Amber Waves of Grain - A WestBred Photo Shoot

October 11, 2021

Until just recently, I thought of this line as nothing more than a borrowed song lyric. Now, this phrase sparks a fond and unique memory. What happened that changed my perspective of this famous lyric? It’s simple. I spent time in a wheat field. I am a creative director for an advertising agency, and part of my job is to direct photoshoots. My introduction to shooting wheat was just a few weeks ago, and my first impression? Breathtaking.

amber waves of grain

I have photographed many things during my career but seldom have been as photogenic as wheat. It’s not lost on me that most of our Tiller readers work in wheat fields. For this audience, it may sound inflated to describe “the office” as breathtaking. For me, it was a sensory overload. It’s my job to be creative and to see beauty where others do not. Floating in a sea of golden wheat during harvest time made my job easy.

amber waves

The whole landscape becomes a living, breathing ocean of grain. Unlike the sea, the waves in a wheat field reveal the wind with impressive clarity. You can see the exact size and shape of a wind current in a way I’ve never seen before. The movement of this crop acts like a footprint in the sand. It reveals the invisible. But that observation is hard to capture through the lens and was not why I was there.

My job was to capture the essence of the crop, and it had plenty of soul to give. From the wide shots to the macro close-ups, wheat is beautiful. Each photographic angle and perspective provide a different story about just how much this plant has shaped American culture. I could use more words to describe the beauty I saw, but we all know a picture is worth a thousand of those. I’ll let the camera lens do the talking.