Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Composition with Barnboard & Sheet Metal


FARMSTEAD PHOTOGRAPHY: Barns and backhouses are usually simple structures that lay bare the geometric shapes from which they are composed. One sees the gable side or the long side of a barn. Except when topography dictates differently, the buildings often reach out in rows or perpendicularly. As I move around a farmstead the gable ends pile up and move apart, grow thin like turrets and then spread the broad cheeks of a gable face. Silos and various hoppers add cylinders, cones, and semispheres, but especially they add verticality.

As one circles around these barn-clusters gables, broadsides, vertical thrusts and backgrounds are continuously recomposing themselves. With shorter lenses walls, fences, rooflines, and hillscapes lead the eye deeply into the photo illusion, and a really short "wide angle" lens will send the corners flying as the illusion goes deep. With a long lens at a fair distance the elements flatten like an architect's elevation diagram. The painter's palette is paint; the photographer's palette is objects in space.

3 comments:

photowannabe said...

Love the lines and angles and the different color textures. You are an artist.

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

Hi Ted,
What a strange (lovely!) kind of wood colour, is it made like this or natural? Anyway I like the photo composition/lines, very nice to see. Thanks for showing:)

Have a great weekend , watch my sky of Holland today, and listen to the new song on my blog:)

JoAnn greetings

Ted Roth said...

Thanks Photowannabe and JoAnn for your kind and encouraging comments.

The color of the wood is just the result of aging paint. New England barns are often red but painted infrequently. Sometimes they are left with the same coat of paint for decades, and the boards start rotting at the bottom edges. On old barns one can also see the signs of years of patching where rotten boards are trimmed along a line and new boards inserted in the lower, rotting sections.

In any case, the barns in question get minimal use and minimal care. The paint is peeling and wearing thin; the boards are decaying a bit. However, these barns remain structurally sound for now.