As I rounded a curve along the backroads of southern Pennsylvania, I saw a very peculiar sight. In the field to my left were enormous stacks of bailed hay, perhaps 12 feet high. They all had primitive faces (the closest one sticking out its tongue), and they were all facing the same direction. I knew I had seen them somewhere before. As I walked among them, I realized that some farmer had unwittingly recreated the enormous stone statues (gods) of Easter island. What a delightful irony this was, to find these icons right here in the United States! If you don't know about Easter Island, do a search. It's a very interesting tale of a primitive culture that overpopulated its island, clearing all the trees for crops, erecting stone gods to have bountiful harvests, and eventually toppling their gods in anger as the crops failed and the people were starving.

The obvious intent of this parody is to be mildly surreal, and that required radical alteration of the original image. The original sky was overcast, so I substituted a sky I shot in Coastal Virginia. The bails of hay had aged long enough that they were gray, so they had to be colorized. The grass was green, but perhaps not this green. The trees in the background had to be removed, because to have trees would not be in the spirit of Easter Island (where all trees were cut down to create fields for agricultural use). This photograph is deceptive in its simplicity. It actually required an enormous degree of fine editing. (Click here to see "before" and "after" shots.)

Canon 10D, 28-135mm IS lens at 28mm, f11, 1/10 sec.

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