Yellow oil

Rapeseed – Brassica Napus to give it its proper name – is one of the stand-out sights of Spring in the UK. For some years, finding a photogenic yellow field has been one of the challenges I have set myself each spring. In Northamptonshire, where we used to live, fields of Rapeseed were quite common, but because farmers rotated their crops each year the search had to be begun anew every Spring.

In West Sussex where we now live, fields of Rapeseed are not so plentiful – the county it much more wooded and there is less arable farming. But fields of Rapeseed are there if one keeps looking, and earlier today I visited one not too far from where we live. I always look for a stand-out feature to anchor the composition and an isolated tree often fulfils that function And so it did today.

In addition, I found a line of tractor tracks that provided a lead-in, curving round towards the tree. And the weather was perfect – a blue sky flecked with cloud. It’s that combination of yellow and blue with a hint of green that grabs my attention every time.

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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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23 Responses to Yellow oil

  1. Dina says:

    It’s always an eye-pleaser, isn’t it! Beautiful scenery with the blue sky. We just went for our evening walk in Cley and enjoyed the yellow fields.

  2. paula graham says:

    Yellow and blue, the perfect combi and a tree thrown in for good measure…you found yourself an interesting yellow field.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Paula. These fields sometimes take some finding and particularly finding a workable composition. Strangely, yesterday, I had to make a trip up to Northamptonshire (whence we moved), and found the landscape so different from Sussex. Yellow fields up there were two a penny, and the landscape so open in contrast to the wooded areas of Sussex. Both offer interesting views, but I find that Sussex has the edge on variety.

  3. Its a great spring time shot. The sweep of the tractor tracks and the tree work really well.
    Did you happen find a tractor stuck under the tree? 🙂
    Best wishes
    Mr C

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Mr C. These fields are Spring Classics and I always enjoy the challenge of finding one worth photographing. Finding the tracks that lead into the picture was worth the effort. Tractor tracks everywhere, but no tractor! The ground is bone dry – we really need some rain (dare I mention it), but not as a monsoon.

  4. Sue says:

    Great composition, Andy!

  5. I appreciate your successful search for yellow, and the added treat of sky blue and leaf green. I like even more the lead-in lines to that lovely standing-alone tree. Bet this would even work in B&W. Well done, Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. I’m pleased you like this colour combination as much as I do. Take away the blue sky and the images lose so much vibrancy. I have never thought of trying this in B&W, probably because it always shouts ‘colour’ to my eye, but at your prompting I am going to experiment a little and see what I can come up with – watch this space.

  6. Lisa Gordon says:

    This is beautiful!

  7. shoreacres says:

    I’ve been longing for some skies like that. There’s been entirely too much fog and cloud here for my taste. This past weekend I found huge fields of flowers, but the sky was sullen and the light dim. I confess to a bit of sullenness myself — especially since we have the same thing yet today — but your photo has cheered me right up. It’s beautiful, as yellow and blue always seems to be. The colors always bring Van Gogh and his sunflowers to mind.

    Out of curiosity, did you use a wide-angle lens for this? I’m doing better at keeping landscape photos sharp, but this is nearly perfect — at least, to my eye.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. When we are starved of blue skies for so long, when they arrive we almost gasp with excitement. Blue skies lift the spirits, don’t they. Blue and Yellow are one of my favourite combinations. I have yet to photograph Sunflowers against a blue sky – seen them often enough in rural France when driving on the Motorways to Switzerland but never at a point where I can safely stop. In answer to your question: shot at 27mm. So, yes, wide angle but not as wide as you might think from looking at the image. The full data is ISO 200, F13, 1/400th second. The lens used, is the one I normally carry: it’s a 18-250mm zoom. Mounted on a DX camera body the true focal length has to be multiplied by 1.5 to give the 35mm film equivalent (which for this lens becomes 27-375mm). That range takes care of most things, but I do have an ultra-wide lens – 11-16mm (16.5-24mm film equiv) which I sometimes carry as an addition.

      • shoreacres says:

        Thanks so much, Andy. I find that I often ask the same questions these days, but as I’m learning, I also understand more of the answer. I’ve never thought that learning was a straight-line proposition. It’s more of a spiral, with deeper understanding every time I circle around an issue.

        This past weekend, I had two days of sunshine (at least, in the afternoons) but there also were 25 kt winds, with higher gusts. My, didn’t I learn something about choosing the right shutter speed!

        • LensScaper says:

          Learning is certainly a steep learning curve, or a spiral. Either way we can get giddy with the complexities. Every situation we face poses its own issues: one thing to remember is that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. And never be afraid to ask for help or advice.

  8. Pingback: Yellow oil Part 2 | LensScaper

  9. Sally says:

    Rapeseed blooming already? My goodness.We still had snow on the ground in Alberta when you took this photo. Canola as we call it (trying to promote a product with “rape” in the name was a difficult up-sell) won’t bloom until the summer. When it’s planted alongside flax it creates the most stunning combination of blue and yellow — with your penchant for those colours you’d love it. 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Sally and welcome to my blog. Brassica Napus (to give it its proper name) was about two weeks early over here due to warm weather in April. I can imagine it would make a fantastic combination with Flax.

      • Sally says:

        We are also dealing with wacky weather. Winter 2015-2016 was almost non-existent here in The Great White north. Hardly any frost in the ground and little snow. We live in the bush and the fear of a forest fire was very real until summer when the rains finally came. And never really left. Made it hellishly hard on farmers — large areas of crop, including canola, were left in the field last fall. This spring it’s been so wet and muddy that they can’t get onto the fields to get rid of last year’s crop. No wonder they call farming “next year country”.

        • LensScaper says:

          We’ve just had one of the driest winters and springs on record. The previous winter was exceptionally wet. Topsy-turvy weather: farmers have one of the hardest jobs, for sure.

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