Photos of a Harvest

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CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication | Source

It's a new year and with it comes another photographic project which fits the theme. The project is simple yet it is even simpler for anyone that has access to farmsteads or anywhere where crops are grown. Those of us that live far from farms will find it a little more difficult since it will probably involve some traveling. Simply put your goal is to record images of grown fields. Especially appropriate are fields of wheat, barley, oats, corn and many more.

Also important is what region of the country you live in since not all crops are grown everywhere. In the United States many of these crops can be easily found if you happen to be in what is typically called the Bread Basket or almost in the middle of the country.

"The breadbasket or the granary of a country is a region which, because of richness of soil and/or advantageous climate, produces an agricultural surplus which is often considered vital for the country as a whole. Rice bowl[1]" Wikipedia ....."In the US, this region is called the Corn Belt, or (occasionally) the "Grain Belt"."Wikipedia.

The images should encompass a wide scene of the field as well as close ups of individual samples. Also important are some macro shots that show detail in the texture and forms of single strands and stalks. Good to do are shots that are done in the afternoon as the Sun goes down. This will show less details but it will create very pleasing silhouette forms and shapes. Also do some shots with the lens inside the stalks and try to capture the glare of the Sun as it is filtered by the field.

Another technique is to photograph during the early morning hours just as the Sun is rising. This will create similar shapes and forms as shots done at dusk but these will include a little more detail plus you will usually have some dew drops that remain on the plants from the night before. Aim to do macros of these and try to record some images of these dew drops that present some reflections of other subjects within the field.

Taller crops are better so avoid smaller crops such as vegetables. If you must use them then concentrate on the fruits in close ups form, even in macro form and record images at eye level. Remember that most if not all of these crops need full sunshine in order to grow properly, so if you are going to photograph them during the peak of the day then you must use a polarizing filter to eliminate glare and make colors stand out. "The polarizing filter has two applications in both color photography and black-and-white photography: it reduces reflections from some surfaces, and it can darken the sky." Wikipedia.

For crops that are sort of yellow or even neutral in their color saturation like wheat then the use of a warming filter is highly recommended. These have the effect of making yellows and similar colors stand out by seeming more vibrant. The same holds true for most tall crops like corn. The colors will stand out since it highlights the individual colors hues; greener greens, redder reds, yellower yellows and so on.

A warming filter lets you capture sunset light, even when the sun's not going down. It reduces rays of blue light that are common in photos of shade, snow, and overcast days. Simply put, if the weather outside is drab, reach for a warming filter. The warm glow makes colors come alive and (used sparingly) can add life to a color portrait.

"In photography and videography, a filter is a camera accessory consisting of an optical filter that can be inserted in the optical path. The filter can be a square or oblong shape mounted in a holder accessory, or, more commonly, a glass or plastic disk with a metal or plastic ring frame, which can be screwed in front of or clipped onto the lens." Wikipedia

Most of your shots should be done in color but be practical and record some in black and white. Also for practical reasons do both horizontal and vertical formats. If you submit your pictures to publishers they usually like the flexibility that different formats allows them. Goo to do also is to leave about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of margin on your shots. This allows a publisher to add their logos or wording.

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CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication | Source

A good presentation format for this theme is to use one enlarged main image in the center of the frame and surround it with other smaller images.

These can be used by many as part of their home or office decor. Many greeting card publications will also find these images pleasing and applicable to their theme.

As far as submitting these particular images to photographic stock house you must first ask for a wants list and evaluate if these images will be readily acceptable as this is not a very in demand subject.

Want to see many more articles?

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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JEOrtega 4 years ago from Southern California

Another great one! Thanks Luis.

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