I have to be honest and say, I found it really difficult to choose my favourite picture from today’s photographic adventure.
In the end, I kept coming back to the one above, because it really tells the story I wanted to tell today.
It’s just an empty barn, but it has so much history relating to family memories, happy times, agricultural work, labour, toil, long hot summers, the evolution of agriculture itself, it’s decline and lots of memories of the people and animals that have used it over the years.
I haven’t loved any of these memories, nor do I know any of the people that made them, but I feel them here, all over the place.
We visited Hollys parents for lunch this afternoon, and on the farm where they live, well, I say farm it’s actually labelled a hall now, stands a wonderful old barn that runs the full length of the yard. As soon as I knew we were visiting today I had it in my mind to take a photograph of the barn.
On the ground level it’s an empty shell, with the last signs of livestock paraphernalia like still lying around. It’s emptiness speaks volumes, I really like the stories it tells when you stand inside.
I know that may sound strange, but as I stand inside shielded from the warm wind by its cold walls, I look around at the bales of straw lined along a wall; they have very clear depressions in the middle of them where I imagine farm hands have sat in the past, grabbing fleeting minutes for a break between duties.
It’s details like that I really love, very small reminders of a very large past, them bales of straw would have meant everything to someone, once – the chance to sit and relax even if for just a moment.
Moving up-to the upper level, where there are even more reminders of the past, the wood beams blend with tools, washing machines, trinkets, more straw bales and loads of bird poop.
Even newer objects instantly look old, as the barn claims them by wrapping it’s unique lighting around them the moment they’re set down.
I looked at this old car for ages, just imagine the joy this thing brought to the youth of the day!
No77, even the number is super cool. Today it would have No1 emblazoned across its bonnet, but that just wouldn’t been the same, would it?
Finally, as I got to the end of the top level, the old lighting wasn’t quite enough to lift the soft shadow. It looks a little creepy this picture, and that was the effect I wanted to get, but I have to say the barn didn’t actually feel that way at all.
Learnings – the lighting in most of the barn was gorgeous, though not ideal for me taking pictures, it added to the feeling I think. Some bulbs were out, some too dirty to give any light, and they all combined with bright sun light bleeding in through gaps in the doors, windows and walls.
Today I learnt that just immersing yourself into something, even “just” a barn, can bring a million and one thoughts and emotions that lead to photographic inspiration.