I began photography for the Rock City Barns book on October 24th, 1994, going up U.S. Highway 11 to the Knoxville area, then up U.S. 27 into northeastern Kentucky. That was a three-day trip. The following week I was able to arrange my studio schedule to allow four days away. This time I went up through northeast Tennessee on U.S. 11. I was able to make many good pictures on this trip, because Highway 11 had for many years been a principle route from the northeastern states through the mid-South to Florida, and Rock City had painted their sign on a large number of barns, most of which were still standing.
The best, however, was reserved for last. The final stop on my way home was a barn on U.S. 11 near Riceville, Tennessee, about 50 miles from my studio in Chattanooga. The barn was located behind and to one side of the farmhouse, and as I pulled into the drive it appeared that no one was home.
I immediately noticed that an old truck, long since abandoned to rust away in front of the barn, would be an excellent foreground element to frame the building and add depth to the composition. Using a Canon EOS 10s camera loaded with Fujichrome RDP100 (slide) film and a Canon 24mm f2.8 EF lens, I was positioning myself for the shot when up pranced a friendly horse, or maybe a large pony, just on the other side of the fence from me and smack-dab in the middle of my picture!
I decided to walk along the fence to see if the horse would follow me out of the picture. He did, but when I ran back to my chosen position he pranced along with me. I tried this maneuver two or three times, and the pony thought it was great fun. Finally, I thought “What the heck! I’ll just shoot it from here!” As I raised my camera the horse threw back his head and gave me the horse laugh!
Serendipity, which had been waiting for me all along, smiled and gave me the best photograph in the book and one that I consider one of my all-time best.
(Photograph copyright David B. Jenkins 2020)
Soli Gloria Deo
To the glory of God alone