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Photographing hay bales

Photographing hay bales - A field decorated with hay bales or a single one standing alone, either way hay bales make an interesting photographic subject.

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Category : Flowers and Plants
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Take a short drive down the motorway or even on a winding country road and you soon realise how many fields, growing numerous crops, decorate the UK's landscape. We've already photographed the yellows and greens of a rapeseed field and took on the ever growing difficult task of finding a poppy field to photograph and now our focus turns to hay bales.

Hay Bales

Gear

A wide angle lens is perfect for sweeping shots showing hay bales decorating the entire field but if you don't have one in your kit bag just take out your telezoom and stand a little further back for your wider shots. You'll also find the telezoom useful when you find a field that doesn't have public access as you'll be able to stand to the side of the field with it. A tripod will help reduce camera shake and give you the chance to play with long shutter speeds. Check out Manfrotto's website if you're in the market for a new tripod or enter our exclusive competition where you can win one of six Manfrotto 190XPROB tripods.

Technique
Don't suddenly stop your car and go waltzing into a field. Someone makes their living from what's  growing in the field so check to see if there's public access and if there isn't just stand close by and bring the field to you with your telephoto lens. If you are driving to the field make sure you leave your car in a safe place as not all fields have a handy lay-by near them.

If you want to photograph the whole field take a look at the horizon before you take the shot as you don't want it to look like your hay bales are about to slide out of site. You'll find spirit levels on many of Manfrotto's tripods which will help you line your shot up correctly.

Your shot of the entire field will be improved greatly if you can put some height between you and the field. You don't have to find a mountain to climb you just need a little height to give the field a more interesting perspective. You'll find the collection of hay bales dotted across the image break up the flat horizon nicely and a small aperture will give you ample depth-of-field to give your shot front to back sharpness.

Tracks left my machinery, a line of fence posts and rolling hills will guide the eye through the image or wait until the farmer's working to bring some action into your shots.

Cloudy bright days will give your hay bales more definition but the pinks of a sunset or a bright, blue sky dotted with white clouds will also work perfectly well. You'll get plenty of strong contrast but if it's too bright, put a neutral density filter over your lens.

Find the tripod to suit your needs at www.manfrotto.co.uk.

Don't forget to enter our exclusive competition where you can win one of six Manfrotto 190XPROB tripods!



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