I’m going to try and discuss, at least once a week, a photo selected at random. This time is a photo from March 2012 of the Apple Barn at Valle Crucis Conference Center.
This was with Neopan 100 in the Fuji GA645. Probably early morning, around 7–7:30am. I like to get up in time to catch some mist and early light when I am fortunate enough to spend time at VCCC. Fortunately, it is easy to do since the scenery is beautiful and plentiful.
This building is one of the most recognizable bits of architecture in the valley. A beautiful red in real life with a metal roof, it is easy to get caught admiring the color of the building. But this visit to VCCC, I wanted to shoot black and white to delve into the space and form of what I could see. By limiting myself I was, as is the usual case, able to see a wider dimension of subjects than otherwise possible.
Engaging a well-known subject can bring up feelings of inadequacy, paralyzing the photographer who worries that everyone has seen everything before. While that can be true, it is also true that no one has been where you are at that moment with that vision and equipment before. So walking around and considering how your gear complements the subject in that moment can loose a moment of joy and perception when a frame starts to come together. In this case, it was my walking around the long side of the building and viewing the wall as a single plane without corners or sides. Patterns started to emerge — the windows, the stone, the lines of the roof and the lines of the bottom openings. Of course, it was also apparent that the structure was old, weathered, man-made and imperfect. The juxtaposition of pattern, material and the imposition of time upon this structure drew me to start setting up a photo.
Even though the GA645 is a fairly simple and compact rangerfinder, there is still the same process to work as if it was a larger format SLR. Meter the shot, prepare the camera, check the meter again. Check the framing again and then take the photo. Granted, this can be done in a matter of a second or two if one is in a hurry, but since the building wasn’t going anywhere I was able to take my time. The satisfaction of the work culminates when the shutter is finally released.
By presenting the Apple Barn without distraction of other buildings, people or color I think I have been able to distill the oft-reproduced view into something that is tangibly mine and my vision.Â I found with this piece a simple view of a space where I have spent countless hours reflecting on my own journey.