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.
I am fascinated by bridges. Some of this comes from the notion of how they are engineered, how they actually connect to solid ground, and the idea that these spans connect land masses separated by water, or simply space that could not be connected otherwise. Some may find them an intrusion in the landscape but they present a certain kind of contrast that I find photographically interesting.
The temperature at my 6:45 wake-up read 5 degrees. With the slightly windy conditions the wind chill came to -10. What on earth was I thinking? And not only that I had convinced my pal, Adam Holston, to sally forth into the cold with me. Even bundled up with layers we both felt the cold seep in until we could no longer feel our fingers. This was really a one shot deal for me. I had already plotted the location of the rising sun and I simply needed to be in position a few minutes before the sun hit the horizon. It could not come quick enough though as my 30 minutes on the bridge scouting the shot turned me into an iceberg, even as the ballhead on my tripod locked up from the cold. As the light came I grabbed one shot for the shadow areas and several sun star shots and the event was over. And then we were quickly to the car and Mellow Moods for coffee.
TECHNICAL: Fuji GFX 50s and a Fujinon GF 32-64 f4 R WR at 34mm. Two images were shot to create the final rendering-one at f11 for 1/4 of a second and the other at f16 for 1/8 of a second, both at ISO 100. The two files were corrected in Lightroom and combined using Luminosity Masks in Photoshop CC