Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Harvesting photo ops in rural Minnesota and rural Wisconsin October 16, 2013

A rural scene along Minnesota State Highway 60 between Faribault and Zumbrota.

A cornfield awaits complete harvest along Minnesota State Highway 60 between Faribault and Zumbrota, Minnesota.

IT IS THE FORMER FARM GIRL that drives me to turn my camera toward the fields this time of year, to the harvest of corn and soybeans.

Harvest in progress near U.S. Highway 10 east of Appleton, Wisconsin.

Harvest in progress along U.S. Highway 10 east of Appleton, Wisconsin.

This past weekend provided the perfect opportunity to scope out the harvest on a 600-mile round trip through southeastern Minnesota across central Wisconsin to Appleton (just south of Green Bay) and back. Lots of windshield time with the husband. And lots of time to observe rural Wisconsin and rural Minnesota and capture those scenes with the quick click of my shutter button while passing by at highway speeds.

A scenic

A cornfield awaits harvest along Interstate 90 in southeastern Minnesota.

In most areas, corn fields have faded from green to a golden hue. Soybean fields likewise are transforming to the muted browns of autumn.

A combine works the land along U.S. Highway 52 north of Rochester.

A combine works the land along U.S. Highway 52 north of Rochester, Minnesota.

Combines kick up dust.

A vintage grain truck rolled out of storage and parked along side a southeastern Minnesota field.

A vintage grain truck parked along side a southeastern Minnesota field.

Grain trucks rumble out of storage.

Lots of pumpkins harvested also and for sale, these along Wisconsin State Highway 21.

Lots of pumpkins harvested also and for sale, these along Wisconsin State Highway 21.

Hurry hangs heavy.

Bringing in the crop along Wisconsin State Highway 21.

Bringing in the crop along Wisconsin State Highway 21.

There’s that anticipation, that sense of urgency, that hustle to get the crop out. Before the snow flies.

FYI: Here are a few photo tips for all you on-the-road wannabe photographers out there: Clean your vehicle windows. Make sure you are the passenger and not the driver; safety first. Set your camera at a fast shutter speed. Anticipate. Watch the glare on your windows. Then shoot, shoot, shoot.

If results are not perfect, and they likely will not be due to bugs, sun, and a myriad of other issues, use photo editing tools. Crop. Change the contrast. Sharpen if necessary. Get creative as I did here with usage of the artistic “cartoonify” editing tool. And, if all else fails to produce a pleasing image with the impact you desire, hover and delete.

PLEASE CHECK BACK tomorrow, when I take you on a tour of a Tomah, Wisconsin, cranberry farm.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling