I was exploring the country roads that divide up the fields along the prairie west of Calgary and found this old Ford 350 farm truck long since abandoned overlooking a river valley. The truck looked like it had been left where it finally broke down, just past a cattle guard on a dirt track that led down to an old farmstead.
With the deep blue sky of the early morning, the weathered reds and oranges of the cab and the hood made a nice contrast. I liked working in the white line on the horizon where the Rocky Mountains are still covered with snow. I will be back to this lonely Ford again soon to work in some star trails and light painting. When the new green grass comes in, I’ll return to work with the three strong colors (two primaries – red and blue, and one secondary – green) as they will allow for some dynamic compositions by varying the amount of each color in a frame. A great subject to find and I suppose it will be returning to work after having had at least a few years rest.
In the image below, I de-saturated the sky to emphasize the color in the truck (both the body and the rust on the bed’s frame. It creates an interesting feel to this image as the relationship between the truck and the surrounding environment is different.
In this final picture from this set, I walked down towards the valley so that the sun’s position relative to the truck changed from behind and streaming over my shoulder to behind the truck backlighting the truck and throwing a lot of reflected light towards the camera. The washed out color that resulted allowed for an image very different from the others.
I grew up in a small valley in southwestern British Columbia. Our house faced a large meadow bounded by a creek on one side and the treed flanks of a mountain on the other three sides. The meadow had once been a field with several orchards and the behind the house were the remnants of a farm with barns, corrals and sheds. The buildings were worn down, leaning at odd angles but all held their own treasure of rusted tools, missing floorboards, broken machinery and weathered vehicles. It was a paradise for a kid and I loved that place. We lived there for about eight years and I know there were a few places I still didn’t fully explore. Living on the prairies now, I get to revisit the same objects as they dot the landscape – abandoned farmhouses, vehicles both hidden and exposed as well as many other iconic farm “things”. I’m working on a project tying the photographs to the people behind these farms – let’s just say that is a LONG term project. However, it’s a lot of fun making the photographs in and around the farms – a good escape to the boy I still am.
I will post more on the buildings, tools, etc. from around the farm but for this one, I’ll restrict the images to vehicles. These images are from places across Alberta and in eastern Saskatchewan, linger over the picture for the particular location. As always, click on any of the pictures to jump to a full page version.
Alas, this last vehicle, a combine harvester, is not forgotten but I like it so please allow the exception.
There were a few people asking about the farmhouse where I made this image of an interesting room inside. The house is on the top of a small hill several kilometres outside of Gull Lake, Saskatchewan on the Canadian Prairies.
The farmhouse I photographed is on the right. Although both are abandoned, I was drawn to the older building.
I could have used a tilt shift lens here but I like the perspective created by shooting upwards from a low position.
I spent a lot of time looking at the textures in the weathered wooden siding, this is the single image I came away with from that study.
The broken metal objects scattered around the back of the house made for interesting subjects – quite cooperative too.
This room faces east and the glass in the window frames broke a long time ago. With the gaping holes to the outside, this room suffered more from the prairie’s summer storms, bitter winters and steady winds than the rest of the house. I like the glimpse of what was once there you can see in this picture. It showed me that the house was lived in more recently than I first thought when I walked up the hill.
This weathered tack outbuilding is on the edge of the Tsuu T’ina Nation near Bragg Creek. The trees that the building backs onto serve as the line where the prairie gives way to the eastern edge of Kananaskis and the Rocky Mountains.
I detour past this building throughout the year and this week when I drove by I thought it was framed really well by the dormant bushes and leafless trees all covered by scattered snow. It has always struck me as a lonely, forgotten shack and on this day, the surroundings seemed to match.