It has been a long cold winter here, and for the first time in my life, the white is getting to me; Maybe because I am older, maybe because I am noticing more as I photograph, maybe just because there really has been a lot of it. I am starting to understand that old tale about the native people of Alaska having fifteen words for the color white. Because, as I write this, I realize it isn't the white I am sick of, but the monotone. While the sky is blue and the snow sparkles, it is beautiful. The deep blue to violet shadows are what has moved pleine air painters throughout the years, but we have had day after day where the sky and the fields are virtually the same no-chroma hue. During mid day they match, at other times the sky is a bit darker, and then sometimes the ground is a bit darker than the sky. Only the orange traffic cones and yellow yield signs stand out. The tree silhouettes were once intriguing, but are getting just a bit "been there, done that" by now.
Late yesterday afternoon I took a trip to the Post Office, then decided to cruise around and look for some photo ops in the area. As I was driving, I noticed a crack in the gray. a pinkish glow started appearing on the horizon, breaking the line between the sky and the ground. It was a subtle change, but one I welcomed with open arms and shutter. I took the shot and got back into my car and drove a short way up the road for a different perspective.
As I stood there (avoiding the splash of snow and slush from passing cars and trying desperately to keep my fingers from freezing) the sky started to change. The heavens opened up...literally. I could almost hear the angels sing (or maybe it was just NPR on my car radio). There was blue and pink added to the gray, and pattern to the sky and texture came out with the shadows. And within moments it had changed to this:
I have stood many times looking at the Monet haystacks in the Chicago Art institute, and marveled at this pioneer of impressionism and light. One of my favorite places on earth is the badlands - the vast minimalist landscapes there change with every cloud or hour that passes. Light changes everything. There is a white barn down the road from us. It is my haystack. I pass it daily, and never pass without checking out the lighting... here are four of my recent snaps of the "white Barn"
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !