Each summer I try to make sure I get out and photograph the wheat fields around Kansas. Sometimes I’m lucky and my timing is really good like in these wheat photos from 2013, and sometimes I end up going out late after most of the fields have been harvested. Growing up I worked in a grain elevator for a few summers and harvest was always an exciting time and it was fun to be part of it in a small way. Maybe that is one reason I still enjoy photographing the wheat fields so much. Of course I do find the fields beautiful especially right before harvest. Standing next to a field on a day with a gentle breeze stirring the wheat around can be very relaxing and almost hypnotic. I can really relate to people talking about large fields being like an ocean or sea of wheat.
(click on any photo in this post to enlarge)
This year I made sure I didn’t miss my chance at making some wheat field photos and photographed a few while the wheat was still green and maturing. The close up section shown above was from a field not far from Hutchinson, Kansas. The wheat is still green, but you can see some gold starting to show up.
This next field (somewhere in the Wellington – Winfield area of Kansas I think) was also still green when I pulled over to photograph it. What caught my attention here was the grain elevator and the old silo in the background; I thought that made a nice pairing with the wheat field. I’m sure the grain elevator on the left side sees a lot of wheat during harvest.
I was back closer to home for this next photo, either in Marshall or Pottawatomie County. I had been making photos showing the entire field across the top of the wheat when I decided to try a lower perspective along the edge of the field. I liked this view and the look of the heads of wheat reaching up into the sky. This particular afternoon had a beautiful blue sky with those fantastic white puffy clouds – really nice conditions for photographing the wheat.
This next photo is one of my favorites so far from 2015. This field was south of Waterville, Kansas and a storm was passing through the area. I pulled over to try and catch a bolt of lightning from the storm with the wheat field in the foreground. Of all the exposures I made at this stop, only this one frame had any lightning in it (that will teach me to forget batteries for my lightning trigger!). Visually, I like the colors of the wheat in the foreground and how they are set off by the dark grey of the storm in the background. And of course the lightning bolt adds some drama to the photograph. This photo has a couple of different emotions in it for me both a sense of accomplishment and some anxiety. A sense of accomplishment with the mature wheat field in the foreground ready to harvest – I’m sure someone was very happy about that. But also a sense of anxiety about the storm in the background – something that could ruin the wheat field and take away the harvest. I’ve always admired the way farmers have to deal with the whims of the environment.
I was on my way home from a visit to Rock City and the Prairie Fire Grill in Minneapolis, Kansas when I stopped to make this photo. Again it was a beautiful afternoon with a fantastic blue sky and beautiful clouds. A very nice backdrop for the golden wheat field and the remains of a windmill with a tree growing up through it.
Wheat fields provide a range of photography opportunities from wide open landscape shots to close up detailed images of individual heads of wheat. Looking out across a large wheat field swaying in the breeze is a great experience and one I look forward to each year.
If you are interested in more photographs of the beauty that can be found in agriculture, please stop and browse through my photo gallery “Beauty in Agriculture”.
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