Missing some tin

I spotted this little building a long time ago while out on my dirt bike. I recently decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did. It was a perfect day for photography, and I had found a wonderful subject.

One trick about this time of year is the light: the sun is low in the sky, making the light quite directional. So it’s tough to get a decent shot of multiple angles. I managed to pull it off, plus bracketing exposures helps me overcome those harsh winter shadows.

One cool side effect of that is the variety of shots I can get from a single point in time and a slightly different perspective. The skies were definitely more dramatic in one direction than the others, and the shadows more of a nuisance on one side than the others. So I worked it the best I could, and I think the results are quite satisfactory.

Sagging in the middle

I love this old barn. I haven’t visited it in a while, but I knew the day was going to be an excellent one for some photography. I’d just bought a new-to-me truck and wanted to give it a shakedown cruise with my oldest kiddo, so I figured I’d roam a specific area where I knew there were some photo targets I’d marked in my GPS but never visited.

I have been to this farm before…a few times, actually, but none of them recent. I’m glad I stopped by. Sometimes you get to a spot when conditions are just perfect, but some times you find the perfect subject in less-than-perfect conditions. I’d never had quite the combination of snow and sky that I’d wanted – that is, of course, until this day.

I know that huge old barn, relaxing on its haunches, tends to steal the show, but this structure out back was quite photogenic as well. And oh, those glorious skies.

I’m sure there are still some fantastic sunrises to capture as they splash this farm with those orange and red hues, so I’ll consider finding my way out there at different times of the day. With the time change coming up this weekend, it might get a little easier to roll out of bed and bolt westward on time!

Sticks and stones

I spotted this barn from afar and couldn’t help but take some time to fly out. But it took some patience…I had to wait for the rain to quit. Thankfully, it did…not nearly as soon as the radar predicted, but in time for me to get a few shots before dark.

What really caught my eye was the fact that it’s nearly all sticks at one point. It’s a skeleton which hopefully will stay standing for a while.

In fact, it’s the side view that caught my eye, even from far away. It isn’t every day that you find a barn that you can see through!

I had just a few minutes before it started to rain again, but thankfully I was able to utilize those minutes. Then it was time to dart home with a successful trip under my belt. Any photo trip I take which results in at least one photo I like is a success, and this was only one stop along the way which more than satisfied that requirement.

Ukrainian Influence

This little old church in Wilton is so photogenic, I simply can’t help but stop and take yet another photo of it whenever I’m in the neighborhood.

Apparently the three-barred Ukrainian cross is symbolic of an Orthodox or Catholic church. I’ve been told this one is/was Catholic. It’s definitely unique, even among Ukrainian churches from what I’ve read. It’s certainly eye-catching, especially on a day like this one!

Hard core

I spotted this core along Highway 36 a while back. There were actually a couple of them, along with the tracks of the ice fishermen who made them. They looked pretty cool when backlit with the afternoon sun. This one was better than the other, so I decided to give it star treatment.

Cab in the field

I was roaming around and spotted the remnants of this old car immersed in the snow. I got to tread through some pretty deep snow to get to it. The funny thing is, I think I saw the remnants of some windblown footprints on a path almost identical to mine!

You left your barn door open

When’s the last time you heard that euphemism? Thankfully, I haven’t heard it lately.

I was on my way to a certain photo destination when I came across this treasure. I had to stop and take a look, even though I was on a timetable, and it was time well spent.

I’d planned on some drone flight on this particular day, but it rained on me almost the entire time! I did catch a slight break, however, and during that time I captured some really cool shots. They weren’t the ones I intended; I discovered yet another hidden treasure that wasn’t part of my objective. I will share the results of that flight soon.

I wish I’d been able to thank him at the end

Well, it’s official: Video Action is closed after around 33 years. I’d been a customer for most of them. When it was announced in mid-November, I had a mixed reaction: part remorse that we’d be losing Video Action, and part surprise that they’ve been able to hang on as the last remaining video rental business in town.

This is where we’d come for all the new releases. In fact, even before many of them would hit the now-popular streaming services, you could find them on shelves ready to rent. Lately, though, I’d find myself stopping in for older movies that are otherwise hard to find.

Once the decision to shut ‘er down was official, things began to go on sale. I walked out with a large stack of some of my favorite movies going back to the 90s or earlier, thrilled to own some of them but sad that they mean the end of an era.

I remember the first day that movies went on sale: it was a Sunday, so I went after church. The place was packed. New releases sold quickly, but I was looking for older treasures.

Before long, the shelves began to empty. Prices dropped, and even more movies found new homes – permanent homes, this time – as December 31st approached. The building had been sold, and during one of my repeat December visits, someone bought the OPEN sign from the window.

I shot a few panoramas for old time’s sake, as I’m sad to see this local landmark go. I’m a big movie fan, but I have to admit that even I had begun visiting the store much less frequently. We view movies differently now, with streaming services and Redbox taking aim at the traditional video store. The fact that we still had Video Action up until 2020 is a noteworthy achievement.

I didn’t know the saddest part of the story until recently: Don Loeks, the owner who founded Video Action in Bismarck and Fargo, passed away recently. I remember wondering if I’d see him during the last month of the store’s operation, but then I heard the news of his passing and it made the closing even more of a sad occasion.

You can read Don’s obituary here or here.

I’m thankful that we had Video Action for so long, thanks to Don’s passion for movies and games. It’s clear that this store was a labor of love for him, and his commitment to that brought a lot of joy to moviegoers in the Bismarck-Mandan area for over thirty years. He and Video Action will be missed.

This is my fifteenth year doing this.

As crazy as it sounds, this is my 15th year of taking photos of Bismarck-Mandan, and actually of my photography hobby in general. It all started for this blog in January 2006, with a shot of the capitol windows lit to ring in the new year. Thousands of posts later, I’m still ticking. I have kids now, so the frequency has dipped quite a bit, but that’s life.

I almost didn’t head out this morning. My wife woke me up to ask if I was going to take a photo of the capitol windows. It hadn’t even occurred to me! I don’t know why. I’ve hit every other year, except once where I was recovering from surgery at Mayo Clinic. And this one is unique: the top and bottom rows contain the same numbers! This capitol didn’t exist in 1919, and I doubt any of us will be around in 2121, so this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thanks to my sweetie, I was able to say I witnessed it.

I’m pleased to say I’m still playing some different angles. After all this time, it’s easy to say one has exhausted a photo subject, but that would be lazy. I’m always looking for something a little different than what I’ve done in previous years.

I don’t think I’ve ever tried this from the steps of the State Library. The trees tried to obscure part of the 2020, but it peeked through enough.

Ditto here, but I don’t care. By the way, it rained last night…this sidewalk was, like all of the city streets, and ice skating rink. Wheee!

This statue was gifted to the state in 1910. Yes, for 110 years it’s been ours. I bet she never thought she’d see this day.

So, Happy New Year! I do actually have lots of fun photos to post here. Hopefully I’ll get around to sharing them soon.

Yeah, I’m gonna get it running someday

I’ve been by this car a couple of times, but before long it might be hard to even determine that it’s there! It used to be red. Now it’s obscu-red by the bushes which have overtaken it.

If I remember correctly, there’s a tractor or other implement in a similar condition nearby. I’ll have to look through my photo library and see if I can find that one as well.