Yesterday was a beautiful, partly sunny day. And I wanted to go and take some pictures.
My plan – I had some infrared film in the Rolleiflex, and I wanted to use it.
So I drove to a spot I’ve visited before – a Mail Pouch Barn “ghost sign” in Dutchess County.
Honestly, it had been so long since the last time I saw this barn – maybe three years ago, tops – I had to find my old notes to look up the location of the property.
But eventually I found the barn. And I shot some images of the barn and the green grass it sat upon with my medium format camera. Those will be developed later this week.
I did, however, snap one photo with my cell phone just before I left the area.
These Mail Pouch Barn signs are rare – the few that have survived over the yeaqrs are either restored to a modern sharpness, or painted over.
Of course, I’m wondering how this will look in swirling color infrared… but that will have to wait until the film is developed. Such is the nature of analog film.
But on the way home from this photo shoot, I thought about how far I’ve come in those years.
The first time I photographed this gem was in 2010. I blogged about it, it was one of my first blogs at the time. My camera gear was a Nikon D700, and I even had a roll of Kodachrome film in a Russian Kiev 35mm shooter. Of course, dumb me at the time ripped the film in the camer and then tried ot open the camera body to see what went wrong. Ruined those shots.
Two thousand ten. Damn it seems so far away. That was three cars ago. That was several emotional lives ago. That was …
Suffice it to say that I’ve known people who derisively told me, “You’ll travel a thousand miles to take a picture, but you won’t cross the street to do something important.”
What they don’t understand is … crossing the street it simple. For me, the farther the journey, the more powerful it is upon my life. Physically, spiritually and emotionally.
For in that travel, I can clear my mind. I can review my life. I can assess my goals and plan on their achievement. I can revisit my failures and find a way to forgive myself for my mistakes. I can review the moments when things went right … and when they went horribly wrong.
And in those journeys, I am my own judge and jury. I am my own defense attorney and my own prosecution. And if, in that span of travel, I can find some nugget that will help me going forward … some mental concept that will help build on a positive future … then I’ll certainly try it.
It’s the same reason why people don’t understand my emotional attachment and support of my pictures during Competition Season. “Oh, they’re just pictures,” I’ve heard. “If they win, if they lose, they’re just images, nothing more.”
Some of those images are just that – photographs of a life long ago.
And some of those images are the culmination of my emotional travels and travails.
I took six pictures on a twelve-picture roll during my trip to Dutchess County. Today, if the sun stays bright, I’ll shoot the rest of the roll. I have an idea for that – an idea that, not surprisingly, came from my trip to Dutchess County yesterday.
So maybe it’s not just an old barn with a hundred-year-old advertisement of a long-forgotten tobacco product on the side.
In that photo … there’s much more.
Much more than I could have ever imagined.
And that imagination can burst through today … tomorrow … or ten years from now.
There’s no expiration date on inspiration. 😀