Leaving The Top Off The Celestial Blender

Driving up the path to the top of the field that morning, it looked as though the Almighty was making a Strawberry Smoothie and left the top off the blender.  It was Spectacular!

Easily, the most stunning pre-dawn I have seen in the fields since I came here 16 years ago.  And that’s saying something since I am up for just about every sunrise year round.

Shot with a Nikon D800E and an 18-35mm lens and a Nikon D700 with a 20mm Prime. Spot metering, f/8 ISO 400. Thanks for looking and have a great week ahead. See you next time.



Dawn on Wednesday brought ample evidence of what was coming that night. By nightfall it had started as very light sleet with snow mixed.

Living out in the country, our biggest fear is always the loss of power.  I had layed in enough gasoline to power the generators  for several days in the event of a power failure but the weather gods shined upon us this time and the lights stayed on.  I figure we got maybe 3 to 5 inches with drifts in some places up to 7 or 8.  Not much when compared with what the Northeast got, but down here where snow removal is the month of July, it was enough to bring everything to a halt. There was nothing to do but admire a winter scene we had not seen since 2010.

The crews had moved in the day before the storm and harvested all of the soybeans and got them under cover before the snow started leaving a pristine field of white looking west toward the tree line and the tin barn.  It’s been brutally cold here since the storm with overnight lows just a tick above zero. Serious stuff for Southeastern North Carolina.  Thanks for the look.  Stay warm. See you next time.

A Worthy Sub for the D750

I had noticed the fade in a corner of a frame of one of my shots with the Nikon D750,  along with what seemed to be a hint of some artifacts hidden in the light.  I thought nothing of it.  Most of my photography is done at sunrise and unwanted flares and other tricks of the light are pretty common.  Then came the news that Nikon wanted me to check the serial number on my camera to see if it was affected by what Nikon had deemed a faulty shutter.  It was.  I was strongly advised to pack up the camera and send it off to Nikon for the installation of a new shutter to fix the problem.  There is no charge and Nikon picks up the tab for shipping at both ends.  Off it went.

I moved the trusty 24-140 mm F4 G lens that lived on the 750 to the old warhorse, the D700.  I admit I had some concerns.  The 700 packs just over 12 megapixels, exactly half of the D750 but, in my perfectly unscientific opinion, it shines in its low light capabilities and its ability to blend the edges of objects into the prevailing tones to create what to me anyway is a very pleasing and artistic image.  I got everything ready for the next trek out into the fields here on the farm.

The D700 doesn’t lend itself too well to cropping in post,  thus, framing in the camera is a must.  But at the end of the day, The old D700 is setting itself up to be the F3 of the digital age.  It’s been around for a long time but it still takes marvelous pictures.  Thanks for the look and best wishes for a joyous, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2018.  See you next year!

The Soybean Field II

I spent several more days in the soybean field this past week, drawn by the pre-dawn sky which provides  a rather spectacular backdrop for, lets face it, a rather boring crop in the field.

The above shot was an afterthought.  I was heading back to the house when I happened to turn around and saw the rising sun’s reflection on the cloud bank rolling in from the north.  A reminder of the old photography tip to always turn around.

Taken early that morning from the southwest near the wetlands on the farm.  The rows of soybeans take your eye straight to the pre-sunrise sky.

I don’t usually venture out on overcast days but I made an exception because of the quilted clouds which I could see from my kitchen window.  I’m blessed by living near our farm fields and the beach, which I plan to return to next week.  Thanks for the look. See you next time.


The Cotton Field



Time was, the crop dusters would fly in to spray the crop  in order to defoliate it.  Now, most growers just let nature take its course and that was the case here. The cold nights have taken care of the cotton foliage without chemicals being applied,  and the cotton is ready for harvest.

Harvest time comes with its own drama.  The Autumn along with the cooler temperatures ushers in spectacular cloud formations and they change quickly.  These shots were all taken on the same morning within a 15 minute span.  Thanks for the look and have a good week.  See you next time.

Late Summer Sunflowers

These were planted in late July instead of late June which had been the normal practice here.  Other than extending the blooming season, it probably made little difference.  There’s no maintenance involved.  You plant the seeds and Mother Nature does the rest.  These Van Goghs lasted right on into September.  A nice lead-in to fall!  Thanks for looking and have a good week.  See you next time.

So Far, So good…..

Our farm in Southeastern North Carolina is about 45 air miles from the Atlantic. We’ve seen a lot of storms here. From Nor’easters to tornadoes to hurricanes.  Where most people check their  local weather every morning, we check in with the National Hurricane Center.  I’d been tracking Hurricane Irma since it formed up off Africa.   When it reached the Central Atlantic, with another storm, Jose, right behind it, we decided to get moving.  I spent about a week clearing out drainage ditches, preparing generators, stocking up on gasoline, non-perishable food…all the things on everyone’s Hurricane Prepare List.   Fittingly, perhaps, we’ve been getting a rash of nasty weather unrelated to Irma for the past couple of weeks. It served as a reminder to get ready for the big show IF……  As you might surmise, there hasn’t been a lot of time for photography other than a few shots of some rather dramatic sky shots in the fields, a taste perhaps of what might be ahead. 

I keep a two gallon zip lock freezer bag in my camera bag for rainy days and it got a nice workout for the shots in the cotton field taken during light rain.  I put the camera in the bag and close the bag until it is snug around the lens.  Works great.  Even though two of my cameras are water resistant according to Nikon, why take chances?

As it turned out, Irma stayed away from our coast, and so far, Jose has seen fit to dance around in the Atlantic just south of Bermuda.  I have little doubt there will be other storms before the long hurricane season is over at the end of November.  Just this morning, I noticed another suspect forming up off the coast of Africa.  As Mr. Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s Over.”   Stay alert. Be Ready and above all Be Safe. See you next time.