Well, I just got back to Wellington from harvest in Montana… and it really was a Harvest to Remember. The beautiful crop was so thick that the combines had to be driven ultra slowly – generally under two miles an hour. Unfortunately looking at this picture brings back memories of all the itchy wheat dust in the air.
I took lots of pics with a digital camera this year – I haven’t really documented harvest with a digi cam before – just with the unreliable Holga. The digital experience was quite a different one. I’m so used to getting my film developed weeks after the fact, when I treasure every half-decent exposure that survives. I also love how the blurry dark edges of Holga photos frame the images. And the way they are square. In fact I’m so used to Holga pictures that most of my digital pics seemed horrible – uninspired compositions with washed-out colors.
But the digital camera definitely had advantages. I was able to snap multiple pics until one turned out well… taking this pic of a moving object in low light would have been REALLY difficult with the Holga. Even with the digital camera things were tricky. When I saw the setting sun shine on a combine cutting on the other side of the field, I thought, “Oooh, great shot!” But my combine was moving too, making the right angle hard to line up. So I gunned it to a waiting spot, threw the combine into neutral and lowered the throttle (to reduce the amount of wheat dust my combine was throwing up around me), flung open my combine door so I could head out onto a little metal platform on the side of the cab, chose a high shutter speed to compensate for the crazy engine shake, and took this picture just before the combine across the field drove out of the frame. SUCCESS! The composition might still leave a little something to be desired… but in the field of Pictures Taken Of Combines From Other Combines it has to take pretty high marks.
I miss Montana already…