Good photojournalists usually try to concentrate on producing images about life in action, documentary style. Photos of farmers harvesting, for example, are better of farmers just standing there.
But what happens out of season? That’s what I ran up against earlier this week when I visited Avelino Santos, a Granger asparagus grower planning to convert his crop to organic hoping to fetch a higher price.
This time of year, asparagus doesn’t do much except throw up soft fronds and red seeds. Farmers don’t usually mess with it until they mulch it under in the spring. They harvest in late April, May and June.
I needed some sort of picture so I asked Avelino to stand a few rows in, hoping to show him surrounded by his fields.
Then, he joked that his plants were as tall as he was. Suddenly, I wanted to a picture to show that, so I crouched down and framed him with the fronds against the blue sky in the background.
I managed to find the right exposure for either him or the green plants, but not both. (His baseball hat didn’t help.) If I was shooting a documentary shot, that would most likely have been tough luck.