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Apr 06, 2021
I shot this great old barn during a trip to North Carolina's Nantahala Mountains several years ago.
How can you not love old barns? I mean, the structures can be found throughout the United States, and they serve as a reminder of our rural past. So I'm constantly driving back roads looking for cool barns to shoot.
My online gallery has a bunch of examples of barns from New York to the Gulf Coast, but here are my Top 6 favorite barn photos.
I was driving to begin another day of work for Michigan Bassmaster Elite Series event, and the sky turned a wonderful pastel. I was lamenting the fact that I wasn't set up to capture the sunrise when I passed this cool barn.
So I quickly made a U-turn and pulled off the road. I had to climb atop my Diamond Back bed topper and use a longer lens to frame up the scene.
I just love how the color of the sky compliments the iconic red of the barn, while a light fog in the field adds a wonderful mood.
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This barn photo made the list because I met the owner, who welcomed me to his family farm.
I was driving home from New York last year and needed to stretch my legs by the time I reached Kentucky's Horse Cave exit. And there just happened to be a barn off the service road — so how could I resist.
Unfortunately, my intended target didn't really work out, but another barn could just be seen around the corner. So I hopped back into the truck and moved into position.
I pulled onto the shoulder and pulled out my Nikon 300mm lens, since the barn was way back in the field. I was intrigued by that long tree that I really felt could serve as an anchor to the photo.
My only concern was the dude behind me mowing a field on his tractor. I just acted like I belonged there and hoped he wouldn't run me off.
I needn't have worried. The tractor did come to a stop, and the fellow on it turned out to the the owner of the Lively Family Farm. However, he wasn't interested in telling me to leave.
Instead, Jimmy Lively welcomed me back when I have more time for personal tour not only of the family farm but neighboring farms with cool barns.
So I made a new friend and a really cool photo!
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A quick side trip through the Minnesota countryside yielded this great photo!
I was driving from Lacrosse, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis to catch a plane after working a Bassmaster Open, and I was several hours ahead of schedule.
So when I started seeing the tops of barns across Minnesota corn fields, I hung a left and started driving the back roads of Amish country.
I found a number of cool old barns, but this is one of my favorite photos. I used a rise in the terrain to highlight the corn tassels and draw the eye to the barn and that cool red silo.
This one just screams Middle American farm life!
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I love how the barn looks like it's swallowed up by the cornfield in this photo!
There are two things that make old barns cool: that old wood and the old tin. So when I drove out of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and saw the rusted roof of this old workhorse, I knew it would be a great photo.
My first look at it revealed the full barn, and it was pretty cool. But something about it just didn't work for me.
So I made two or three U-turns, just looking at it from different angles.I finally settled on this view, which includes the cornfield.
Why? I really think it tells the story of the barn. How many generations have parked equipment under that tin?
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This is one of my favorite barn photos because it has great mood and I shot the image while traveling with good friends.
This barn has special meaning to me because I shot the old structure with two of my best friends during one of our Photopacalypse trips.
Tim Stanley, David Morefield, Jeremy Mancuso and I try to make a trip each year, but Jeremy was unable to make this trip. So Tim, Dave and I were banging around the Smoky Mountains with our host Jay Troutman when we ran across this amazing old barn.
We were quickly crawling all over the place with our equipment trying to get the perfect angle. I finally shouldered them out of the way and grabbed what is the best photo of the barn (well, in my humble opinion 🤣).
The vibrant red of the barn, the old fence and even the weeds were perfect. And those clouds blanketing the sky set the mood.
It still remains one of my favorite barn photos ever — and it is one of my best-selling prints!
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This gorgeous Ozark Mountains photo is my all-time favorite barn photo.
It was late October 2020, and I'd been on the road for right at a month when I rolled into the Buffalo National River region of the Arkansas Ozarks. I set up my mini camper, and hit the sack to catch up on some rest.
Honestly, my intentions were to shoot a little during the day and be in bed early so I would be well rested for the next Bassmaster Elite Series in Texas.
Didn't work out that way.
My first full day ended with a disappointingly colorless sunset. I was about 2 hours from my camper, and really wanted to head straight back. Honestly, I did.
But I made one stop at a field when I saw a billion fireflies. Figured I would play around to see what I could get.
When I chimped the back of the camera, I saw the Milky Way vividly marking the sky above the field. I was shocked. I had already checked my astro app, and thought the mountains would obscure the galactic star show.
How wrong I was.
So I hightailed it directly to this barn (which was the opposite way from my camper) to capture what is my absolute favorite barn photo.
No, this isn't Photoshopped. No, it's not a composite of two photos.It is a single exposure. I simply exposed for the Milky Way, and then used an LED light panel to pull out the details in the barn.
I was tired when I rolled into Texas a day later, but I didn't care. This amazing photo was worth losing sleep over.
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