Photo Exploration: Valle Crucis Apple Barn, March 2012

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. I found with this piece a sim­ple view of a space where I have spent count­less hours reflect­ing on my own journey.