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12 Tips On Photographing Crop Fields Creatively

12 Tips On Photographing Crop Fields Creatively - Learn how to turn fields of crops into interesting photos you'd be happy to have on your wall.

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Fields make great photographic subjects and better still, if you play around with slow shutter speeds you don't need particularly good weather to get great photos which is good news for us Brits who quite often don't see the summer sun (although this year we are doing a little better in the sun stakes!). Some farmers have started harvesting their crops, but there are still some fields out there which the tractor hasn't reached yet.

Crop field
Photo by David Pritchard

1. A wide-angle lens will be the most useful bit of kit you take with you. Don't own a wide-angle lens? Take your telezoom along and just stand a little further back to get your sweeping shots of the field. 


2. Make sure you're not trespassing so if there's not public access through a particular field you want to photograph stay out if it and use your telephoto.


3. When using slower shutter speeds (try 1/15-1/5th or longer depending on how windy it is) you'll need a tripod as you don't want shake creeping into your shot. 


4. To get your horizon straight, you either need a really good eye or something to help you measure it. Some cameras have inbuilt levelling systems but if yours doesn't, you can get a spirit level that sits on the camera's hotshoe. Although, you can find in-built spirit levels on many tripod models.


5. Pack an ND filter in case the sky's a little too bright and you need to balance the exposure. 


6. Use a small aperture to get front to back sharpness, so you can show the whole field turning into a sea of waves.


7. Add interest to the shot by looking out for objects such as a single tree standing at the far end of the field or a barn that will give the viewer something to focus on.


Crop field

Photo by David Pritchard


8. If there are tractor tracks use them to guide the eye from  front to back. Hedges and fences can also be used for this purpose, too.


9. If there are overhanging tree branches, gate posts or if you happen to stumble across an old barn without glass in its windows or any doors, have a play around with frames in your shots to add an extra level of interest, plus they can help focus the viewer's eye when used in the correct way. 


10. Golden light diffused by a light blanket of cloud looks great shimmering across the crop.


11. Clouds lower contrast and help eliminate flare which means you can shoot into the sun. Just don't look directly at it through your lens as it can cause serious damage to your eyes.


12. Shoot in different weather conditions and at different times of the day as a dark, heavy sky full of rain adds drama to your shots while the warmer light and colours of a sunrise or sunset will make the field glow.


Crop field

Photo by David Pritchard


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