When out "light-stalking", I never know what I will discover. Some excursions result in very little that I can get excited about. Other times, the results can be quite good. One never knows.
This day, I was out driving around Mt. Angel, Oregon. I'm quite familiar with the area. The Catholic church in Mt Angel is one of the most picturesque in the area, and the Abbey offers some spectacular views. But there are still a lot of small back roads that I had never explored.
The main highway between Mt. Angel and Silverton is busy and dotted with industrial and agricultural scenes. I decided to turn off at Hook Road and head west to see where it would take me. I wanted to get to Brooks in time for sunset, because my wife said she saw a farm with a barn and Mt. Hood in the background, and I would probably like to photograph it when the sky was glowing red as it sometimes does.
I drove on Hook Road for a couple of miles, looking for things that would catch my eye. Every now and again I'd twist around and look to see what was behind me. You never can tell what appears behind you if you simply keep looking forward. Sometimes my most surprising shots come from when I just turn around.
I crossed over the Cline Bridge, which goes over the Pudding River, and merged onto Saratoga Road. Just about a half-mile from the bridge I saw an old red barn off to the right, tucked away behind some trees. A plaque on the barn said "1887". I pulled over, walked back to the drive way and saw this.
It's not every day you run across a 127-year-old barn. I wanted to get closer, but there was a no trespassing sign. I respect private property, so shooting from just this side of the sign was all I was willing to do. Plus, there didn't appear to be anyone at home in the house a few more yards up the driveway, so I couldn't go up and ask permission.
I had to be satisfied with what I could capture. Such is the luck of meandering.
I walked back to my car, head down, reviewing my shots, oblivious to my surroundings. Just as I reached the driver's door, I looked up. It was better than the barn.
The angle and glow of the sun, the curve in the road, the over-arching trees, they all came together just right.
I took several shots at different exposures and different focal lengths, and got back into the car, knowing I had something to work with.
After I got back home and edited them, this is the one I selected as the best of the bunch.
Happy with my shots of the curve in the road, I continued on Saratoga Road for a few miles. It threaded itself through various farms and pastures, and finally terminated in its junction with Howell Prairie Road. I knew that taking a right on Howell Prairie would lead me back to Brooks, and I knew that the sun wasn't going to wait for me. It was getting pretty low in the sky. But right in front of me was a sight I couldn't resist.
More to come in part 2.