Another John Deere combine shot. This time it is a 2012 (approx) John Deere 9860STS with GPS autosteer and all the bells and whistles on the left, and a 1997 (approx) John Deere 9600 on the right. The 9600 is a workhorse but not nearly as sophisticated or as fast as the one on the left. I got a ride in both of them.
I spent last week working on an assignment about the Oklahoma wheat harvest in northern Oklahoma, right close to the Kansas border. It was dusty, hot, and windy so I had to be careful to keep my lenses attached to my digital cameras in fear of dust on my sensor. I was quite busy shooting all phases of the harvest, including cutting wheat, spraying crops, repairing and maintaining the equipment, preparing the food for the crews, etc. I did have a few minutes to grab some shots with my Toyo VX-125, once again using Kodak TMAX-100 film, a Nikon 210 mm F5.6 lens and a red Coken filter. I am starting to like the red filter if I can figure out the compensation factor. This is a bit better exposed than my church picture from yesterday.
This is a 1997 John Deere combine used by the Day family farms.
Yesterday was a John Deere combine. Today is a John Deere trackhoe. See a theme here?
It has been raining all week and I have been busy with work so little time to get out and grab some 4×5 pictures. So I grabbed my camera and drove around Edmond looking for something to photograph. I am always drawn to heavy equipment that blue collar workers operate, so I saw this trackhoe parked in a nearby subdivision and pulled in to grab a snapshot.
Today was my first time using a red filter with my black and white photography. I had heard about how filters can darken the sky in a black and white photo, so did a bit of Google research and discovered red and orange are the trick to pulling detail out of a blue sky. I attached a Coken filter holder to the front of my Nikon 210 mm F5.6 lens mounted in my Toyo VX-125, and slid a red Cokin filter into place. I guessed that it increased exposure by about 2 stops so adjusted my settings to compensate. From this picture it looks closer to 3 stops.
So here you go – a John Deere trackhoe with a dark sky enhanced by a photo filter – on the camera of course, not in the computer.
Back to the wheat harvest. Each morning, crews get up at daybreak and clean the combine. Now combines are not some small piece of machinery you can just run to the car wash. They are massive, expensive pieces of diesel-powered computers that must process massive amounts of straw to get a few kernels of wheat for consumption. Each morning the combine crew must open up inspection hatches and use air compressors to blow out the wheat dust from the previous days work. And if you have ever watched a combine at work in the field, you know they create a HUGE amount of dust – 50′ plumes of wheat dust and dirt flying in the air behind them. All that dust must be blown out of the engine, intake manifold, and spinning machinery inside the combine. This takes two people approximately 2 hot, dusty, dirty, sweaty hours of work before the day’s harvest can begin. In addition to cleaning the combine, crews must fuel the monster, clean air filters, adjust belt tensioners, and inspect and repair any damage from the previous day.
This is done every morning before the day’s work even begins. Then after waking up at 6 am to clean the combine, they must work until midnight or later actually harvesting the wheat.
Long day during harvest.
Here is another shot of this massive John Deere combine working to harvest wheat near Altus, Oklahoma. As I mentioned yesterday, I had to guess at where the combine was going to be and hope I was in the correct spot and prefocus my Toyo VX-125 on the spot I thought the operator would drive the combine. I missed just a bit but still liked this shot.