This time of year we start to see the farmers taking advantage of the high heat, lower humidity and longer days to bring in their first cuts of hay. Over night the tall grass that has been verdant since March is suddenly shorn and throughout the fields are these huge hay lozenges.
Nancy and I stopped at a nearby field to take in the scene as the clouds played across the setting evening sun. So many of the images I shot were totally blown out. Without a split ND filter on my lens, I was out of luck when it came to exposing the sky and foreground accurately. Turned to Lightroom 4 to help balance things out. It didn't quite balance the image the way I had hoped, so I opted for the fall-back-and-punt approach. Hit the image with a red filter while converting to black-and-white. Now we started to see the sky while retaining all the texture in the fields.
If money were no object, I would order the LEE Filters 150 x 170mm 0.75 Graduated Neutral Density Filter (Soft Edge) which would require not only the filters, but the filter holder, and the adapter to fit the various lenses I would want to use it on.... but it is so worth it!