Makes for a nice contrast-y combination, don’t you think? Everything is easily discernible. The barn just “pops”. There’s a sense of stillness in this photo. It’s obvious this is a working farm, as evidenced by the items carefully stored outside. There’s also a sense of… almost hibernation. Activity is on hold, most equipment has been stored inside protected from the elements. You can bet the farmers are inside, enjoying the warmth that modern life affords them. One would think they’re sitting by the fire, sipping a hot drink, partaking in a favorite leisure activity, and basking in a well-earned rest, but they’re probably actually actively planning and doing paperwork for the next season. No rest for the weary, as the old saying goes.
I shot this a couple years ago not too far from where I live. This weekend I was finishing up re-processing all my existing photos that I currently have offered for sale, and came across this one. I’ve always liked it, the contrasts and all, but never knew what to do with it. The white sky overwhelmed everything else. The eye was drawn too much to the white sky and away from everything else.
By cropping it to a 2:1 ratio mini-panorama format the whole feeling of the photo is reversed. Now, the white sky is just a complimentary aspect to the overall scene. Now, the red barns dominate the scene and draw the eye, as it should be. You’re now focused on the primary aspects of the image. We have wonderful processing tools available these days, and can manipulate in ways that just a few years ago were unimaginable, but it’s amazing how often something like a simple crop is what makes the difference.