Old Barns

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I’ve noticed a pattern when I stop to photograph an old barn. I stay on the road because owners get angry, or at least really nervous, when people walk around their property with a camera. Still, I frequently have the owner come out asking what I’m doing. I tell them what I”m doing, but also tell them how beautiful I think their barn is. They melt and we stand a while talking about the barn. They give me a history of the barn and tell me to take as many photos as I want. This is what happened when I was photographing the barn above.

I am noticing a lot of old barns are getting new roofs and having siding boards replaced, or new metal siding put on. What is really sad is when owners tell me that the grand old beautiful barns they own can’t be maintained because of structural or foundation problems. The cost is prohibitive.

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My cousin’s husband owns the next barn and he was telling me that it was built in the late 1800’s and he recently had the foundation fixed. Being a small barn it worked well and he continues to use it to store some of the antique tractors he owns.

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This post was inspired by Nancy Merrill Photography, who calls for photographs of things over 100 years old this week.

Colorful Barn

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I love color and have a hard time turning any of my photographs into black and white. I tried with this one but couldn’t let go of the green grass and the blue sky. And of course the contrast of that very dark cloud that was either coming or going. You will have to image the drama of the cloud because, even though I was there and took the photo when we were leaving the campground on Manitoulin Island, I don’t remember the cloud’s story.

What drew me in about the barn were the traces of what once was. Maybe I felt an empathy with the body of this old barn – I know what it is like to have an old body with faint vestiges of what once was. This came up in conversations with JB a couple of times this week – how much of our long-age bodies has been lost, but also how we don’t feel any different as people than when we were dating well over half a century ago. I look at him and see the young man I found so hot back when we were teenagers. Even when I think about it for a minute or two, I realize that he is all he ever was but only better because he has relaxed and I have relaxed and our main goal is just to enjoy the life we have left.

I smile when I look at this barn because we understand, the barn and I, how important it is to get these sagging, worn out parts patched back together every once in a while. I’m beginning to understand that I, like this old barn, can be beautiful even though I have some titanium patches, need to apply some dabs of color here and there, and have a bit of a sag in places. Yes, I can learn a thing or two from this old barn in all it’s glorious color.

Almost Open

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Do we have the courage to

open our doors

to receive the unknown

Do we have the courage to

extend a hand

of compassion with risk

Do we have the courage to

learn of past sins

shrouded in deception

Do we have the courage to

probe our beliefs

pursuing truth and justice

 

The RDP # 46 – Open prompt brought the smile of an easy post of this photo of a shed that has been waiting in a recent photo file for just the right moment. Then I felt the nudge to express some thoughts in a style of writing that is on the edge of my comfort zone. It takes a lot of courage for me to label this as poetry when I am familiar with the perfect words and lines that are produced by the “real” poets I read. But I suppose it wouldn’t have integrity as a poem about courage if it didn’t require courage to write.

Barn in Soft Winter Light

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The joy of winter photography in Michigan is the very soft winter light as the sun sits low in the southern sky. The trade-off is a very cold nose and a biting wind that goes through multiple layers of clothing. The only post processing was a bit of cropping and exposure adjustment to better reflect the beautiful color my eyes saw. If I remember right I didn’t expose my body to the wind for this one, choosing to take this image out the truck window.