Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo Friday: Second Best

I blew it. I always blow it.

I live less than a kilometre from vast farm fields and the Ottawa greenbelt. At one time, this separation from the core of the city seemed to be an expanse that took one out to the country, but now the amount of developed land that has spread outside the greenbelt has dwarfed Ottawa proper.

I like the fields near my place. Every so often, trees sprout up, separating one field from the next. In some fields, row upon row of corn grows; in others, hay.

Every year, since I've lived in my neighbourhood, I've enjoyed seeing the bales of hay rolled up into tight, short cylinders of golden, dried grass. I have loved how the light catches the perfectly round ends, how the shadows create stark contrasts of light and dark.

I've always wanted to shoot the hay bales.

In the mornings, as I've driven or cycled to work, I've loved when the early light cuts through the fog, the trees in the background evidence that the hay is not floating in empty space, and I've thought I'd love to take the time to capture these images. I never have.

In the late afternoons, as the sun sets in the west and casts long shadows, the hay glows brightly. I've noticed and loved the sights I've seen, and I have always wished I had my camera on me. I never have.

Last weekend, on Friday, I saw the beauty of these hay bales in the fields, the randomness of the scattered cylinders in the field closest to my house making a perfect pattern, and I said, "tomorrow, I'm doing it. I'm shooting these bales."

On Saturday, the sun was perfect. The sky was set. A storm cloud had rolled by and was now in the east, in the background. The sun was bright and warm.

But the bales were gone, gathered earlier that day.

Damn. I blew it. Again.

Fortunately, the bales in the neighbouring field were still there, but it wasn't the same. The cylindrical bales were more scattered, didn't have the right pattern. The trees that added depth in the best field were not visible in this field. There were trees in the distance, but it wasn't the same. The storm clouds were at the wrong angle, out of the frame.

This field wasn't the best, but it would have to do. And so, here's what I got.

I'm sorry that I couldn't give you photos from the best field. I'm sorry that you have to settle for second best.

Next year. Next year, I'll get that field.

Happy Friday.

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