There is a saying in Michigan: “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute—it will change.” I grew up in Northern lower Michigan, and one of the things I have hated, since I was a kid, was the way Spring would “tease” us and then, just when we thought maybe it was finally here, we would get hammered with a Winter storm.
I drive past this scene 2-3 times a week, and for the past several years, I have been thinking about it as a photograph. It has drawn my attention each time, as the two smaller red barns contrast against the weathered wood of the larger barn. But I have never found time to “work” the scene to find the best perspective. My drive-bys are always at mid-day. The scene faces north, and it seemed to me that the best light was probably going to be early morning sun. Another challenge was that the ground around the barns, as well as the foreground, is kind of cluttered. When I would visualize the scene, I struggled to isolate the elements that drew me to the photograph and could never really imagine the vision.
The morning of this storm, I went to another barn I thought would look great in the fresh snow, and then decided to have a look. The resulting image is one that I really like. The fresh snow is a “great equalizer.” It hides many imperfections in the details around a photograph, and often gives it a nice, simple, clean look. I think that happened here. I like the image despite the plain grey sky, because the white snow, red barn and tree details and weathered wood on the big barn creates enough interest and contrast to counter the negative space created by the gray sky.
The next morning dawned clear and blue, and on the way to work, I drove by again and took this image. I like the first one better.