Maximize Effectiveness on Impromptu Photo Outing

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Old barn, James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area, Lee’s Summit, MO. Canon 5DSR, 1sec, f/16, 24-105 @ 28mm,  ISO 100

 

Arriving at my shooting location at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area,  I could see that photographing the moon over the barn was not going to be an option this morning.  Well, just have to make the best of it.  Truth is, often what I expect or set out to photograph does not entirely work out.  But most often I still come away with some success and at times even more so than I had hoped.

Given my situation, I decided to photograph the old, mostly abandoned, farm structures making the most of the light I had.  In any case I knew that the sky conditions could change in a hurry as sunrise approached, offering additional options.

Nature retaking farm house, Canon 5DSR, 3 sec, f/8, ISO 100
Nature retaking farm-house, Canon 5DSR, 3 sec, f/8, ISO 100

 

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Hay Bales in Barn, Canon 5DSR, .6 sec @f/22, 24mm, ISO 100

My approach on the fly was to combine  images to suggest a story about what once was, even as nature begins to reclaim what is left of this old farmstead.  I held no expectations of producing fine art prints from my efforts.  It had really become an exercise in trying to make the best of less than ideal conditions.  This forced me to explore various compositional arrangements, given less than ideal light when I started.

As I framed one of my first images of the barn, I could see partial breaks in the clouds at the horizon line and some red glow from the rising sun.  The texture in the lingering overcast added some drama to the scene.  This image was my favorite of the morning.  Other shots of collapsing or run down structures help build the story.

Abandoned farm house and barn, Canon 5DSR, 5sec, F/16, 24-105mm @ 31mm, ISO 100
Abandoned farm house and barn, Canon 5DSR, 5sec, F/16, 24-105mm @ 31mm, ISO 100

What’s the take away?  Often times you will venture out hoping, maybe even expecting, optimum conditions.  We know we are going to catch that perfect shot, right?  Well, most often it just doesn’t work that way.  But regardless of the conditions, if you just “endeavor to preserver” (as said by Chief Dan George said in Outlaw Jose Wales), we can usually come away with a few good shots while exercising our photographic eye.  If you’re really lucky you could even exceed your original expectations.

Barn structure, Canon 5DSR, 3sec, f/8, ISO 100
Barn structure, Canon 5DSR, 3sec, f/8, ISO 100
Clearing morning sky over old barn, Canon 5DSR, 1/250, f/11, 24mm, ISO 200
Clearing morning sky over old barn, Canon 5DSR, 1/250, f/11, 24mm, ISO 200

 

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6 Comments on "Maximize Effectiveness on Impromptu Photo Outing"

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denisebushphoto
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Wonderful and my kind of subject matter too. It’s hard to find good barns here in southwest Colorado and I miss the barns of the east. Your cover image and the hay bale image are my favorites.

denisebushphoto
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Wonderful and my kind of subject matter too! There aren’t many good barns here in southwest Colorado and I miss the barns of the east. Your cover image and the hay bale image are my favorites!

Rich Lewis
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Very nice set of images. I just discovered your work and am enjoying your blog. You captured these old structures with a great deal of emotion and some great light too.

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