The old red shed

There is something about old barns and sheds that repeatedly draw my eye. It may be how they root us to our past, or maybe the attraction of living in simpler times. I’ve always loved the look of faded barn red paint. On our country road is a old red farmhouse with a small red shed nearby.

Old red shed

Old red shed

The farmhouse and shed were already abandoned when we built our home on this road over 25 years ago. A farmer up the road rented the adjacent land for planting corn. He always planted a few rows of sweet corn along the road on this property for all the neighbors. We got to know this farmer well– Don and Mary Shores. They taught us a lot about growing vegetables, raising and butchering chickens, and about the neighborhood. But we never did learn anything about this old farmhouse.

About 7 years ago I took my oldest son’s High School senior portrait with the faded red wood as a background. Two years ago I noticed how the shed was losing it’s battle with gravity and so I took some close up abstract shot of various parts of the shed.

Weary hinge

Weary hinge

Weathered wood

Weathered wood

Two roofing nails

Two roofing nails

While photographing this shed I could not help but wonder about its story. When was it built? Who built it? Did they have any power tools at that time? What was its purpose–animals, machines, garden tools? Was it owned by a young family or old couple? Did they farm the land themselves? What was life like back then? How many owners did it have over the years? When was the house and shed abandoned?

This past March we had some pretty nasty wind storms, and the shed could no longer fight the pull of gravity. It’s just an old shed and abandoned farm house… but it feels a bit like an old friend is gone. The pile of rubble remains, but the spirit of the place is gone.

Collapsed shed

Collapsed shed

Looking back I am glad I took images along the way. These images help tell the story and  give color, shape and context that words simply cannot. When words fail me–and more and more they do–the camera lens helps me articulate what it is I want to share.

Knowing your subject

This year I am making an effort to know my subjects. So often I will label a flower as “yellow flower 1” without taking the time to learn what the real name of the flower is. I have shot a number of spring flower images this year, and have been able to get the names of a good number of them.

Learning the correct name of what it is I am photographing is the first step. Learning the times of day that the subject is best viewed is another. Some flowers close towards night. I also started a Google Apps calendar listing when different flowers are in bloom, and where to find them. A bonus is that I have visited a few new area nature parks I had not been to before.

Following are some images of Spring from this year. Enjoy!

photocrati gallery