A Barn on the Hill

We found this wonderful scene in the Palouse last year.  While not a great spot for a group, it was one that I wanted to get back to with a different sky.  On this day the wind was howling but we found a large patch of what I believe is Dames Rocket.  Seemed like a perfect time to stop!  I struggled with the position of the old leaning barn as it crept very close to the middle of the frame.  There wasn’t much I could do and still keep other elements in a logical position.  Ultimately I’m okay with it for a number of reasons, however, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Gary Faulkner July 1, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    The lead in of the forgraound to the barn with the layers of color is just beautiful!

  2. Tom Singleton July 1, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Hi John, it is a beautiful scene. Well done. Only question is about the barn itself. Seems to lean or is that due to the lens? Or was it a leaning barn?

    • JB July 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      The barn indeed does lean.

  3. Gary Kohn July 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    John…a beautiful photo…I might have tried it with the barn more to the left side of the frame, cutting out some of the grass in the foreground on that side, as well as some of the flatter sky…the sky on the right is so much more dramatic.

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback Gary.

  4. Danielle Kennedy July 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    It’s beautiful, and barn being almost central doesn’t bother me.

  5. Michael Clark July 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    John, if you moved to the right of the flowers, and put them on the left of the frame, would that have put the barn more to the right?
    And the sky is great! Did you use a grad. filter?

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      I did not use a grad, no need in this case.

  6. Mary Butler July 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    It’s so interesting how people ‘see’ differently. My first thought, re: how I might have taken it, would be to move that barn to the right. To about half way between the barn where it is now and the right side of the frame. To me, it would give it more ‘tension’. And I’d leave that green on the bottom left. That green, plus the row above it, leads the eye out of the photograph to the left. If I ‘crop’ out the green on the bottom left, leaving the purple flowers, it seems to emphasize the top curve of the purple flowers more, rather than the general flow of things in this image. Just some thoughts!

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Yes, it is interesting Mary. I love conversations like this image has generated. Once again there is no right or wrong. Rather there are many right answers.

  7. MariAnne July 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I like it John. I might have been tempted to compose moving the camera a bit to the left – would have created more space between the purple flowers and the barn and would have those fantastic clouds on the right for balance. But this is also a solid composition, lots of triangles working here, the flowers, the areas of green, those clouds on the right – all lead in to the barn.

  8. Dennis July 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I like it just the way you saw it. The barn is just between the two cloud textures, facing in, and the horizon is right on.. In my view, the flower triangle and landscape lines all work to lead to the barn. Oh, and depth of field is superb.

    • JB July 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      You see it the way I did Dennis. 🙂

  9. Catherine Costolo July 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I agree with Dennis. There are all these triangles that point directly to the barn…….flowers, grasses, clouds……..I would not change a thing.

  10. Joan Herwig July 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    John, I really like this image and am quite pleased with the composition. The horizon gives the overall feeling of 2/3. The position of the barns works because the foreground flowers gives such a wonderful feeling of depth as my eye first goes there & then goes back to the barn and also there is a strong diagonal line created by the clouds on the right that also point to the barn. The cloud space on the right of the barn is not equal to the cloud space on the left therefore it doesn’t seem centered at all and certainly is not static in terms of how my eye moves through the scene. On the contrary I find it to be quite dynamic! It’s a great image.

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks Joan. I appreciate the thoughtful comments.

  11. Stephan July 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    From the flower patch, the clouds, weather front, landscape and leaning old barn… To the colors, contrast, lines, diagonals and triangles from the sky to the fields.. it all works well and makes this image work in harmonious rhythm and flow!

    Not always easy to find and make it all fit in or even have it available to you! Magical when it does! Great moment and image JB!

  12. Felice Willat July 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    One of your most compelling images!
    The barn is perfectly placed for my eye, since the flowers flow in that direction, and there is space around it; just the right amount of sky to foreground/middle-ground ending with that wonderful barn!

  13. Felice Willat July 1, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    A most compelling image, John! My eye moves from the foreground through the image and ends at that wonderful barn – all with the perfect amount of sky – a very well balanced and interesting image!

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

      Interesting Felice… I just love the varied responses and glad you like it.

  14. Daniel Ruf July 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I don’t have much of a problem with the composition as the flowers are such a strong anchor that the barn placement doesn’t seem so important. The lead in lines are great as well. As long as we’re getting the opportunity to mess with your image…and your head…what if you made this a square format? This would move the barn to the left and pretty much leave the flowers alone.

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Good feedback Dan. Thanks.

  15. Diana July 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    I love the dames rocket in the foreground and I think there is more tension in the compostion than had the barn been to the right. I understand what others are saying and I might have set it up that way as well, however with the barn where it is and most of the leading lines going away from it and the fact that the barn is leaning in the other direction makes it more interesting to me. That is my 2 cents… The colors and the clouds are terrific. The horizon line being concave adds to the conflicting lines. I don’t know, now I am rambling.

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      Thanks for the confirmation Diana! 🙂

  16. Donnie July 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Interesting to read all of the various thoughts on how to compose this scene. It is a big part of the fun when shooting with a group- seeing the various ways to compose and wondering why you didn’t see it another way. John has already seen my take on it and was gracious enough to leave a nice comment on my blog. Having discovered the same scene independently from John here is how I approached it: The lentils were about a week away from being big enough to be colorful in field (at the right stage they are a vibrant lime green) so I thought to compress the scene with my choice of glass by having the flowers fill up the bottom third, obscure the brown field and frame the bottom of the barn. I chose to get to the right of the flowers and put the barn in the upper left quadrant. I had light from the right and that led me to place the barn on the left vs. the right. I did try the barn on the right but things didn’t seem to line up that way well for my taste. I chose to block the road as I felt it was leading out of the frame instead of connecting the flowers and the barn, which to me were the subjects. That left the top third with sky and puffy clouds- a lucky break with a nice diagonal horizon. I’m happy with my result and I like John’s as well. Both are different but equally compelling, in my opinion. We had different light and sky to work with and I suspect those factors influenced how we both interpreted the scene. John, I’m glad I got to see your version.

    • john8276 July 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      I saw your take Donnie and liked it very much. Good solid feedback here on what went through your mind while making your choices.

  17. marty golin July 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    To my eye, the barn’s not even close to feeling “in the middle.” The flow of its tilt & roof line up with the to RH top edge of the flowers, giving a right to left flow (further emphasized by the cloud coming in from the RH top corner. Curvature of the dark cloud on the LH side & the dark green grass bring me back into the flowers. The barn “caught” in the middle of the two clouds (your concern?) anchors the motion, roughly rule of thirds. The elements are open to a lot of variations, as shown above.

    • john8276 July 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      As usual, keen insight my friend.

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