Saturday, February 9, 2008

Winter White

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: Although I got permission to explore this farm last spring, until last week I didn't know what it was called. It was the farm's owner who introduced me to the name, "The Great Hollow," and this is Great Hollow Farm. Now that I've also met the lady who lives in the old farm house, I feel better about exploring and shooting from more angles, and I appreciate their hospitality. There was once much more of Great Hollow Farm: cow barns, backhouses, silos, and property. When they stopped farming after WWII, the farm buildings began to decay, and there's little sign of them now. Only one old barn remains, but it has aged nicely. Nearby, a new barn is home to two beautiful saddle horses.

I believe in walking. I pass by this spot most days when I walk in the Great Hollow. There's no question what made it a shot on this day in December. No, it wasn't the horse. He's always there, and sometimes both are there, and it's not uncommon for them to turn and look at me as I approach. The horse, I suppose, is the subject of the photo, but what caught my eye was the crisp contrast of all the details against the newly fallen snow and the pattern of horizontal bands it reveals. I may also have been drawn to the rich color and texture of the background, but I can't recall; the horse was moving and I had to act quickly before he reached the barn and added an unwanted complication to the image. Although it is not the horse that made it suddenlty eye-grabbing, it is the horse that completes the image, the most important of the starkly contrasted elements.