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Saturday, 22 March 2014 22:36

Intimacy in a Slice of Time

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David Nolan and his ancestors have been farming in the beautiful mountain community of Fines Creek, North Carolina for several generations. They are people who clearly love the land and wish to see it kept, in this valley, to the noble purpose of agriculture. Although it would have been easy to create an image of the entire barn of which this slice is but a part, it was the intimacy of this piece of the old silo and its time-honored relationship with the old barn which it adjoins that really caught my eye. The worn old ladder now clasped to the breast of the silo as much by a swarm of searching vines as by the nails that once did in years gone by just seemed to complete the story of a time long ago when farming was a different enterprise than it sadly has become. David Nolan kindly consented to allow our recent workshop to photograph this wonderful piece of history. A focal length of 292mm gave me the intimate slice I wanted from the larger whole. An aperture of f/11 gave me sufficient depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/15 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.     


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  • Comment Link Don McGowan Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:19 posted by Don McGowan

    Hi Everyone. Thank you all for joining me in this conversation. I think, Joe, that's pretty much how I felt about it: nature doing reclamation work. There are probably those who are put off by the "clutter," but I saw it as nature doing exactly what nature does. The barn, itself, is still used, but the use of the silo was discontinued years ago. It all felt very intimate to me and reminded me of my grandfather's dairy in the 1950s. Dorsey, I continue to appreciate your inclination to take a second look, and I know precisely what you are saying about the tendency to document when we do these sorts of images. There are plenty of those, but this made me feel more like something Eliot Porter might have done as an intimate landscape. For me, this was the slice from the larger whole that told the story of that whole in a complete way. It emphasized the relationships among the barn, the silo, and the vines/brush in a way that went beyond what a wider shot would have. done. Thank you for staying with it. Nancy T., I believe we should share the stories of all such structures we can find. Goodness knows how much longer most of them may be around; and their stories are a part of all of us whether we recognize it or not. I'm glad this one spoke to you. Joani, you are more than welcome; and thank you for your kind comments. You know, I've always told you that photography is a spiritual journey. Tonight I listened to Natalie Goldberg say the same thing about art and writing, and if she had included photography, it would not have rung true any less. And Michelle, more and more I have come to believe that it's all about story, and that photography is just a form of visual writing. Thanks, again, everyone. I hope I inspire you nearly as much as you always inspire me.

  • Comment Link Michelle Jensen Monday, 24 March 2014 16:19 posted by Michelle Jensen

    Don, I treasure your observation and comments. Telling a story is such a great idea. Thanks. Michelle

  • Comment Link Joni Meyer Sunday, 23 March 2014 17:11 posted by Joni Meyer

    You have such a wonderful way with words in describing your photography. Your newsletter also was wonderful in telling each of us to search for our ability to be creative and eliminate what blocks it! Then in church today the sermon was focusing on "What are you thirsty for". All 'creates' deep thinking for me. Thank you for all you share.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 23 March 2014 12:48 posted by Nancy Tripp

    I love how you captured the story of the silo. You know if it could talk, it could keep us entertained for days. So much character and charm that needed to be recorded for future generations and you did it proud! Thanks for sharing.


  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Sunday, 23 March 2014 10:32 posted by Dorsey Davis

    A good example of how to create an abstraction from reality. My first impression was not to care for this image. However, the longer I look at it the more it grows on me. I have been complaining (to myself) for the last couple of weeks about a FB group I follow that focuses on barns. Seemingly every photo is composed by getting back far enough to center the entire barn in the composition! Many of the barns were interesting and I just knew there were more intimate compositions that would tell a better story. Then when you actually post such a composition I want to complain about it! Thanks for reminding me that not every abstraction is a broken window or sagging barn door but can be interesting intersections of diagonal and vertical lines, of contrasting colors and textures. Although technology has eliminated the need for silos in much of agriculture they still convey, for most of us anyway, a sense of country.

  • Comment Link Joe Rone Sunday, 23 March 2014 09:43 posted by Joe Rone

    I like this image. I can relate to the vines and nature starting to reclaim it's territory. Gray eye to have caught this.

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