Monday 29 September 2008

Capturing September attempt # P925004 - # 08/230

The meadows around us are being mown. Here I wanted to capture the graceful curving path taken by the mowing machine, and the cast of light and shade as the mid-day sun flooded the heaped grass - the piles are brilliantly lit on one side and darkly shaded behind. Of course, the "idiot camera" could not sense my "emotional gut feeling" and so this became a tricky exposure exercise. I admit to just a tiny bit of "post-processing" to improve the shadows (but only a tiny bit!!!). B&W proved better than colour, in my opinion, at capturing the mood.

I remember once on a visit to the French Alps in the Savoie we discovered the cheese Beaufort. This unique cheese comes from cows who spend the summer grazing the alpine meadows rich with wild flowers, and the scent of the flowers goes into the milk. This fragrance does not travel so well and it is (in my experience) difficult to find an excellent Beaufort anywhere that is far away from its origin in the Savoie.

Last week our local Ham and Petersham meadows were cut. One particular meadow had been especially rich in wild flowers. The scent of the hay was quite remarkable. The light breeze had gathered the fragrance into a corner of the walled area and concentrated it into the richest vanilla-like aroma I have ever experienced - magical and unforgettable, and totally unknown to the millions who live urban lives!


  1. Sitting in an alp eating Beaufort and crusty bread with a rustic bottle of Von de Savoie....

    What am I doing sitting at this keyboard!

  2. Nice lines the farmer has produced, not straight but in waves. I like the smell of mown grass very much ...

  3. Your description is wondeful. This city girl knew nothing about the fragrance of hay or this particular kind of cheese. i must look for some to try. Your photograph is so nice. I too like the gentle curves and the texture. Post processing is what we all do. I'm thankful to have it!

  4. Pas besoin d'aller dans les Alpes, ni d'avoir des prairies, il m'a suffit de faire 10 minutes en voiture et j'ai surpris l'année dernière de belles lignes comme celles ci : il s'agissait de gazon frais tondu. Le plus important est d'avoir cette belle lumière rasante qui accentue les ombres et les reliefs.
    A l'automne, il ne faut plus trop se lever tôt pour y parvenir, c'est au moins un avantage / entrer dans l'hiver...

    L'inconvénient est que les vaches aussi entre en hiver et leur lait est alors beaucoup moins bon pour le fromage...

    (Une belle profondeur de champ ici...)

  5. The curves and extravagance of the mown grass reminds me of a Van Gogh painting. Really like this and your words. I can smell it too.

  6. I love photographing hay fields and the fragrance is nice too but makes me sneeze.

    I enjoyed this shot. Thanks.