I took this shot about a week ago. The above version was my favorite. It is a country church that is no longer being used. I had to photograph the church on two different occasions. The first time, I went in the morning. The sun was rising behind the church to the left, which proved difficult because the left side of the image wanted to blow out while the front was hidden in shadow. Taking the shot from the side helped some, but I was not crazy about it. There were other issues I had to consider for the second shoot. There are a few thick telephone wires going across this church when you stand eye level and directly in front. The only way to get that wire out of my image was to go around on the side until it was out of the frame or lie on the ground and go underneath it. I could not go above the wire without a huge hill or a crane lift, so I had to go under. Other issues: there is a street directly in front. I had to stand across the street from the church. The land the church sits on slants. The side shot seemed to make it look even more slanty. So, I learned a few things my first time out: that I would try shooting it at dusk when the sun was coming in sideways and hitting more of the front, that I would have to lie on the ground to get the wire out of the frame, and finally that I did not like a side shot and wanted something more straight on. I was happy with the results of the second shoot. I converted it to black and white and while playing with curves, went too far and ended up liking the effect. It seemed to go well with the dormant aspect of the place.
I have been wanting to photograph this house all winter, but I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Many things to work around here, the most obvious being a six-foot chain link fence covered with a shabby privacy fence. Inside the fence, tall grass and trees. I walked around this place for an opening, but there was none. I tried squeezing my lens through a few gaps in the wooden part, but the chain link always showed up and the grass was too high. It was frustrating! Finally, I realized that I had to go over the fence. If not physically, I had to at least get my camera over it. Now, I am 5’7″. I could reach up and get the camera over the fence, but there was the issue of focusing. I always manually focus. It is impossible to manually focus if your camera is over your head! I tried autofocus, but it was still too difficult to get what I really wanted. I needed to find another way … I found a tire along the edge of the fence. The tire was filled in with grass and leaves. I was terrified to drag it because of the possibility of bugs living inside or underneath. But I did, placed the tire near part of the fence where I could see the house and the trees were not completely covering it. I stood on the tire and took the shots.
Tomorrow, I photograph a bodybuilder. The new season kicks off next weekend. It has been an interesting winter, but a long one, and I am ready for something different.