Surprise Spring

Is it real?  Nature seems to think the time is right.  A handful of 80 degree days has sent Eastern North Carolina into a frenzy of blooms.  From daffodils to Japanese Quince to Bradford Pear Blooms, the annual infusion of color is underway.

I used a 20 year old Nikon 70-210mm f/4-5.6 D lens on all of these shots.  The “D” lenses have no vibration reduction built into them but the auto focus is as fast as any lens Nikon makes today and obviously, it is very sharp.   BTW, The “D” means the lens communicates distance information to the camera in matrix metering mode. More proof you do not need to spend buckets of money to pick up a good lens. Happy Shooting.  See you next time.

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.


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.


Farm Crops and Photography

  • As the cotton crop neared harvest, the soybeans dropped their leaves and began the slow march toward ripening later in the fall.  As usual, I was out early grabbing some final shots of the cotton and some initial pictures of the soybeans.  The weather cooperated magnificently drawing in clouds which provided a marvelous backdrop to the golden beans and the stark white cotton..

I’ve had good luck over the years marketing these kinds of shots to the various foundations and marketing concerns which promote cotton and soybeans worldwide.  I also like to document what we grow here and since I’m the guy who’s into photography, that falls to me. As for getting up so early, It comes from habit.  I was in broadcast news for more than 40 years, most of it in Radio, which had an early call. I still wake up before dawn every morning.  It dovetails nicely with photography.  I’ve always held the opinion that the best light of the day comes early, from dawn to shortly after sunrise.  Thanks for the look. Have a good week ahead.  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.