The Barns of Ottawa County

The rural landscape around where I grew up, in Ottawa County, Michigan, never seemed exceptional or particularly noteworthy. The real sites, for me, always laid at the coast, along the sandy wooded shores of Lake Michigan. Only recently, after spending much time away from my hometown, has the rural heritage of my landscape gripped me in a way it hadn’t before. The agricultural scenes that once seemed commonplace and went blithely unnoticed by me now stood out in a conspicuous fashion. I became captivated by my once overlooked surroundings.

Barns, as a subject matter, have long drawn me to capture their images in photography. Now I have felt compelled to turn the cameras towards the barns that I may have seen regularly since childhood, but now notice again with fresh eyes. Winter adds an extra element of beauty to them, lying dormant, coated in a thick veneer of white. They come in many different styles, sizes, and colors. Gambrel roofs, lean-to’s, reds, whites and weathered wood. Some are still working barns, others long since abandoned to the elements. Though common, their ruggedness and utilitarian aesthetic provide an unnoticed kind of beauty.

 

 

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Posted on January 21, 2018, in Photography, Place and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This reminds me of the Palouse! One of my favorite things to do driving around during the college days was to check out the different barns nestled in the rolling hills. There was a particularly allure and mystery to those that still remained, though empty and falling down, with the fields worked around them.

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  2. Beautiful photo’s! My grandfather no doubt built some of those barns as he was a barn builder in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in Ottawa County.

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