A John Deere 80 works overtime during harvest

A John Deere 80 works overtime during harvest
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Magnificent Capture

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2 Comments | Report
matthewspencer December 28, 2015
Great capture
chris_pfalzgraf Premium
chris_pfalzgraf January 17, 2016
Reminds me of home...

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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken several miles away from my home in rural Alberta, Canada.
I took this photo at 10:15pm on October 11, 2015. Clear skies and no moon made for ideal conditions to capture the night sky. Plus, shooting a subject at night gives a different feel.
This shot had an exposure of 20 seconds to capture the stars and background light. It also gave me time to fire a flash off camera from two different angles to cut down on shadows.
I used a Nikon D7100, with a 10.5mm Fisheye Nikkor lense on a tripod. I used a Metz 52 Flash off camera.
I enjoy capturing farm themes and I love shooting at night, so on this night I decided to combine the two. A lot of harvest work is done at night and I endeavoured to capture that. That night I also was eager to try out my recently purchased fisheye lense and flash, both of which I used on this shot.
I cannot remember specifics but I did some work with lighting, and also lowered the saturation to remove some distracting colour. I also removed some elements that took attention away from the main subject.
In my camera bag
My Nikon D7100 body and AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens are always with me. The 18-300mm is a great all-in one lens, ensuring that I can capture whatever I may chance upon, whether that be wildlife, flowers, sky, or landscapes. Always attached to it is a circular polarizing filter, the difference a quick turn of a polarizing filter can make for a photo is incredible. Depending what I am planning on shooting I choose between three other lenses. When capturing the small things of the world, I reach for my AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens. This lens has a 1:1 reproduction ratio for macro shooting. The 85mm focal length makes it easier to avoid casting a shadow on a macro subject, it also decreases the likelihood of your subject either being scared away, or making contact with your lens which could dirty or scratch it. If I am seeking bokeh in my pictures or shooting in low light I use a AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens. My AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens comes out when I want to capture the sky. It allows me to show the full extent of sunrises, sunsets, magnificent cloud patterns, starry nights, and Northern Lights in my pictures, even with a subject in the foreground. The fisheye can make for some creative results with other subjects as well, which I look forward to exploring further. When the lighting is not just so, I use a Metz 52 AF-1 Flash, usually off camera, firing it manually (long exposures) or as a slave controlled by my camera. A tripod is essential for long exposures and interval shooting, but can also make other shooting easier, especially when equipment is heavy. I also make sure to always have an extra battery, extra memory, lens cleaning tools, and a rain jacket for my equipment.
Think ahead and be patient. For this shot I had to wait a couple weeks before the wanted conditions aligned. Be aware of how full the moon is and when it rises and sets. Know how the stars travel through the sky. Plan to be shooting when the stars are best positioned for your shots. There are apps and other software available that show how the sky will look at any time throughout the year from any place on Earth, such tools are invaluable. Dress warm. Creativity is stunted when you are uncomfortable. Shooting at night in the fall can be chilly and if there is dew, damp. Despite wearing a heavy sweater, insulated pants, and rubber boots, I still came home from this shoot chilled. As for camera settings, experiment. Settings that work for one shot may not be the best for the next one, so if you have the time and patience take a series of images at different settings for each shot. If your camera has the capability, absolutely shoot in RAW. It gives you more options when post-processing and makes it easier to set white balance which is hard to get right at night. Since it is easier to be creative with subjects you know and have a passion for, shoot what you love and don't be deterred by low light situations, use long exposures and flashes to open up a whole new world of photography. Have fun and keep trying new things.

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