A Winter Afternoon

I was delighted to get a call last week from agricultural public relations agency Reverberate PR, asking me to shoot some crops for seed company Germinal UK. I was hoping for a sunny day but a combination of overcast skies coupled with some urgency (we wanted to get the photos before the cattle scoffed everything) meant that I shot in less than ideal conditions.

So I had a comprehensive brief to work from, which is always good. Sometimes being allowed to be creative is absolutely fine, but when a client has something specific in mind I do like to demonstrate that I can deliver whatever they want. And naturally I always put some creative “extras” in just to give some added value.

Cattle feeding on winter brassicas. Canon 1DX, 70-200 f2.8 @ f5.0

My “hero” in this shoot was winter brassicas (kale). The farmer had drilled the crop at Harper Adams University back in the summer, and the cows really enjoyed it, clearing the leafy stems as the fence was moved back into the field. You can see from the image that all that’s left is stalks, apparently a large crop will only last a month or so. Germinal UK consultant Ben was very knowledgeable, explaining how feed needs to be carefully balanced and maintained over the winter and the huge amount of work that goes into keeping milk flowing all year round.

I shot with my trusty Canon 1DX – although I had a 5DSR in the bag the threat of rain and the very real possibility of dropping it in the mud meant it stayed there. One thing I love about the 1DX is the weather sealing! I always take two bodies and lenses out to a job like this for two reasons – swapping lenses isn’t a good idea when the conditions are variable and also if the shoot is likely to move along quickly, having one body with a 70-200 lens and the other with a 24-70 or 16-35 means I can cover pretty much everything with minimal delay.

We’ve got snow here as I write this blog and if it clears to blue sky (and the snow doesn’t melt) I’ll be dropping back to get some really wintery shots in the coming days.