Which Do You Prefer?

I went on a little excursion yesterday morning. Just rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and grabbed a hat before hitting the road. I wanted to take some pictures of barns and churches and streams down in the valley. It was a short trip through familiar territory.

There was a time that I wanted to make perfect pictures. I tried so hard but it seemed  there was always a utility pole or traffic light in the way. There were always people or a car or my skills simply fell short of capturing the scene that I wanted.

Frustrating doesn’t begin to explain it.

For a lot of years, I focused on the details – a single flower instead of the bouquet, a window instead of the building. And I still do that a lot. I love the details, the simple things in the world around us. Doors as well as details on cars like tail fins and headlights are among my favorites.

But somewhere along the way, I began looking at the big picture and even including those imperfections that I previously found annoying. I think it’s partly a response to the changes I see in the world around me and an odd desire to capture some scenes before they go away. Abandoned buildings like homes, churches and barns often appear on my camera roll. Vintage signage has long been a favorite but now I’m even including old style traffic lights and utility poles. Sometimes this works to my advantage because these extra details add interest to the picture at the same time the picture is preserving the world exactly as it looked on that day and not as a contortion of reality.

Time marches on and the landscape cannot remain unchanged. Brush closes in on unused barns and old style wooden electric poles are replaced with new technology. Trees are cut down and farms become housing developments.

The site where I live was once woodland. Then it was pasture. Now it’s my yard. Who knows? Maybe someday Mother Nature will reclaim this spot as forest.

But I digress.

We’ve reached the interactive portion of today’s post. Here are two pictures I took during my little adventure through the neighborhood yesterday morning.

Tell me in the comments – which do you prefer? The great old barn with the electric pole or the great old barn without it?

barn with no power lines

barn with power lines

Someday I’ll take a photography class and work at getting better. Meanwhile, I’m happy playing and learning as I go!



29 thoughts on “Which Do You Prefer?

  1. okay! (before I start I’ll just mention that the only qualification I have in photography is that I’ve been playing with cameras for 25 ish years – so feel free to ignore me 🙂 )

    And please remember that I do think you’re a fab photographer, and I really like your photos!

    The top image is great, I love the shape of the barn but I would have been tempted to swing the camera to the left and just concentrate on the front of the barn and cut out the fence on the left… Actually I might have stepped a few steps to the left, so I was standing directly in the middle of it and taken the shot as the symmetry would be great. I’d also try to get both the sides in and straighten the horizon.

    The second image with the pole – I love it as it gives the barn context but the balance is slightly off. I think it might be because there’s quite a big gap between the pole and the barn. Again I might have been tempted to step to the left, pan the lens to the right a bit and get the pole and barn closer together in the frame. Or maybe stand to the left of the pole and compose the shot from there (but the fence might have got in the way so ignore that). again I might have tried to get both side of the barn in shot.

    As I said, I do like both the shots and I do think you’re a great photog – and these are only my opinions so please do ignore them if you wish. Photography is totally subjective after all.

    If you do want to learn more about composition, this is the best guide I think I’ve read (not to up itself arty) – check it out. I actually printed out each page and kept it in a folder.




    • Oooh! Thanks so much for taking time with this! I just got back from a five mile hike and am filthy and hungry but I will sit down and read your comments more closely and look at the pictures in a bit. I’ll also check out your suggested link. Thanks Stuart!!!!

    • On a quick lunch break but wanted to ask a question… you mentioned that in the top photo you would be tempted to pan to the left to center the barn and cut out the fence to the right. I think I have that photo but didn’t include it here because it shows foreground clutter in the form of an electric meter and some other stuff.So would you prefer centered with clutter or not centered with the gate and fence? 🙂

      • Hello! sorry for the late reply – I guess you’re no longer at lunch (or are you???).

        That’s a good question, it’s hard to tel without seeing the other but I can see why you wanted to avoid clutter in the foreground, and as it happens I’ve been thinking about my comment yesterday. I’d totally forgotten the point of the post in that you wanted to pull out wider and not just focus on the detail – D’oh! So pulling into the barn wouldn’t fit with that desire – and I should have twigged that, because if you look at the photo’s on my blog, you’ll notice I shoot mostly wide as well. Sooooo (sorry I’m babbling) I do like your original shot with the fence – as it shows the barn in context with the outside world. The only thing I might have done is try to get the left side of the barn in (assuming you could).

        I’ll shut up now – I need a tea.

        I would however look at that link I sent you – it really is a good little guide and it helped transform my photography.

      • Lol. You’re very entertaining, my friend. I actually really appreciate all of your comments but yes- the point was that I’m trying hard to show context. But maybe that’s a silly pursuit. Maybe it is better to show just the pretty stuff as opposed to the clutter of real life. Go get your tea!

      • no no – clutter is good (if the point of the photo is to show the clutter 😀 ;-D :-D)

        It’s always good to show a bit of context if that’s what you’re after.

      • It’s certainly a departure from what I have always done. I’ve noticed that I have far less interest in artistry than in preservation of information these days. It’s fun how we evolve, isn’t it?

      • We do indeed – if you saw a picture of me this time last year…
        I’m with you. The power to document our lives and the world around is the best thing about photography.

      • Ah, if the me of two years ago walked in the room right now I’m not sure I would recognize her.

        So what’s different about you from last year??

      • lol! It’s OK I don’t mind at all. I’m not sure really, I just fancied a change – I’ve changed in a lot of ways over the past year, I used to dress quite smartly and lived in shirts – they’ve all gone as well, and I guess my outlook on things has changes… Mid life Crisis really.

        You? You’ve not grown a beard as well have you?

      • Haha. No beard for me! I was in a long term relationship that ended unexpectedly about a year and a half ago. I worked a lot and commuted. My world revolved around trying to make him happy. Now it’s all about me. I lost weight, started traveling and do what I please when I want. I’ve embraced my singleton status too.

        It’s not a midlife crisis for either of us- we’ll call it a rebirth. 🙂

      • Rebirth is good – I like that 😀
        Sorry to hear about your relationship and I don’t doubt it hurt – but I find that these things tend happen for a reason. I’m glad to hear you’ve embraced your new life – being on your own can be very underrated – I envy you your peace :-D.

      • We get one life to love so it’s important to make the best of it. I don’t know what the reason might be for this but I’m doing ok. Some days are better than others. I’m currently adjusting to the idea that it will likely always be just me. That’s a hard pill to swallow but important for self preservation.

        So rebirth it is!

      • Glad to hear it – and I think all types of life have there ups and downs anyway – there are times when I think most people in a relationship would love to be single and vice versa. We just have to go with the flow and as you say – love the life we have…

        It’s getting deep now – woops! Quick think of something frivolous..!

        So I was listnening to Nirvana Unplugged this morning… 😀

      • Lol. It’s sunny and warm here! Feels like summer!

        But yes- my married friends are living vicariously through my carefree life!! The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!

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