Driving around aimlessly hoping to find something to photograph is tough work. Although the car is convenient to carry equipment, provides climate control, is tick and mosquito proof and can cover alot of ground, it sucks as a platform for photography. I’d much rather be on foot walking around what I call a target rich environment. But those spots are not so easy to find and you never know what you’ll discover when visiting a new area.
The disadvantages of the car usually surrounds where to put the car. In urban areas you don’t have a lot of options of just pulling over a car willy nilly. Even in rural areas like the one’s I typically find myself, you have to watch out for drainage ditches, soft snow, farm animals and being sure not to block the road or driveways.
Once this winter I got stuck in some deep snow and had to walk to the nearest general store to ask a burly young landscaper on his lunch break help me out. I bought him lunch and he bought me my freedom once again!
This past year I’ve been accompanying my wife on trips around the state as she attended a Leadership New Hampshire course and visited various hospitals under her preview as a financial officer in a large hospital network. I typically have from all day to maybe an hour and a half to explore. Sometimes I have a spot in mind to check out but typically I just let intuition be my guide to explore and let the GPS guide me back.
Last night I only had an hour and a half and this was taken up by a drive over hill and dale in the Keene area including towns of Surry and Westmoreland. I saw a lot of pleasant forests, ponds and farm fields but of anything exciting. Although I did spot this row of tractors on the way to Keene and made a stop on the way back when the sun was low in the sky.
Parking was super easy as there was a closed of the season ice stand next to a farm field where a row of old vintage tractors were lined up. I was able to work the scene on foot and take my time. The only difficult thing was trying to figure out how to keep my long shadow out of the frame.
I was able to get a couple of keeper shots which made the entire trip worthwhile. I always seem to find something to bring back even if there is no fore thought. If you keep an open mind and a sharp eye out looking for opportunities, something will eventually present itself.
– Edward M. Fielding is a visual artist living in Etna, New Hampshire. His work can be seen at www.edwardfielding.com and is available for purchase as prints, canvases and on products such as tote bags and pillows.