i think farms are pretty cool. there is an abandoned farm in wisconsin i've been to a few times that i really love to make images at. there is another farm that i love to make images at, also in wisconsin. it's a lovely piece of farm land that some friends of mine bought a little while back from an uncle on the husband's side. as a boy, he spent many summers there and has fond memories of them. i've been blessed to be allowed to make images there and as long as they let me, i'll continue making images there.
i'm particularly pleased with the way these images turned out. i feel like they do a good job showcasing winter moods if i can say so myself (well...i just did!).
my last blog i mentioned that the temperature was -7. on this day a week later, the bitter cold snap that lasted for a couple weeks was just beginning. when i arrived at the farm in the wee hours, it was -20. with the windchill, it was easily in the -30s and 40s. every part of my body, except for my eyes, was covered with some sort of winter clothing gear. i had left the house somewhere between 3:00 and 3:30 that morning. i had planned to get up at 4:00 that morning to get there in time for the sunrise but i woke up around 2:30 am. after a minute or so of contemplating going back to sleep until 4:00 am, i decided to get up and get out there while it was still dark. i sure am glad i did.
this is the resulting image i made because i arrived while it was still dark out.
i have to say it is one of my favorites....ever. i just love the feel of this image. to me, it would not be out of place in one of those epic images you see of houses in finland or sweden or wherever in some remote area that is surrounded by snow. the glow of the light is extremely inviting on this cold winter night. the glow even reaches all the way over to the garden shed and workshop on the far right. i think the ladder on the side of the workshop and the resulting shadow from the glow of the light just adds that extra oomph. and then the stars. oh man! what a glorious night to watch the stars while standing in knee deep snow. they twinkled with an enthusiastically carefree abandon! bitter cold and clear winter nights are the best to watch the stars dance!
as cold as it was, i was in and out of my vehicle. truth be told, i left it running the whole time i was at the farm. i didn't want to take the chance of the vehicle not starting up in the bitter cold as i was out making images for an hour or two at a time before i would head back and warm up for a little bit. as the darkness started its progression toward blue hour and then golden hour, i walked in knee deep snow up the hill behind the barn and set up my gear. i made some images there and then headed back to the vehicle again to warm up. as i was sitting there with heater on full blast, i noticed the potential for an image on the front side of the barn that i thought would be really nice. as the sun was ready to appear very shortly, i jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed my gear from the back and hustled as quick as i could to the field in front of the barn. have you ever tried to hustle in knee deep snow going down and up a field? by the time i got to where i wanted to set up, i was breathing hard and the cold air was a bit jarring as i breathed in. even though i wore a full head mask, there are still ventilation holes for breathing in and out. but once again, i was glad i hustled quickly to the spot i was set up at.
this is the image as the sun crested the trees behind me.
the first rays of the sun warmed up the scene in the upper part of the image and contrasts with the cool shaded portion of the image. i particularly love the light creating a semi-circle around the barn and silo. i intentionally waited as long as i dared until the light hit just beyond the perimeter of the barn and silo and then started making images. it looks like i'm relatively close to the barn but, in reality, i was at least a few hundred yards away or more. this image is cropped at the bottom to better balance out the image.
this last image was made as i was walking back to the vehicle after making the previous image. i was loving the abstract snowscape with the textures, ridges, shadows and lighting as the sun continued its ascent. still low in the sky, the sun's rays brought out the cool colors of the snow as well as reflecting a hint of the warm glow. i laid prostrate on the snow and fiddled around with a few different compositions. once i found one i liked, i took a series of images, each with a different focal point. back home on my computer, i blended them all together to create a sharper image front to back. i think the grasses in the back add a nice visual touch to the snowscape.
feeling pretty good about the images i made, i called it a day and walked back to bask in the lovely confines of a heated vehicle. the farm had gifted me with a visual treat that morning as a reward for getting out in the bitter cold. as i drove the long driveway back to the side street, i was already looking forward to seeing what surprises this farm will have for me to make images of next time!
what are some cold but fun memories you have? maybe it was on a farm. maybe it was a hike after a fresh fall of snow in some beautiful location. whatever it was, why not share about that here in the comments below? i'd love to hear them. feel free to post any comments/questions/feedback as well. i read them all and i respond to them all.
these images would be a gorgeous collection for your house/business or for that special someone. check them out in my online store. if you are not seeing a type of media listed there (such as matted or framed prints among other things) as it continues to be a work in progress, send me a note using the contact form below and i'll get back to you. i'll help you get exactly what you are looking for.
thanks for reading this blog! i hope you enjoyed it! please share with those you think would enjoy reading it as well. i will see you next time with more "images from a quiet world"!