This is the first photo I ever took of St. John’s church in Arena, ND. It was in much better shape back then. Since then I’ve photographed it in all four seasons, all hours of the day and night, with Northern Lights in the background, from the ground and from the air. Sadly, I don’t think it’ll be around much longer.
I took a stroll around the church this winter, and I thought you’d like to see what I saw that sunny (yet chilly) January afternoon:
Someone has moved “into town” now, so if you visit the church you might have company. I suggest going soon, as the church is deteriorating rapidly. It’s so sad to see it go.
I’m talking about silos, obviously. I’ve passed this one hundreds of times, but today I stopped to take another photo. I’m not sure why it caught my eye, but it did…and it was a nice day to hop out of the truck and snap a shot.
I couldn’t resist a nod in the title to one of my favorite bands from the Athens era. This tractor caught my eye from a distance, and I had to go check it out. It really stood out against such a beautiful blue sky!
As colorful as it is, this thing’s really broken down. Wheel’s off. Cylinder head missing. I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a while. That’s okay…it’s really photogenic right where it’s at.
I took this shot one evening when I was in kind of a hurry, and I didn’t check my camera settings. After I’d done a few shots I noticed that the ISO had been cranked up to 12,800, so I reshot a bunch of stuff, but I didn’t get this angle. Well, high ISO puts a ton of grain into the image, but I wanted the shot…so I decided to tone it for a vintage look, which plays right into the grainy look. After all, old film stock was awfully grainy anyway.
So, with the grain problem addressed, I was able to enjoy this photo…and now I get to share it. The ones I shot properly will appear in color at a later date.
I recently got a chance to swing by this old barn near Wilton and check in to see how it’s doing. You see, I’ve made a point of taking a peek to see its progress – decline, really – since I first stopped by in 2010 to use it for a test subject on a brand new camera model I was evaluating for purchase.
Out on this peninsula sits one of the coolest old homes that I’ve ever found. Accessible only by air, it has a fantastic view of a lake on three sides.
Meticulously built from a wide variety of stone, this home sits in a spot that used to have a road long ago…but that road sits well underwater these days. I drove as close to it as I could but I was still a long distance away.
Incredibly scenic, but sadly just too far away from…well…anything. Near what some would call a ghost town, I suppose…but otherwise isolated, this stone house is one of my all-time favorites.
Not too long after I’d found the happy barn (which I posted about last week), I came upon this one. I’ve photographed it before, and it doesn’t look as if it’s fallen any more than it had the last time I’d stopped by, but it is definitely not in the same condition as the smiley-face one.
Sadly, this barn has been collapsing for some time. Fortunately, it’s still likely to be striking a photogenic pose for a while yet.
Naturally, if there is an opportunity for a windmill or a well, I’m gonna take it. Thankfully, there was this this fantastic specimen standing nearby.
Oh yeah – there’s this building right next to the barn. Isn’t it glorious? That brick. The roof that used to be there. The row of windows. And a fortunate sky. Some days it’s better to be lucky than good!
I’ll have to keep an eye on this old farmstead the next time I’m in the area. Of course, you’ll see the results here.