A Visit to the Farm: The Rest of the Story

As we were taking pictures of the milk house, a car pulled up and a 70-something man rather gruffly asked what we thought we were doing. Once the farmer learned we were a couple of harmless old ladies interested in taking pictures of stones his demeanor changed and he smiled and said, “If you want to see some real stones, come to the house over there.”

We accepted his invitation and spent over an hour with the farmer and his wife. He showed us some very large rocks that had been pulled out of the fields, his beautiful fish-filled pond, his beagles, an old outhouse, and some lawn ornaments. He told us he was raised in the farmhouse near the milk house and had lived on his current part of that farm since 1966. We had some wonderful conversation, great picture opportunities, and an invitation to return.

A couple of old ladies with cameras found out that the gruff old grizzly was a loveable teddy bear.
door and windowred lily with fish

tirangle and globe

red lily 2

A Visit to a Farm

hayenginewheel2milkhouseA couple of weeks ago a photo excursion started in the morning light with pictures of hay bales, stops to capture old farm equipment, photos of antiques (see my post on these), and then on to a fascinating farm visit.

The farm visit started as Pat and I stopped to take pictures of an old stone milk house. In Paul Harvey’s words, I will tell you “the rest of the story” on Wednesday.   🙂


The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/) is the newest edition to the campus of Michigan State University. It is a museum of modern art where the building itself is also modern art. See the photo gallery from the link above to get some idea of the severe angles and dramatic lighting in the museum. I recently visited the museum for the first time with my spouse and some out-of-town guests. We had a great time. I was allowed to take pictures inside the museum as long as I did not do flash photography (which I rarely do anyways). The first picture has the museum in the background. The dramatic lines on the outside are just a hint of what is inside. Museum and Statue The pink tubes picture is taken from a viewing area above one of the first floor galleries. The current exhibit is about patterns and includes works from artists around the world. The tubes suspended from the ceiling also included black and grey tubes in various shades. pink pipes The next three pictures feature a work that fascinated me. Strings were suspended from the ceiling. On each string were small mirrors facing up with designs on the bottom. The light and the shifting wind currents created a kaleidoscope effect for the viewer. The woman in the “Perspective” photo is my spouse of 41 years. She is not standing on a slope. I turned the camera to try to visualize the way people tended to turn every which way to view the unusual artwork. reflection mirrors_ perspective art and man There is no admission charge to enter the museum.  I expect to return soon.


garden horseNo, this title is not referring to the roaming photographers. It is about the photos of antiques taken by this roaming photographer (who is not quite yet an antique).

Pat and I went out last week not quite sure where our day would take us. But after some shots of hay bales and rusted antique farm equipment we found ourselves just west of Jonesville on route 12 in the middle of a lot of antique stores. One store claimed it was the largest antique store in Michigan. We decided to spend some time in three of the stores (including the super-sized one). We saw many fascinating things, but, even though we did see some genuine antiques, I learned that one person’s “antique” might be someone else’s discount yard sale item.

Pat put up pictures of the antique hats she captured (http://imissmetoo.me/ ). I found myself focusing on contrasts in many of my pictures. These four will give you some idea of my efforts.

The first picture was taken outside of a store. I liked the contrast of the lawn ornament horse with the blue Adirondack chair.

The next two pictures took advantage of the fluorescent lighting bouncing off of the corrugated metal ceiling. The drama of the photo of the pitcher was elevated by the fact that the pitcher was on a high shelf. The silhouette of the woman carrying water on her head was from a hand-carved statue from Africa.


woman and waterThe last picture is from the base of a lamp that was lit from inside. The etched flowers are enhanced by the soft light of the lamp and the reflections of the surrounding treasures.

Let this antique know what you think of “Antiques”. (Sorry about the couple of puns. I can’t resist.)
flowers on lamp

Black and White

117prayer bellstump and posttree shadowsMy love of serious photography grew out my exposure to the work of Ansel Adams. Some 30 years ago I used a Canon AE1 and Ilford film to take pictures. I would make my own prints from a basement darkroom.

With the move to digital photography, it seems that there is less black-and-white photography. I believe that sometimes the story you are trying to tell with a picture can best be communicated in black and white.

The first picture is from my early days. It is from a scan of a black-and-white picture of my three boys. The oldest will turn 39 next year.

The second picture is from a recent trip to photograph downtown churches. I couldn’t decide between this picture and the next, so I included them both.

The last picture was from an early Spring trip. I love the sense of mystery and drama the crooked shadows bring to the picture. Black-and-white seemed to intensify the power of this picture.

Love to hear your thoughts.

Stained Glass

For our recent photo excursion Pat and I visited five historic, downtown Jackson Michigan churches. We took pics of the gardens, exteriors, doors, and spires but we also received permission from each church to enter the church and take pictures inside. I love stained glass windows and focused (sorry about the pun) on them

Colored or stained glass goes way back into ancient times, but it wasn’t until the late fourth century that some churches had a stained-glass type of window. The ornate stained glass windows we associate with churches first appeared in Britain in the 7th century. For more on stained glass see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stained_glass .
round windowBibleJesus contemporary The three samples I am sharing are from three different churches (Catholic, Baptist, and Lutheran). To me, each has a different kind of beauty. In taking the pictures I metered on the windows to accentuate the light coming through the windows. The pictures were taken without flash. As always I am interested in your thoughts and comments.


Barn woodfountainSpider Webdandelion

For me, texture is one of the harder things to portray in a picture. I know what I am experiencing, but how do I convey touch in an image? What I try to do is to intensify the image,  at least to some extent. Here are some ways I have recently tried to do that.

The barn wood shows the richness of age as well as a texture that dares you to touch it with the near guarantee of a splinter. By focusing on a small corner of the barn, I tried to make that sensation clearer. The older I get the more I enjoy the richness of aged things (especially wine!).

Does water have a texture? I think it does, especially when it is moving. In this fountain image, the focus is on the water (not the fountain so much) and the touch – and maybe even taste – the water may convey to us as we look at the image.

The spider web image may make you squirm. If you have ever walked through a spider web, by accident or intention, you know well the rather nasty feeling that comes from this most delicate part of nature. I searched for a good illustration of a spider web and found this mass of webs under my elevated deck.

To help restore a positive note on texture, the dandelion photo was shot in early morning light with a dark shadowy background to intensify the image. Maybe the image brings back memories of blowing the weed’s seeds gently into the wind. It might also evoke the more negative image of weeding your garden or lawn. I do hope it also brings back the gentleness and softness of texture.

As always I am interested in whatchathink.  🙂

Red Eye Special

The color red causes our hearts to race, especially when we see it flashing in our rearview mirror. The most emotionally tense color, red is often associated with passion, beauty, blood, anger, danger, and, in other cultures, happiness. In a photograph red can either be the focal point or a great accent. Either way, there is something about red that draws us into a longer look at an image.

As a primary color in traditional color theory and as an additive primary in modern RGB imaging technology, red often is often buried in combinations with other colors in a quiet supportive role. But red can also be the star.

These three pics were all taken on the same day. In the image of the front of a truck, shiny red is the star of the photo. In the old Mobil sign red is contrasted well with the black. I like the red fire hydrant in the stonewall photo because it brings a pop of color to the early morning, muted tones of the wall. I think it also adds interest with the juxtaposition of nature and a man-made element.

What do you feel or think when you see red?truckMobilfire hydrant

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