Autumn is courting us at the cottage. Harvest time is here, the nights are cooler, the colours are changing, the land is preparing itself for its new winter dress.

This past weekend, I took a different road to the cottage after leaving Peterborough; Heritage Line - which runs right into Keene. As we were driving down this road, even on a heavily overcast day, I couldn't help but realize the scenes zipping by me from the road. I even commented out loud that there were some great images to be made. So, the following day, rather late in the day, I might add, I decided to head back to Heritage Line and make some images.

Even though I was shooting mid-afternoon, the constantly moving clouds gave me some great lighting and photo opportunities, providing I was willing to wait for the clouds to cast shadows on the fields. The effect was impressive enough I even recorded some video footage of the clouds passing over one soy field.
On closer inspection, I think - other than corn - much of the large crop area agriculture is dedicated to soybeans. With one exception, most of the fields I photographed were soy fields.
I thought an antique treatment was pretty appropriate for this scene, right down to the edge softening. Truth be told, though, the aperture was pretty wide to begin with, so the barn in the background was already blurred.
While the clouds did get heavy at times, I confess to letting Lightroom help me add extra drama to this scene. I wanted the strip of light plants in the mid-ground to be the focal point, from the moment I captured the image. And while that strip did stand out in color, moving to black and white and working with contrast as well as the adjustment brush really helped to make the area "pop". The choice to move to B&W also help me make the clouds stand out more and look perhaps a bit more ominous than they really were.
This shoot was really all about the light. I knew that without the clouds affecting the different areas to build contrast and visual interest, these scenes would not have been nearly as dynamic. The play of light vs dark, strong graphical shapes, leading lines, patterns - all worked together to help me produce some work I'm very pleased with.
I spent a half hour photographing the southern part of this field (see earlier shots) and, when done, I literally drove about 500 yards, north, only to see this great scene with the tractor tracks curving up through the field. I made a note of the spot, continued to head north to Highway 7 to scout out other shots, then turned back and headed almost directly back to where I had begun my photography that day. The leading lines of the tracks and the the variation in cloud cover made for at least another 40 minutes of shooting. The scene also leant itself to video.
Harley Farms
Other than the visually appealing soy fields and the charming little town of Keene, another destination of interest is Harley Farms. Originally from England, Harley Farms specializes in SPCA approved techniques for raising their livestock. Harley Farms is also the filming location for the past two Subaru commercials featuring herding dogs. The Peterborough Examiner has a great story on about the farm and the commercials. 

The lighting was not ideal by the time I pointed my lens at Harley, but I managed to make a few interesting images, regardless.
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