When I was planning my trip to the Midwest and creating my “shot list”, hay bales in a field were on my list. As I was driving through Kansas, there were several fields that still had hay bales. This gave me hope that my uncle would have hay bales in his hayfield. However, he had already moved his bales for the winter. So the search began.
One afternoon while scouting Oakland Mills for color, I headed back into town the “back way” as I call it. When I came to the paved road, my curiosity kicked in and I decided to turn right instead of left, which would have taken me back into town. Within a minute or so there on the left were two guys baling hay! I was in luck, this was only about five minutes from my brother’s house, my home base for the first part of my trip. A sunrise shoot was planned and a super early wake up time wouldn’t be necessary. I verified the time for sunrise and the direction the sun would be rising using The Photographer’s Ephemeris app.
Little did I know that upon arriving at the low-lying hayfield the next morning there would be fog. I was so excited! Now if sunrise would have color. And sure enough nature cooperated with color as the sun was rising! As the sun came up the fog became more dense. Since fog in Arizona is rare, I couldn’t believe my luck that I found hay bales still in a field, color at sunrise and fog! Many people driving by on their way to start their day, slowed to see what I could possibly be photographing. I did see a lady walk from her house to get a shot of sunrise with what looked to be a camera phone and I wondered if someone called her and said “hey there is a photographer taking a photo of the sun coming up” or if she just came out on her own.
Wanting to get as many shots as possible before the sun was too high, I began looking for different compositions. Since this hayfield was not flat, the bales had rolled a bit and weren’t in straight lines and I had to be careful not to have any merges in my images. Add the fog becoming more dense and some of the hay bales at a distance, this was quite the challenge.
Once satisfied with my sunrise shoot, it was time for breakfast before my next shoot for the day. What was next? Riding in a combine and shooting a corn field being harvested….that story will have to wait for another day.
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