Tractors

Abandoned in the foothills

Massey Ferguson 180 - © Christopher Martin-8359

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/320 of a second at f/1.6 on ISO 50

I love driving along backroads through the farmlands on the prairies and in the foothills of Alberta.  The landscape is beautiful, wildlife (when they allow you to see them) abounds and I often have the roads to myself.  On these tours, I keep an eye out for interesting farm vehicles and buildings.  There are many unusual items designed for a specific agricultural purpose that can be very photogenic.  As purposes move forward alongside changes in technology, some of these barns, tractors and other things fall out of use and weather.  This tractor is a beautiful example of the worn down equipment that dot the landscape.  This old Massey Ferguson seemed to be parked in an idyllic spot to enjoy a hard-earned rest after a long run of service.  That’s a rather romantic notion and I could drive by there next week and find it out turning soil in one of the fields on the far side of the pond.  Whatever the truth, it was a great subject to photograph on a summer day north of Cochrane.


Farm Tractor Graveyard

Shaunavon is a town in southern Saskatchewan that continues to be a centre for agriculture and has started to prosper from the mining and petrochemical boom in the province.  We were there last weekend and while driving on a range road I noticed this field of weathered and worn out farming equipment on the edge of town.

The tractors were lined up in neat rows and there was a large mechanic shop on the same acreage so I’m guessing that these vehicles were the ones that could not be repaired or it was no longer worthwhile to do so.

This equipment may not be worth much on the farms they used to work on but they are great subjects for any photographer passing by.


Evening on the Prairie: Tractors, Hawks and Farm Landscapes

I roamed the back roads west of Calgary for a couple of hours last night as a storm blew across the prairies giving way to a pretty sunset.  I really enjoy the opportunities to wander without a specific image in mind, working with what I discover along the way.  My wife and children are still vacationing in Nelson so it’s nice to spend the evenings with a camera in hand and stave off the loneliness of the empty house.  It will be great when they return home tomorrow. 

  
As the days slipped away, I had a nice chat with Alan, the farmer whose field this tractor stands in.  A fellow photographer, Alan and I found a common interest to build on after introductions.  The tractor is a White 2-85 but I don’t know too much more about it beyond it running with a 6 cylinder Perkins diesel engine and the line being manufactured between 1975 and 1982 (I have no idea what year this vehicle is).  Not the best looking tractor (as tractors go!) but the plain color scheme allows the color in the sky to catch the eye.

This massive cloud settled over Calgary about an hour after this photograph.  I was chasing the sunset then but could see a great lightning show flashing just after sunset.

I thought this Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) had a great perch atop the exhaust stack of this old International Harvester 706 tractor.  The 706 is a really classic looking tractor, they were made between 1963 adn 1967 so it is great to see this one still on active duty.