Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When You Find Something Good, Keep Working It

Clarence Spindler and his "See Rock City" barn

It was early morning when I pulled up to Clarence Spindler's farmhouse on U.S. Highway 41 just north of Evansville, Indiana. Clarence and I had never met; in fact I was not even sure he was still living. All I had to go on was an old file card from the 1960s which had been used by the sign painters who traveled the countryside back then painting "See Rock City" on every barn whose owner would permit it. Thirty-some years later, I was there in pursuit of my quest to make a photograph (and a book) of every Rock City barn still in existence.

Several knocks having produced no answer, I went on around to the barn and began making photographs: first, a series in half-stop brackets, then the same with a Cokin #85 filter to emphasize the warm feel of the rising sun. Clarence himself arrived on the scene just then, and after a few minutes of introduction and pleasant reminiscing I asked if he would mind being in my picture. He allowed that it would be all right and stood where I asked as I made another set of bracketed exposures. "Better and better," I thought. I had a good photo of the barn alone, and an even better photo of Clarence and his barn.

Then serendipity sent a kitten to wrap itself around Clarence's legs and look up at me with eyes gleaming in the morning light.  (Canon EOS A2, 24mm Canon EF lens, Fujichrome Sensia film, Cokin #85  pro-series filter.)

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