Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Betsy's Hay


from "WYETH PEOPLE":
"I tried to tell her [Betsy Wyeth] about my excitement in finding the subjects Andy had painted.
... 'But aren't you disappointed?'
... 'Not really. Everything is usually smaller than I thought it was from the paintings, but I enjoy seeing how he edited out all the stuff that would have weakened them.'
... She smiled. 'Well, at least, after that, you won't say Andy paints like a camera.'"


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: It is early spring. Out the window Kuerner Hill has recently turned green, and the hay mow is, understandably, nearly empty. It's clear that what farming occurs here now is just to provide for the few animals on the property and the livestock of a few neighbors. This is actually, I think, "Walt's hay," as the name on the front wall suggests. Betsy's hay was an even smaller pile to the left. At least here is a spot where real work is still going on.

I shot this too quickly on my way to something else. Had I been more patient I would have made one more exposure to clean up some of the shadow detail. Thirty seconds is a long exposure, but to get two stops more brightness for the next exposure, in the sequence required getting the pocket timer from my backpack and lingering two minutes more. I'd been doing it all morning, but somehow I didn't believe this shot would please me as much as it does, and time was precious. The pressure to rush must always be resisted; let the right brain lead.