Every morning (or afternoon – I am an adjunct, after all) when I drive to work, I pass a red barn. It’s an old-style farm house, though it’s either been restored or built new to look old. I believe it’s a stable where people can board their horses (that’s quite common in this area), though it’s also possible that the horses I sometimes see in the yard belong to the people who live in the house farther up the hill.
The problem with this barn, however, is that it just screams for a picture to be taken of it. It’s set back from the road with a lovely yard in front and wooded hills behind it, it often has gorgeous horses grazing in the yard, and it seems to have an uncanny knack for drawing the most interesting light precisely when I’m driving past with no camera or no time to stop for a picture.
I did get a glimpse of it this past winter and it was good, but I was not satisfied. It was not “The Picture.” It just whetted my appetite and I started to think more and more about capturing this spot.
I thought I could maybe take an interesting ‘drive-by’ with a camera that is small and easily set so I could just stop and quickly take a picture out of the window before a car came up behind me. I thought of the Konstruktor.
Okay, not so much. With no ability whatsoever to set the camera for exposure, it would truly be a fluke to have gotten the exposure right.
I tried with the Olympus. I could put it in shutter-priority and infinity focus and again, just snap the shutter when I was in position.
Better, but the white whale still eluded me.
I thought I should just pull the car over and walk to a good spot, taking my time to get the shot.
On the days when I was most flexible, it would be raining. When I finally had a sunny day, there would be a line of cars behind me, making it difficult to pull over onto the non-existent shoulder. Other days I would forget and be the only driver on the road on a bright, sunny day, and suddenly, I’d come up on the barn to see fantastically long shadows and three perfectly-positioned horses.
One day, I did manage to pull over, using the space on what seemed to be a small side road that no one ever used.
Within 2 minutes of getting out of my car, the clouds thickened and took away the sun, and someone honked their horn at me so I would get the hell out of what was apparently his driveway.
It was back to the drive-by. The next attempt was more interesting, but I still want more.
I need horses, I need different angles and good light, and I need time to check focusing and exposure. And oh dear lord, the leaves are starting to change, making this barn even more in need of a picture.
This morning, the horses were out and the sun was angled in a most interesting way, hitting the first flushes of autumn color. But I was late for work.
The whale is still out there. I’m still hunting.
One day, I tell you…one day…