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Farmer Dodging In Tractor Tracks | by jasontheaker
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Farmer Dodging In Tractor Tracks

This shot has been a real bugger to sort out


For a few years now I’ve wanted to do a ‘good’ oil seed rape shot. I’ve driven past fields of the stuff many times (nearly crashing the car, as I’m griped by the overwhelming vibrant colour it seems to radiate) but I've never had (or made) the opportunity to shoot it. Well the other day, on the way back from my brothers I went past several fields and made a promise to myself that I’d get out the next day and strike whilst the colour was brightest.


So after id finished some marking I was doing I set off with a friend to shoot it. Well we went out at about lunchtime to capture the brightest sun against the hopefully blue skies…. unfortunately not, it was a bit hazy and the sky was a horrid washed out murky grey colour…. but we had some fun avoiding a farmer ploughing in the next field. Every time he went past we ducked down in the oil seed rape to avoided being caught and kicked out. Funny we managed to do this for a couple of hours and only when we decided to come away did we find out that there was a river between us and the farmer…. bloody typical eh!


Anyway we came away almost happy but I had a feeling that I could do better. Heavy storm clouds peppered with bright sun was what I really wanted, but that would have to wait till next time. Funny how just lately the frustration I’ve felt at not getting the conditions would like and pre-visualised, is becoming a more relaxing experience. I now look forward to next year, I mean the window on some of these crops is only a few days and you have to be ready to move quickly.


But what I'm getting to is as the day went on and I looked at the shots later I became frustrated that I didn’t have the conditions I wanted and the next year was just that bit too far away for comfort (even thought I was a bit photographed out for the day).


So cutting a long story short, we found ourselves in the same field (parked half a mile away, cheers Wayne) running around the perimeter (you cant cross this stuff, not only do you get covered in yellow gunk you also don’t want to trample the farmers crop) anyway we managed to get into the centre of the field by running up the tractor tracks and set up just in time to get this shot. The sun very quickly went behind the clouds, just after this was taken so I was very lucky to be able to get this. Anyway cheers Wayne for keeping me company (a new experience for me at these twilight hours).


On a technical note: This shot was a bit of a bugger to sort out. I’ve had a struggle to keep the exposure balanced between the wide dynamic ranges. I didn’t want to loose the vibrancy of the rapeseed but I didn’t want to loose the shape of the setting sun. I know it’s pushed a bit but I strongly felt that I didn’t want to loose either. Anyway I’m sure you will let me know what you think… cheers guys!


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Taken on May 12, 2008