Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Hilside Farm Blizzard

Hillside Farm: Study in White


NOTE: There is a second row of hills visible in this image. If you only see a single row of hills you may find it helpful to lower lights adjacent to your monitor.

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: At any other time of year the ground would have been gold or green, the roofs black, and the sky would have been the brightest thing in the scene. Snow is the friend of those who would photograph landscapes; it is the equalizer that rebalances tonalities allowing ground and sky to be more easily bound into a single composition. No more sport jackets with contrasting pants.

Once again a cluster of birches catches the eye. I liked the way the stream, which flows in a cleft of brown brambles and brush, seemed to set apart pillows of white that echo the white roofs of the barns. The axis of the barns leads to a distant path, but the pattern of the pillows draws the eye to the distant fields, especially the one in the center with two large trees.

We are looking at Hillside Farmstead the other way round. Yesterday's image looked up along the southwest facade. TODAY'S looks down on the northeast facade and out. Perhaps the dialogue of the birch cluster and the window forms a kind of musical counterpoint to the underlying structure of the image? They are certainly first-rate secondary characters, and it is the birch, if anyone, that yearns for what might be beyond the second range of hills.