Posts tagged ‘farming’

Harvesting the light……a few days of constant change in the countryside.

In the past week I have enjoyed watching the barley corn being harvested in the field behind where we live. The straw has been made into bales and as I type these words they are now being moved, so this rather lovely scene will soon be over for another year.

Farmer’s are well known for moaning about the weather. Too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot and so the list goes on. When it comes to harvesting the forecast is critical to the success or otherwise of a crop which has taken months to come to fruition. The moisture content of the crop needs to be below a certain threshold for harvesting and when the conditions look right it is all hands to the deck.

The weather has been very mixed in the last week. We had a mini heat wave with temperatures in the high 80’s for several days on the trot. Ideal for harvesting, but as so often happens in this country a spell of hot weather is often followed by thunderstorms and rain.

Photographers are also know to complain about the weather or the light and I have written before that high summer does not always yield the best light for photography. It’s often far too harsh but there is no point wishing for something different, you have to work with what you are given and make the most of it.

If you read my last post you will know that I am making a concerted effort to create more colour images. For the purposes of this entry I have decided to include some monochrome pictures as well, as they form part of the narrative…..but it’s the colour work which are the feature.

I have tried to capture these changing weather conditions and of course the light. On the day the bale maker arrived the clouds came in, a foretaste of a distinct change in the weather (picture above). That same evening I sat in my chair relaxing, when I noticed some beautiful warm light. I grabbed my camera to capture the golden glow of evening sunshine. Dark clouds were gathering on the horizon, as a thunderstorm moved in from the south.

A couple of days later and once again the blue skies returned and so did the crows to feast on the corn. Having been a committed black and white photographer for many years I couldn’t resist including both mono and colour versions. I will leave it to you to decide if you have a preference.

And finally in this series, a cloudscape looking west across the field as the day came to close. The straw bales play second fiddle to the dramatic sky but they do make for an interesting horizon and of course provide context to the scene.

In summary a very enjoyable and satisfying few days of photography, taking opportunities when they arose. Not waiting for the light but knowing that the waether and the story of harvesting could and probably would change at any time. The bales of straw have all been moved, stacked along the edge of the field. Acquaintances for a while, I shall miss them, but I look forward to making more colour images of another subject very soon.

Until then thanks for looking.

A walk over Apple Down

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It’s been a bright, dry and cold week and a couple of days ago I managed to find the time to take a stroll over Apple Down, which is north of the tiny hamlet of Up Marden in West Sussex. There are so many footpaths for me to explore and each one will hopefully yield some images to add to the portfolio for my latest project.

I realise that more and more I am drawn to simple subjects. Whether they be a gap in a line of trees, tracks in the field or farm equipment which has just been left on the ground by the farmer before he needs to use it again. They are not necessarily beautiful images but they are pictures which I believe capture the very essence of the landscape and for that reason alone are worth taking and recording.

This project is as much about documenting what I see in the area; it is not a search for ‘chocolate box’ pictures which have been taken countless times before.

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Other posts about this project can be found by clicking on the links below.

New Year, New Project

New Project – First shots and initial thoughts

New Project – It’s early days

‘Fallen’ in Wildhams Wood