I visited an old friend today. The Red Barn, as I have come to name this place, is a location that I have photographed on many occasions and in all kinds of light. The morning light in the Spring and early part of the Summer is the most dramatic as the rising sun illuminates the south-east face of the barn, arguably and fortuitously, one of the more interesting sides to photograph. At this time of the year the owners allow the fields around the barn to go to seed and the clover and grasses grown to around waist height. The resulting textures create a very strong foreground element and I love how the barn seems to nestle into its footers as the grasses embrace it.
I might well have referred to this image as the “Return of the Muse”. I have been quite busy with the office part of photography setting up the logistics for two workshops and have just neglected the joyful, and simple, pursuit of making images. You cannot predict when the muse will appear and in many instances it is when you least expect it.
Let me state the obvious, from a photographers perspective, that it is important to always carry a camera. I do whether I shoot or not as being prepared is a 100 percent proposition in my way of thinking. When light happens and you are without the tools, well you get the idea.
I am off today. A blessed reprieve from the office and the learning curve that has come with a new position. Sometimes the brain just goes on overload and requires a day of nothing. The weather seems to support my mood as well. It has been a tough several weeks that saw the failure of all of my back-up drives and the loss of thousands of RAW files dating back over 15 years. I did not lose them all which is fortunate, and I did not lose my Photoshop master files which is another blessing. I do not have a diagnostic answer for the failures but I was running an older laptop-based system, not enough RAM, too much reading and writing to drives, and not running Disk Warrior repair as often as I should have. Well, it is what it is. A wake up call to retool a bit and perhaps I needed to let some things go and open up more space in my life.
The subtlety of our rural landscape takes some time to understand and appreciate. I know for a fact that it took me quite a while to not only appreciate the light, textures, and forms but to actually find a joy in peeling away the layers. It is not the grand "scape" like many of the western images I shoot, but I like the challenges of finding compositions nuanced by subtle light striking the dense patterns of grasses and leaves.
This is another in my continuing series of personal explorations in the subtle landscapes of my hometown. There are times when I tend to lose my way relative to my photographic work. It is somewhat inevitable as I tend to look at a lot of images, and in doing so, succumb to the flotsam and jetsam of viewing so many photographs. Just how many beautiful sunsets over misty mountains can one take. It is my fault of course because I only have myself to blame. No one is making me look at all these images and all I have to do is stop, put down the phone, and shut down my use of Instagram.
This image is from a series of photographs I am working on that embraces the subtle landscape of my hometown area. At anytime when I suspect that fog is in the forecast I will be out looking to make images that the quiet moments of a rural landscape. Fog brings lower contrast to the light as well as subtle layers that add dimension and form. This is one of my favorite locations to explore this kind of atmospheric condition. Here at the Poffenberger Farm, at Antietam National Battlefield, the grasses have grown tall around the old barn and along the gravel lane to the main house.