe flowers don’t wilt before you get them home.

Burnside Farms Sunflowers

Tripods are optional, since it can be challenging to set one up in the sunflower fields. The rows are fairly narrow, and the legs sometimes get tangled in vegetation.

Bring bug spray and water, since it gets hot in the fields!

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