A VISIT FROM THE ONION FAIRY


Have you ever thought about where onions come from? I'd always assumed they were a root crop, but something I saw in early November 2016 has led me to question my previous analysis. I now suspect that they may be delivered overnight by the onion fairy. 



It's a very big field between where I live and Thouars, and on the way to Thouars (to get there before the shops shut) I wasn't sure what I was seeing. So I stopped on the way back, and there it was. They were definitely onions:



and there were thousands of them; or more likely, tens of thousands. It was surprisingly hard to get a picture that conveyed just how many there were,  because of course they were often concealed by furrows and I was in the Peugeot, not the Land Rover where I could simply have stood on top and shot downwards. So I shot half a dozen pictures, and the two above probably tell the story best. There is, after all, a limit to the number of pictures that most people want to see (and that I want to shoot) of an onion field. 

Perhaps those more acquainted with the growing of onions would be kind enough to explain why they were arranged like this, on Facebook  or the Amateur Photographer forum or Rangefinder Forum

For photographers who are idly curious about what the failures looked like, I reproduce them below. How would you have photographed them? Bear in mind that I was shooting little more than a snapshot, so don't suggest cherry pickers, helicopters, etc.: the pictures just aren't that important. Equipment was a Nikon Df  with 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. For those who don't want to see the failures (and I don't blame you):

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Possibly better angle; definitely worse exposure. Flare didn't help.


Fails to disclose the sheer scale of the field.


Dull sky; onions in horizontal furrows all but invisible.








Shot in portrait format, which rarely works well on a computer screen unless you start doing really clever layout; which you will have guessed by now is not the way I do this. After years of shooting for books and magazines, where portrait format is favoured for many pictures, I sometimes find it quite hard not to turn the camera on its side and shoot portrait.


Words and pictures copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2016