Vermont, you may have concluded over the years, is one of my favorite places to shoot just about anything. But of course it is not the only place with barns. Barns in the Eastern half of the United States, seem to vary significantly in character and architecture. What they look like stems from their function. Vermont Barns, by and large, were built for livestock and livestock feed storage. Further into the west, in states like New York, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri, cash crop operations are more plentiful and some of those barns look different. In all of these states, the traditional dairy operations appear similar. Wisconsin, notably, has many similarities to Vermont and is a substantial dairy state. I know there are some wonderful farm images to be made there and I will do that someday.
Michigan’s “Thumb” is well known for its fertile, flat, crop lands where cash crops like edible beans, corn, wheat and soybeans are produced on thousands of acres. Nearly every farmstead has its own grain storage facilities. I liked this image of a traditional, hip-roofed barn, with a small red shed in the foreground and massive grain bins in the background.
Snow is a “great” equalizer, covering imperfections and making otherwise cluttered scenes viable. And nothing sets off a red structure like pure, white snow. I drive by this image several times a week and have been looking for a photo opportunity for several years now. In the early Spring of 2012, we had a surprise snowstorm and I was front and center on a work morning, dressed in my suit, but unable to pass up this opportunity.
This barn is actually an old wheat threshing shed, which is commonly seen in the mid-Michigan landscape. This barn sits nearly in the middle of residential Frankenmuth, Michigan. I drive by it twice a day on my commute to and from work. I have waited for several years for an opportunity to shoot it. In the summer of 2011, the farmer planted wheat for the first time I can remember, and when it was ready to harvest in July, I found my chance. The yellow wheat sets of the rusty red roof and the weathered wood structure.