Dawn was rubbing against the windshield of my ancient RAV 4 as I negotiated a seldom used, overgrown path next to a corn field. A very angry thunderstorm had slowly snailed across the area overnight dumping biblical amounts of rain. I had stopped just short of an almost washed out causeway over a drainage ditch that had not drained. I decided not to chance it. Getting old slowly robs you of your confidence. I grabbed my cameras and legged it the rest of the way. I was sure that just around the corner of the treeline on the left was the goose that laid the golden egg, or, in this case, a golden sunrise amidst a cloudy sky over a large tobacco field. I was not disappointed.
I’ve always dreamed about living within driving distance of Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons, but one plays the cards they are dealt. My hand, such as it is, “ain’t” too bad. The picturesque North Carolina Coast is nearby, but on this particular day, tobacco fields were on the to-do list. I’ve had good luck licensing shots to various tobacco foundations and branding firms over the years, the great majority of which are overseas. Smoking, I suppose, is still very much in vogue there. Mind you, I’m no great fan of tobacco. One of the hardest things I ever did was kick the smoking addiction. My wife grew up on a small tobacco farm and says you would be hard pressed to find a more miserable way to earn a living. Having said that, I submit that tobacco has a certain artistic quality to it. The huge green leaves which slowly morph to a golden brown as the plant ripens along with the pink flowers make for a very pleasing scene.
I donned a long sleeved shirt before venturing down the row. Skin coming in contact with tobacco, particularly when it is wet after rain, is a must to avoid. My wife has many stories about nicotine poisoning when she was a young girl. Those memories led us to get out of the tobacco growing business more than a decade ago when I retired from broadcast news. Our crop this year will be cotton; to my mind, one of the more picturesque of farm crops. There is just something about a field covered in white at sunrise. Stay tuned.
I apologize for being AWOL last week. I suffer from Pudendal Neuralgia. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say, there are good days and bad days. Last weekend was not good. As I’ve learned in my old age, learn to enjoy your struggles. As always, thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. See you next time.
A few moments after Sunrise and the Eastern sky has a distinct South West Flavor to it but just over 8 hours later, a view to the North has a totally different color pallet. Even the sour grass which appears red in the foreground shadows above looks totally different by mid afternoon. I suppose the moral of the story is, don’t forget to go back and take another look.
Both shots taken with a Nikon D800e and a 18-35mm lens. Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. See you next time.
Sour Grass as it is more widely known, is actually Wild Sorrel; a short lived perennial that dots fields and open spaces every Spring along the Eastern United States. Distinguished by its reddish pink color, it is edible to a point point with an acidic, sour taste. It offers a marvelous foreground enhancement when photographing otherwise barren fields prior to Spring planting.
Shot with a Nikon D800E Camera using an 18mm Nikkor Lens, I used my usual set up for sunrise photography: Manual program, Spot metering, taking my exposure reading away from the Sun in the blue sky, f/22 for 1/320th of a second, Auto White Balance, ISO 400. No Filters. I shoot everything in Nikon’s RAW Format (NEF) and I use Photoshop Elements to convert the image to jpeg. Ah yes, I also use a tripod for all landscape shots: A SLIK Pro 5000X. Thank you for the look-in and have a great week.
The Dogwoods went into hibernation during the week and half freeze but blossomed with the return of warmer temperatures. Within a week the flags of Spring were on full display.
These are wild dogwoods that have popped up on the farm over the years. Attempts to transplant them to suit one’s own landscaping plan are iffy. Wild things don’t like to be tamed. And it seems the wild ones are less prone to the myriad of diseases that plague hybrids. Wild or hybrid, they are very photogenic.
These were taken with a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens on a Nikon D750 Camera. Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.
Harvesting soybeans in late January or early February is not uncommon in Eastern North Carolina, particularly when it has been such a wet growing season. Planted in the late Spring and early Summer, the beans usually ripen by December but the relentless rain soaked the soil so thoroughly, it could not support the big harvesting machines. The area finally got a week with no rain which flashed the green light for the long delayed harvest.
Being based in Eastern North Carolina, I freelance a lot of rural and farm shots to argicultural concerns, Getty Images and the like. As the old timers say, you dance with what brung ya, even if it’s a couple of months late.
Nikon D750, 24-120mm f/4 lens.
Thanks for dropping by and have a good week ahead.
The Sea Oats on the Barrier Dunes bend South as near gale force winds buffet the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
After multiple attempts to get the light on the ocean where I wanted it, I finally came close to what I had visualized. Of course, if you’re like me, you’re never satisfied and so you keep going back time and again for the perfect shot. I’m not sure I can do any better than this. But, I’ll keep trying.
Particulars: Nikon D750 Camera, 24-120 f/4 lens. Shot with manual exposure, f/8 at 1/640, center weight metering, auto white balance, focal length 65mm. No filters. I used a Slik tripod for the shot.
My thanks to those who stop by for a look. I appreciate your taking the time. See you next time if not before.