07-17-12 Spring Wheat

Some would say that if you’ve seen one wheat field, you’ve seen them all. And from a distance that’s probably true. But I’m afraid my quest for good wheat photos yesterday didn’t satisfy me. So I went out again this morning looking again for the perfect wheat photo opportunity. I was hoping for better light today and I got it. Generally, it was overcast but the sun was working to push its way through occasional soft spots in the morning clouds. And so I got the perfect back lighting from the biggest soft box on earth.

I took over 200 photos during the 30 minutes I spent at this particular field. I’ll admit that I was practicing a little “spray and pray” photography because a gusty breeze was causing the heavy heads of wheat to move around. And since I was using a very narrow field of focus (low f-stop number), I wanted to be sure I had some focused photos when I got home.

Towards the end of my shoot, Bret H., the field’s owner, drove up and stopped. I walked over to his truck with my camera and told him that I couldn’t resist taking photographs of his amazing crop. He simply smiled. When I showed him a photo I had just taken and said, “You’re not a farmer; you’re an artist,” he smiled some more.

If you haven’t stopped by a mature wheat field and studied the plant that in some ways was and still is the foundation of western civilization, it’s time you did. The whispy “hairs” and the braid-like grains of wheat truly are a work of art.

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