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by Andy McInroy

Print Of The Month - December 2006

Landscape Photograph

Wheat Field
Derry, County Derry

Technical Details
Exposure time: 1/8th second
Aperture: f22
Focal Length: 16mm (APS sensor)
Lens: Pentax 16-45mm DA
Filtration: 2 stop neutral density graduate over sky

Shorter days and appaling weather have curtailed my photography in recent weeks so I've decided to share a late summer photograph of a golden harvest field just outside Derry. An image to lift the spirits and a reminder that the warm harvest evenings will return again.

Derry is located on the banks of the river Foyle estuary in Northern Ireland. The city has long history of conflict from medieval times right up to "the troubles" between the 1960s and 1990s. Recent news events have perhaps distracted the outsider from the incredible beauty of the landscapes of Northern Ireland. From the mighty cliffs of Fairhead to the gentle calm of the Fermanagh lakes and from the seemingly endless Strand of Benone to the mighty Mourne mountains, Northern Ireland has some spectacular and varied landscapes. The unpredictable weather also does its bit to create the perfect light that the photographer needs to "paint".

With such wonderful locations on offer in Northern Ireland, it's all to easy to miss what's on your doorstep. This particular image was taken after a friend of mine suggested that we give the coast a miss for a change and head just a couple of miles outside Derry to the western banks of the River Foyle. It was here that we came across this delightful field of golden wheat.

After exploring the field from a number of different angles, it was apparent that the composition would be affected by the steep slope down to the river. In this photograph, a certain amount of un-natural rotation was needed to avoid the slope of the field throwing the image out of balance. Who says the spirit level never lies !! I decided to use the set of meandering tractor tyre tracks as the "lead in" to help communicate depth. The eye movement from bottom left to top right is a natural way of looking at a photograph and is helped by using a relatively low camera angle and wide lens. With the shot set up, all that remained was to wait for the light.

And what light !!

Text and photos © Andy McInroy