Friday, February 12, 2010

Back Road Beauty

Luke and I took our time coming home after basketball practice yesterday.

I've been frustrated with not being able to get out in the snow with this broken toe (can't get a shoe or a boot on!) and decided that we'd take some pictures from the car window on the way home because the afternoon LIGHT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL, the snow so gorgeous, the sky so blue. Perfect day for a drive 'n shoot through farm country.

I handed Luke the camera. He grumbled for a minute, but won'tcha lookie there! Wow!

Sometimes, Luke's a reluctant photographer at first, and then....

I take a turn....

on my side of the road...the sky looks so different!

And then he takes a turn...there's wild turkey in the distance!
His interest picks up a bit, he hunts turkey after all...

And he takes another...

And he's off....he's on a roll! All the good stuff is on Luke's side of the car today!

Luke sometimes laments the fact that he's not artistic...because he's not the best at sketches and says he has zero talent at drawing, painting or sculpting; all those 'art class' disciplines.

But tonight when we downloaded these photos, I told him there's more than one way to be artistic...

I'm so proud and I could tell that he was, too. Just like last winter, he's had another great session with the camera.

Go ahead next time you head out and take your camera with you, hit the back roads....and even if you can't get out of the car and into the might be surprised what you can capture when you're shooting -- just in a few minutes. This session was just ten or fifteen minutes between basketball practice and suppertime.

Our subject matter, farm yards, grain bins, barns and old abandoned farmhouses, are hard to mess up; this is our world, this is what we see each day on our way to and from school, practice, and church: everywhere we go.

Alongside me, he's learning that there's a way to look at things that have been abandoned and appreciate the beauty in them, to feel the loneliness of a barn standing all by itself, empty and unused...that's art, too.

It's art to capture the sun's rays as it hangs low over a red barn on a winter afternoon, so perfect!

Remembering that these red barns were once the lifeblood of a FAMILIES, of whole communities.

These were the workplace where "dad" spent hours and hours each day and came in to the house at night weary, tired, and dirty. Where sons and daughters learned how to work and the value of it.

To appreciate the time it took to build them, beam by beam and board by board, nail by nail, peg by peg.

To enjoy their huge size, the timeless combination of red against the white trim, with the backdrop of nature providing the perfect contrast, no matter what the season.

There's beauty in the humble old home place that since has been abandoned and gone unused, left standing as a testament to walls that once hugged a family close.

That there's a whole story to this old farm where the house is missing, just an old foundation standing and a barn way back in what was once a busy farm yard.

The pride the farmers took in ownership of land, their tie to it, their responsibility to that dirt, the hold it had on them through generations.

That a simple invention like a camera can capture something that gives us feelings, makes us feel just as much as a beautiful painting or a sculpture.

Photos are art, and they make us feel... there's awe in something as simple as naked trees against a winter blue sky.

Love. Loneliness. Nostalgia.

The photo can make us curious.
I wonder what's left in those old barns?
I wonder whose place this was?
Are the descendants still nearby?

Indeed, there are more ways to express yourself than with a sheet of paper and a paintbrush or a pencil or a hunk of clay.

Photos speak to us.
We can appreciate...


I'm hoping that he grows up to know that photos speak to him, too.
I hope he picks up a camera as a natural habit until it's totally comfortable there in his hand holding it close to his eye and he continues to see his world for others from his lens to their eye...



Jena Williams, Not So Shabby Interiors said...

What beautiful photos you and Luke have taken...I just love the old house and the red barn! And wow, the sun peaking through the clouds is just amazing!

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

Luke has a BARNLOAD of talent at taking photos!! Just like his Mom! Even with all the snow that ole' barn makes you feel cozy as the sun is sinking on it.I would LOVE that view every day! Love the history of it all. Happy Valentine Weekend!

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

This blog should keep your son interested in photography!

I love the old barns, I was
born & raised in MI and oh, how I appreciate them...In TX, they are usually metal barns, wooden ones are few and far between...I take pics of barns whenever I come back. Thanks for sharing!

Bear Hugs~Karen

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

Joni, your post is both beautiful and sad. Beautiful because, what a grand old farm! ...and because you and Luke are such great photographers! And sad, because when I see a whole farm sitting silent and empty ... barns, silos and house ... without its family... well, it just shouldn't be that way. I love the land, and can't imagine how it felt to that family to have to leave the farm! I would be heart-broken. xxVicki

Donna said...

Just beautiful! And you two have a genuine photo expedition!

Mandie said...

That is beautiful! I love all of the pictures and the post. Very inspiring!

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Joni, your wonderful post - the stunning pictures and beautiful reflections have touched me to the core. I have tears in my eyes at the beauty and history of your surroundings.

Julie Harward said...

I love photo's and you guys got some really good ones here! And best of all was mom and son sharing the beauty around them! I love the old red barns, we had one as I grew up on a farm..loved them! Have a good Valentines day..come say hi when you can :D

Donna said...

These are just Beautiful!! Hope that toe is healed SOON!!

Angie Berry ~ Berry Homespun Primitives said...

Gorgeous pictures!! Definitely frame-worthy!!

Teresa said...

Those photo's are beautiful...all the old buildings and barns make such great photo subjects. What a pretty drive.

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photography. My sentiments exactly. I love old buildings. I have a photo of barns and houses from a day trip in Iowa....I need to get photo reproduced. Anyway, I often wonder what buildings would say if they could talk?

LeaderOfTheChickenParade said...

I loved driving out there and taking pictures too, I loved those old barns... the set with three barns toward the end there, I always wanted to build a house there. I loved those barns. Still funny how I still know where all those barns pictures are, I must have seen them a thousand times. That area is the best farm picture area there is.
Just tell Lukie, that Mark got the drawing skills and me and him got the camera skills! lol! If they offer photography, he should take it like I did, he will enjoy it.
Remember I wanted to take a senior picture on that concrete farm marker? I always thought it was so cool.