Golden Bale


Golden Bale

f/10, 1/200, ISO-200, 50mm

All week long I’ve been riding home from work in the carpool looking at this amazing scene of a cornfield freshly gathered up into large bales by the dozen, with the sun low on horizon casting a wonderful golden glow on the scene. I’ve drooled over this picture’s potential, but didn’t feel right about asking the carpool to stop for 30-45 minutes while I traipsed around out there finding good angles.

So a few days ago circumstances required that I drive myself to work, and I knew immediately that I would be stopping on the way home to get this picture. I looked forward to it all day. And when the time came – you guessed it. It all turned cloudy on me. Oh, not overcast, just a thin haze of clouds to diffuse out the color, though it was strong enough to cast weak shadows.

I stood out there in the field with my hands on my hips in utter disgust, looking quite the comic sight to the cars screaming past me on the adjacent highway I’m sure, and thought, “To hell with it. I’m taking the picture anyway!” I knew I wouldn’t get the pictures I had seen earlier in the week, but I thought I might be able to tweak enough in post-processing to get the job done.

Bumping up the contrast and goosing the yellow temperature got a pretty close approximation to what I’d remembered. I was bummed out about the sky, which I had hoped for a brilliant blue and was now pretty much blown out. I threw in a gradient with a blue tint to it, and if it doesn’t look exactly real it at least adds a bit of drama. And voila, I have what you see before you: something very close to the picture I was looking at just the day before, without all that mucking about with time travel to go back to just the right moment.

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