August, 2010. Grand Rapids, MI, USA. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. So far all of the posts on my blog have been about various places fairly far removed from the West. I wanted to share a photo I took recently that has to do with the way of life in the states.
In my childhood, where I grew up was definitively considered rural. The gradient has been melting slowly but surely closer to urban however as the years pass. When I wanted to see a movie with my friends, I had to drive 20 minutes south before I came across a theater. Now there is an IMAX theater within walking distance. A major point for considering my homestead rural would be the fact that we have a barn. To most people, this barn might not stir up too much emotion; dirty piles of odds and ends litter every corner, the animals are long gone, not to mention is looks like it’s ready to collapse with the next big storm. To me however, the barn is magical.
It started as dark magic, when a deep phobia took hold of me in the very room in this photo. For a number of years before highschool , I was part of an organization called Cadets, which is very much like Boyscouts. For a few years, my father was my counselor, and one day he decided to have our group of 10-year-olds over for an overnight camping trip. We roasted marshmallows, practiced knot-tying, and in lieu of ghost stories we watched Arachnophobia. I remember curling up in sleeping bag, sure that a horde of malevolent, deadly tarantulas were surrounding the barn preparing to strike.
Most of my memories of the barn contain far fewer possibilities of death. When a main support beam rotted out, my father and I cut down a tree from the valley, shaped and installed it as a load bearing column. My sisters and I used to ice-skate in the frozen floods that took place late every winter during our childhood. I sprained my ankle when an elementary school buddy dared me to jump out of the attack window. Alright, enough with my trip down memory lane.
I took this photo on a recent photo-shoot of our property inspired by my little sis. I lived at our house for nearly 20 years, and so much on the property is so familiar it didn’t jump out as something worthy of a photo. This photo, as you can tell, opened a floodgate of memories, and also I’m pleased with the ephemeral atmosphere and the nearly symmetrical composition. I didn’t have my tripod handy, so I set the ISO to 800 and underexposed the image a few stops to keep the photo nearly as dark as it truly was. More home photos coming soon.