Ripe for Harvest

A few days before I went on holiday at the end of July I walked round the fields on the edge of our village to see how the Wheat and Barley were ripening. I took my Canon G10, not really expecting to find images – it was more of a reconnaissance trip.

The weather was overcast, but to my surprise the wheat was ripe, and the barley not far behind. Images needed to be taken, this was probably my one and only chance. And I was right – by the time we returned from holiday, the fields had been harvested.

IMG_6361So the image for you today is taken at the edge of a wheat field. I shot this directly at a line of wheat which meant that the majority of the seed heads were in the same plane. Framing this type of shot is always a bit of a nightmare, because there is never going to be a neat edge to a frame. But essentially this is a pattern picture, the edges tend to be largely irrelevant.

The image will enlarge if you click on it and it really is worth taking a closer look at this.

I processed this in Photoshop, as usual, and then used the Curly Smooth preset in Topaz Clean. This is a preset that I rarely use. It adds decorative flourishes to elements of the image that are usually inappropriate in my opinion. But in this instance I feel it has augmented the shape and character of the seed heads, and that appeals to me as a Creative photographer. But true natural history photographers are likely to be aghast at what I have done.

What are your thoughts on this?

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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12 Responses to Ripe for Harvest

  1. oneowner says:

    I really like the treatment on this, Andy. Sometimes it takes a little discipline working with Topaz plugins but I think this is perfect on the subject. I don’t have this particular Topaz plugin so I may have to look into it.

    • LensScaper says:

      I’m glad you like it, Ken. Topaz Clean is a plugin I use commonly with modern arhcitectural images where it has a smoothing effect, removing minor blemishes and generally cleaning up the image. However the plugin does have a tendency to add wavy lines and embellishments in certain cases, and this is particularly true of the Curly Smooth preset. Just occasionally I find an image where that is a benefit.

  2. The most important harvest. No wonder it is golden like in your nice photo.

  3. shoreacres says:

    I think if William Morris had done wheat, it would have looked very much like this. I haven’t a clue about Topaz and etc., but I very much like the appearance of the grain. It reminds me of a fine etching. Remember Durrell’s words about re-working reality to show its significant side? It seems to me that applies to photographers as well as writers.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. I am a fan of William Morris so that is a very nice comment to receive. I presume you are referring to Lawrence Durrell. I must see if I can find the quotation you allude to.

  4. I certainly don’t mind the processing you have done. I can’t say how the photo would have looked like untreated with the Topaz-pluging, but I really like the final result. The few colour tones and the clarity I believe the preset adds, brings forward the message and feeling of autumn. Very nice.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Otto. I should, perhaps, have shown ‘before’ and ‘after’ images. The effect is not dramatic but it just embellishes the shapes of the individual grains.

  5. Len says:

    Terrific details Andy. That preset is something that should be a regular in your arsenal.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. The preset has certainly strengthened the detail, but with straight lines it has the habit of introducing unsightly curly embellishments. So it’s one to be used sparingly I think.

  6. ehpem says:

    I really like this Andy. I have fooled around with those Topaz presets too. Some are quite extreme and only work in particular circumstances – for instance small breaking waves can be made quite interesting.

    • LensScaper says:

      You are absolutely right, Ehpem. You have to find the right image to get the best out of these presets. Certainly to begin with it was very much trial and error, but I am getting more of a feel for them now

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