Exploring Long Island's Farmland at F1.8

I love road trips!  Gas up, pack some PB&J, the GPS, camera gear, and set off for new territory.  For this adventure, I explored Long Island's North Fork where the towns have Indian names like Aquebogue, Cutchogue, and Mattituck.  There are no mega-malls, or concrete jungles.  Out here, it's only vast farmland owned by friendly families.  Business operates at a different pace with most accepting cash but not credit cards.  You slow down, taste wine, and enjoy the view. To document the experience, I brought along my Canon 40D with an Canon 85mm f1.8 lens. 

I happily wandered through acres of peaceful lavender while enjoying the heavenly aroma.  I wondered how one can capture "scent" in a photo.  Normally when shooting landscapes, I use f16 or even f22 to render everything sharp from near to far.  Yet here, I wanted to capture the softer, ethereal quality of the flowers.    I decided to shoot wide open at f1.8 so only part of the image would be sharp.  I composed the shot above to show the symetry and patterns of the sprawling farmland.

When shooting a type of photo story, it's also important to remember to take a few detail shots.  For the image below, I used the 85mm again, and focused on one flower stem.  At f1.8, everything else turned into a wash of lavender.  I could have stayed here all day, but alas, there was more country to explore.


What would a visit to the East End be without sampling some wine?  This view is from the second floor balcony of Raphael's Winery.  Perhaps I fell under the spell of their 2004 Merlot Estate, or the samples of Riesling, but I decided to keep shooting at f1.8!  Here, the neatly arranged rows of grapes stretch into the horizon with a little barn in the distance.  


Back inside, I took this photo of the processing area through a window.


We also stopped at a local fruit stand where the berries were ripe for picking.  Continuing at f1.8, I photographed the local produce, and a sunflower before making thr long journey home.




A colorful Rooster signals the end of this day's farm adventure


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ChrisLong Island