Going With The Grain

The SARIE KOS Autumn issue just hit stands jam-packed with making the best of this season’s produce. As the days start shortening the urge to use what little daylight hours we have left to comfort eat takes hold. Don’t be mislead by the cover’s delectable tower of brownies crowned with glossy dark chocolate though, there are also healthy and wholesome recipes inside. The wheat story by Food Editor Herman Lensing and Photographer Donna Lewis is one of them.

The farmer thought we were mad wanting to photograph a table setting in the middle of a wheat farm. Photo: Donna Lewis

We did the shoot in October last year before wheat harvesting. The farmer of the farm Herman sourced in Philadelphia thought we were absolutely mad wanting to photograph a table setting in the middle of a wheat farm but he let us get on with it. It was a freezing cold day and as we arrived the clouds burst forth into a 30 min shower. 30 min and all the wheat was ruined, it couldn’t be harvested. Rain just before harvest makes the wheat frot and there’s no time for it to dry out and rejuvenate. The farmer’s jovial mood didn’t last long.

The wheat farm in Philadelphia. Photo: Donna Lewis

Herman and Willem inspect the wheat. Photo: Donna Lewis

As the sun broke through we grabbed our equipment – an 8×8 skrim, speedlight and a flash to add more direction – and trudged on as Herman searched for the perfect spot. We couldn’t walk through the wheat and so headed around it and what I recall as a 10 min walk, was, according to my assistant Willem, actually a 2km hike –it’s easy to lose your sense of time and direction in such a huge expanse of infinite wheat.

We quickly began shooting. Willem kept an eye on the weather and half way in we packed up and camped in the bakkie as rain pelted to the earth, sipping pink lemonade as we waited.

The oats were saved with a bottle of water. Photo: Donna Lewis

Herman prepared all the food beforehand except the oats which he cooked on a skottel. Realizing he had forgotten the water we contemplated using the leftover pink lemonade but I saved the day and the oats with a bottle of water from my car.

It was a new experience for me shooting in a wheat farm. The weather conditions were difficult but clouds always add more interest to the sky.

Photo: Donna Lewis

Photo: Donna Lewis

Look out for more of our stories in Sarie Kos vir Mans coming out in June!

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About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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