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.

 

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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.

Photo Of The Week: Winter Harvest

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.

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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.

Photo Of The Week: Christmas Eve Sunrise

Blogged December 25, 2016

Sunrise December 24, 2016

 

For several years running,  the Christmas day sunrise has been nothing short of spectacular here, to the point of becoming an almost spiritual thing. Not This year.  We were greeted this morning with an overcast sky and patches of misty rain, the result of a warm front that marched through late yesterday and overnight.  But the Christmas weekend was not a total washout.. Christmas Eve morning  was a keeper. With the colder air, the scene could be from October.  There were  just enough clouds to reflect the warm morning light. I had seen the clouds moving in over the tall lob lolly pines from my kitchen window and grabbed my camera.  No filters. Nikon D750 fitted with a 24-120mm f/4 lens. Iso 400, custom white balance, though Automatic on the 750 is quite good. Manual exposure. Spot metering. 1/125th of a second at f/22 which explains the slight flare to the sun. Best wishes to all for a great holiday and a safe and prosperous 2017.

Photo of the Week: Dawn at the Live Oak

The Live Oak in The Soybean Field 11.24.16  blogged.

Dawn at the Live Oak

I’ve posted many shots of the stately Live Oak that anchors the old Civil War Ear Cemetery on our farm,  so in that regard this shot is nothing new but, of course, as the seasons change so does the view.   I rather liked the eerie warm hues generated by the dawn light on this early December morning, contrasting the golden tones of the ripening soybeans in the field with the dissipating dark clouds  in the North sky,   while throwing the old tree into silhouette. I had taken the 812 warming filter with me that morning but on live view, it added a bit too much warmth so I took it off the lens.   As with most of my efforts here on the farm, the light is the big star here.  Nikon D800E.  18-35mm lens.

A Side Note!  I usually post on Sundays but I had a rather horrific accident on Saturday evening.  I had driven into the City of Kinston to photograph a new tribute to the role of Tobacco played in the economy here.  On my way to the scene,  I took a shortcut through a parking lot.  I tripped on a raised area in the paved lot and crashed the left side of my face , my left eye in particular on the asphalt. By the time I got to the Emergency Room, the  eye had swollen completely shut with only a purple golf ball size lump where my eye was.  I was virtually certain I had fractured my skull and/or the orb of my left eye socket,  but CT scans proved otherwise.  There were no fractures. The doctors in the ER were as amazed as I was. Back home, I popped  a handful of ibuprofen and began the  ritual of 20 minutes of ice on the injured eye, 20 minutes off,  and repeating that on into Saturday night and through Sunday.  The swelling had been reduced by about half by Sunday morning and I could see out of the injured eye which, as one might suspect, was completely bloodshot.  This and the swelling has left me with  blurred vision in my left eye.  A visit to the Eye MD this morning revealed no damage to the eyeball or to the implant in the injured eye. Now it’s just a matter of warm compresses to help the red eye dissolve and the rest of swelling to subside.  Ah yes,  so what happened to the brand new Nikon D750 I was carrying that day.  It was in my right hand when I took my tumble and it struck the pavement with me. though it came out far better than I did.  No dings, dents, or scratches.  And yes, it still works.  Nikon builds em tough.  Moral of the story: when you’re out and about,  watch where you’re going and pick your feet Up!  God willing and I avoid falling into a hole somewhere, I’ll see you next time.

Photograph of the Week: The Beanfield in Winter

Mid January In The Bean field.  Posted to flickr March 6, 2016

This was taken back in mid-January, just prior to the harvest of these soybeans.  A sky filled with  puffy white clouds greeted the late afternoon  sun bringing a golden hue to the field.  Actually, the blue tones from the sky were very much in evident throughout the frame so I added an 812 warming filter to, well, warm things up a bit.  It took care of the blue cast.  The 812 has been around almost forever.  I used it frequently in the film days seeking to warm up Kodak Ektachrome slide film which often had a rather chilly look to it.  Perhaps it was because Kodachrome was so incredibly vivid and saturated with color that everything else paled.  The 812 juiced it up.  I’m quite sure Tiffen still makes it. Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead.

Photo of The Day: Sunset in the Bean Field

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I don’t usually venture out for a sunset shot here.  The sight lines are such that I have to hike up to the far end of the field to get a nice long, unobstructed view and even then the tree line comes into play before the sun hits the pure horizon.  But as we all know, there are no rules.  The sun was just about to drop below the tree line when I turned the corner into the open fields and the light was fading fast.  Not enough time to make the trek to the other end of the field so I quickly fired off  two shots with the D800E.  I know, its on the dark side but I really do like the light and shadow play on the soybeans.

If you’re wondering what on earth are soybeans doing in the field in January, the answer is…..Rain.  We’ve had two weeks of heavy rain over the past 20 days and the ground is like soup.  Far too wet to get the harvest machines into the field.  Like most places in the Southeast USA, the weather has just been crazy.

Thanks for the look in and have a great 2016.