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One of my friends at work had commented yesterday that he had done some skiing at the new Lake Elmo Park Reserve lighted trails and that they were really well lit and the trails were quite nice. When I mentioned to him that I had been back on the trails taking pictures of this barn, he looked at me with a question mark on his face – he had no idea of the barn along the trail, even when I mentioned where it was. It was at this point that I realized this barn was going, for the most part, unseen. It sits way off of the drive in/out of the park and it’s likely the skiers hardly notice it as they focus on their activity. Shame.
Now, the barn has a purpose and utility – it is the storage barn for much of the park’s vehicles and equipment – so a few folks see it everyday, but are they the folks that appreciate a beautiful old barn like this one? Don’t know, but seeing it everyday would likely disguise it to them.
It’s not like we have a shortage of old barns here in the Midwest – far from it. The countryside is littered with large farms, silos and beautiful old barns, especially as you move through western Wisconsin! But each one of these barns is unique to itself in how it ages and the character it exudes dependent on the weathering it endures, its build quality and how it has been used. They have a humble beauty to them that I find hard to ignore.
OK, enough rambling! By the time I reached the barn and got set up for this shot, the clouds had since moved on to show a bare sky. This changed the approach to photographing the old barn, shifting from a close up with cloud movement to more of an environmental portrait of the barn and its setting. After a black and white conversion in Perfect B&W, this image settled quite nicely on me.