Monday, June 13, 2011


I love to just disappear sometimes. Hop in the car and go. It’s becoming something I do less frequently now. I over-plan, over-think, hesitate, lose interest.

I bailed on a trip up north for the weekend because work was overwhelming me a bit. I was behind, more was coming, and I was tired. But after catching up on sleep, motivation and my projects I was ready for something. Enter my friend, Terra. She was in her hometown not too far away for the weekend and when she offered to show me around, I jumped at the opportunity.

She didn’t seem to understand why I’d want to go to some out of the way farm town. Not realizing “Out of the way” was exactly where I wanted to be.

I had no idea what I’d find when I got there. Single traffic light? Abandoned farmhouses? I was hoping for billowing fields of grass… Her family just happens to grow ryegrass, fescue, wheat and bent grass.

I arrived, met a very large and incredibly welcoming family. I think I may have gone into shock hearing so many names. Learning little pieces of information about their family history. My host and I eventually headed out to their property. We drove past a lot of fields to get there. I loved it. I tend to get stir crazy in cities. Hurried drivers, noise, constant stimuli in every direction. Sublimity was different, peaceful, and just out of reach from all that. I’ve felt that vaguely from places I lived in when I was younger.

I’ve been having trouble just taking a deep breath, relaxing and enjoying the moment. A storm was coming, and it was soothing.

We walked through fields and I was given incredibly detailed lessons on the different types of grass. I couldn’t describe them with any kind of justice, even if I used Google to help me. She spoke about them in a way you won’t find most 22-year-old college students talking. She seemed proud of the grass her family grew, and the work she personally put into it.

As we took pictures, the clouds began to play with my light. Part of me thought “crap… the storm’s coming.” And the other part was yelling “YES! The storm’s coming.” Here’s why: thirty minutes to an hour before a storm actually hits, the clouds will cause this incredibly diffused light (allowing soft edges in the shadows) while leaving the sky a dark purple-y blue.

You can see a really good example of the sky here...

Scientifically? We’ll say it’s because the clouds are swirling and condensing all around you. I don’t know if that’s true… I just made it up. But your lighting will change rapidly, keeping you on your toes if you’re shooting manual. But the results can be awesome if you take advantage of the moment.

(Also… I love storms. A favorite place of mine would definitely be sitting on a deck or hill, looking out onto the horizon as lightning creeps in.)

I tried to capture some lightning, but even with the super long exposures, I couldn’t catch a bolt to save my life.

I hadn’t stopped to think until now, how many coincidences had to occur for me to be there, at that moment with someone willing to share it with me.

A single different choice could have kept me home, and possibly in bed at a decent time (we all know that’s not likely to happen.). But because of that opportunity, I got to hang out, lying in a field of grass listening to the wind and not worrying or caring about anything else. I just got to be there with someone who I hardly know, and we had that moment.

I think that’s why I like these pictures so much. I was in them, enjoying them. It wasn’t work, it was playtime. My subject was awesome and great company. The lighting and weather weren’t what I asked for, but I can say without a doubt, these are the most satisfying pictures I’ve shot in a very long time.

Side note: at some point, I mentioned how dirty her feet were. She casually turns and says, “If you’re not dirty, you’re not living.” I’ve tried to word the rest of this in a way I can describe how that notion made me feel, and touched on everything I’ve felt these last few months/years… however long it’s been. But nothing does it justice. So I’ll leave you with this.

Sublime: Of such excellence, grandeur and beauty as to inspire great admiration and awe.

You can find the album with these pictures on our facebook page. :)

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