Barns #39A, 11A, 19A & 23A

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Majestic, wooden barns, once so prominent throughout the rural American landscape, are rapidly becoming, seemingly like so many other things of grandeur in Americana, a thing of the past.  In their place, are nondescript aluminum pole barns.  I have yet to see one of these pole barns where I had the thought that the view was picturesque worthy of me taking the time to photograph it.  The old saying that they don’t build things like they used to certainly holds true in this case.

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, the thought of attending Ohio State University did not cross my mind as I thought it just too large an institution of learning.  After serving four years in the U.S. Navy in order to receive the benefits of the G.I. Bill, I eventually decided to attend Ohio State because of its photography department.  However, after taking several black & white courses, I decided to switch majors to accounting because the photography courses all seemed to be held in the afternoon and as a married man with two precious babies to support, I was working full-time from 3 until at least 11 p.m. and thought it the prudent thing to do.

One comment I have remembered my instructors always telling me was that I did not print my enlargements dark enough.  I do not know if being color-blind has any bearing on my ability to see things in black & white, but hopefully, these photographs do not look too terrible.  In a weird, ironic twist of fate, the fourth photograph was shot roughly ten years before I moved into and renovated an old farm-house.  Losing the proverbial farm during a severe life-threatening mid-life crisis, I used to tell potential buyers the best thing about the house was the barn!

Steven H. Spring


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