If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that aside from beach shots, my main focus in photography are the farms across Eastern North Carolina and the crops that are grown here. I really never fathomed one could find a market for photographs of cotton and tobacco, etc, but through Getty Images, I have. Alas, because of the constant rain here for the past several weeks, I’ve been unable to get outside. By this past Tuesday though, the skies finally cleared and the sun began to dry out the water logged fields. By Thursday, I was out before sunrise to grab a few shots of the cropped tobacco plants on several farms. The seemingly endless rain no doubt had speeded up the cropping process, ie the harvesting of tobacco leaves from the bottom of the plant to the top as the leaves ripen. Tobacco does not like to have wet feet. The good news for me was that there was enough left on the plants to make for some decent shots.
A word as to technique regarding the shooting of farm fields at dawn and sunrise. Because the focal point of the photograph is darker than the sky, I use spot metering, taking my reading away from the brightest part of the sky and locking the exposure. Since most of what I photograph be it farm fields or beach scenes, is done in the early morning hours, I use pretty much the same settings.
By sunrise, I had retreated to another area of the field to balance the composition of the sun breaking the horizon with the grove of trees on the left. Then I moved in for a closeup of a cluster of tobacco flowers that somehow had survived the topping process before harvesdting got underway.
Obviously, it helps to know a little something about the crops you are shooting. As a small town kid, I owe my farm education to my wife, who grew up on a farm back in the day when tending tobacco was done all by hand. Needless to say, she doesn’t have fond memories of it. At any rate, the tobacco season in Eastern North Carolina will likely be wrapped up by next week this time and I will shift my focus to the ripening cotton crop which is nearing the flowering stage. With Labor Day just around the corner marking the end of the summer tourist season here, I’ll be gearing up for outings to the Northern and Southern Outer Banks. Now that’s something my wife looks forward to, so I’ll have two more hands to haul camera bags. Thanks for the visit and have a good week ahead. See you next time.