Vintage Tractor Fine Art Photographs

Vintage Tractor photographs

The Art of the Tractor – celebrating the beauty of old farm tractors with fine art photographs and artwork from around New England and the world.

Do you like old tractors?  This is the place to see some of the finest tractor photography by photographer and vintage tractor hound, Edward M. Fielding.

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Living in the heart of old tractor hunting grounds, in the Upper Valley region and Kearsarge area of New Hampshire, near the boarder of Vermont, Fielding spends his time hunting the surrounding towns of Springfield, Sunapee, New London, Hanover, Lyme, Cornish as well as deep into rural Vermont in pursuit of fine old vintage tractors in the wild to photograph.

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John Deere, Farmall, International Harvester, Ford – if it is an old tractor sold back in the day in New England, chances are Fielding has found and documented it.

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Old tractors still in use plowing and haying meadows, old antiques restored and proudly displayed, classics for sale, rusty old heaps put out to pasture as decorations, cute little red house tractors peeking out of barns.

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tractor is an engineering vehicle specifically designed to deliver a high tractive effort (or torque) at slow speeds, for the purposes of hauling a trailer or machinery used in agriculture or construction.

 

Most commonly, the term is used to describe a farm vehicle that provides the power and traction to mechanize agricultural tasks, especially (and originally) tillage, but nowadays a great variety of tasks.

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Agricultural implements may be towed behind or mounted on the tractor, and the tractor may also provide a source of power if the implement is mechanized.

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To the tractor lover, there is something magical about the tractor in the pasture. It represents wisdom, strength, and former glory as the plower of soil, tender of crops, and the backbone of the nation.

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Much like the aging racehorse or the prize bull, after its working days are done, old tractors find resting spots on the edges of fields, alongside barns, or in the hedgerows.

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Today, these rusting piles of iron not only represent the memories of nostalgic farmers (past or present), they represent possibilities of restoration, rejuvenation, and new life as sparkling representations of an age gone by.

 


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New! Two Red Chairs at the Lake

Chair photography by Edward M. Fielding

Chairs are a favorite subject of mine. Usually I look for two chairs together for my series of “Life is Better Together”. Chairs are a stand-in for humans within a landscape. A way for the viewer to picture themselves within a scene. They bring scale and a human element to a otherwise wild landscape. Chairs are welcoming and inviting. They beckon to the viewer to come and sit for a while and enjoy some company in the great outdoors. — Edward M. Fielding.

Red Chairs By The Lake by Edward M. Fielding
Red Chairs By The Lake by Edward M. Fielding

The old story goes something like this…

As told by Mike Savad (my edits):

There was a photographer I knew who was very careful about pre-planning his photography shoots.  For example he would drive out to a remote lake, set up camp there, bring props like big red canoes or an Adirondack chair set up at the end of the pier.

During the bright harsh daylight, he would fish, cook, nap, poke at the fire and hike.  But in the golden hours he would create photographs.

He would wait till sunrise or sunset, get the tripod ready, select the proper lens, take a few test shots, remove any litter in the scene, all the while keeping an eye on the light and sky.  He always knew where the sun was going to set and plan his shots carefully to capture the best light.

But sometimes his activity would attract attention.  One day while shooting an Adirondack chair on the end of a dock with beautiful late day light over the lake,  a lady came over and watched him for about 10 minutes.

Finally she could wait no longer and said “Hey, are you done yet?  I want to take that picture too!”

“Oh sorry” he said ” I didn’t realize you were behind me.  Let me get my stuff out of the way.”   And then started to  gather up his props.  He walked to the end of the dock, and took the chair down.

“What are you doing!!” she screamed. “I wanted to take that picture!”

He replied simply “Well, that was my chair, i brought it all the way up here to get this shot that I’ve been planning for months.  But enjoy the view.”

Then he put the chair in the back of his car and drove off, leaving the woman fuming on the edge of the lake.

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Austin Corbin’s Covered Bridge

Corbin covered bridge was build over the Sugar River in Newport, New Hampshire to provide access to Austin Corbin II’s mansion just up the lane from the covered bridge.

Corbin Bridge
Corbin Bridge is a covered bridge in Newport, New Hampshire

Corbin was born in Newport in 1827 and attended a one-room schoolhouse. He put himself through Harvard Law School before heading to Iowa where he soon switched from law to more lucrative land speculation and banking.  Later he invested in railroads and made a fortune.

A self-made millionaire, and known as the “Father of the Banking Industry”, a robber baron of the gilded age, Corbin like many of his peers like to hunt and when his Long Island estate ran out of room for his collection of deer, elk, and antelope, Corbin decided to build his own wildlife preserve back in New Hampshire.

This was the industrial age when many New England farmers gave up their hard scrabble farms for a life of toil in the factories, farm land could be snatched up cheap and Corbin ended up buying two mountains full of property to house his private hunting grounds. By 1889 he had acquired between 265-373 deeds. The final cost of the land averaged $5 per acre. That same year, the preserve was registered with the State of New Hampshire as the Blue Mountain Forest Association, a limited membership proprietary hunting club.

Corbin Park American Bison or Buffalo herd
Corbin Park American Bison or Buffalo herd – Newport New Hampshire

The animals which would include deer, elk, wild boar and even a herd of American Bison (saved from the brink of extinction from over zealous buffalo hunters in the west) enclosed by a  36 miles long and 12 feet high, with three feet of underground fencing to keep the boar from tunneling out.  Keep in mind that this as a time of great deforesting of New England where just about every tree was chopped down to make why farms, sheep grazing, paper making and firewood.  Deer were nearly extinct in the region.  Hunting at this point was like the European model, only to be had in private reserves stocked by the wealthy landowners.  White tail deer, now common again in New Hampshire,  had to be imported from Canada.

The Corbin estate in Newport, NH
The Corbin estate in Newport, NH – After making his fortune, Corbin return to his boyhood home, ripped down the old place and built this modest little domicile and then proceeded to build his animal park.

Corbin Park is what the locals call it but the real name is Blue Mountain Forest Association and to this day it is a limited membership proprietary hunting club.   Officially it’s called the Blue Mountain Forest Association, but everybody who knows about it calls it Corbin Park.  It’s near the border with Vermont and it’s huge, though its exact size seems to be something of a mystery. Regardless, at somewhere between 24,000 and 26,000 acres this park is actually bigger than something like 60 percent of New Hampshire towns. Something to the order of 35 members pay big bucks to hunt exotic animals with in the parks 26 miles of chain link fence.

Corbin Park buffalo herd
Corbin’s bison herd in New Hampshire no less! Old postcard image.

The Corbin Covered Bridge is a wooden covered bridge over the North Branch of the Sugar River on Corbin Road, approximately 1 mile west of NH 10 in Newport in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States.

Corbin Covered Bridge Newport, New Hampshire
Corbin Covered Bridge Newport, New Hampshire
  • It is a Town lattice truss bridge
  • Originally built in 1845, destroyed by fire in 1993 and subsequently reconstructed
  • Consists of one span with a total length of 96 feet (29 m).
  • The total width of the bridge is 18 feet (5.5 m), and has a single lane road.
  • The bridge rests on stone abutments.
  • The bridge passes 12 feet (3.7 m) over the water. Its sides are sheathed, the usual means by which the truss elements are protected from the elements.
  • The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 but was removed when destroyed by fire.

 

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More information about Corbin can be found here:   http://eastmanliving.com/2011/11/corbin%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Canimal-garden%E2%80%9D/

Abandoned New Hampshire – Fine art photographs of the forgotten

Abandoned Factory in New Hampshire

Abandoned New Hampshire – All over New Hampshire are relics of the past. Forgotten and abandoned farm equipment, farms, house, barns, sugar shacks, outbuildings, outhouses, cars, cemeteries and sometimes even whole towns.

Left to decay and rot away. Sometimes its a new opportunity that causes people to leave it all behind. Other times is just the convenience, lack of zoning or the lack of the concept of a town landfill and recycling. Sometimes it is a death or a bankruptcy or a stock market downturn.

Redneck Landscaping
View out the back porch – Redneck Landscaping

See the Abandoned Collection here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/abandoned

 

The Abandoned Garage Full of Old Cars

Old abandoned car dealership in Weare New Hampshire
Old abandoned car dealership in Weare New Hampshire – fine art photograph by Edward M. Fielding

This relic from the past sits in front of an old Ford dealership in Weare, New Hampshire.

“I’ve been told the building you see there was built in 1930 and replaced one that burned down. The business was started by Maurice Grant in 1919 in an old grist mill. Later Maurice’s brother Leon took over the business and Maurice went on to become the owner of State Motors in Manchester…it was called “South Weare Garage”, the first Ford dealership in New Hampshire; this dealership was chartered by Henry Ford himself, who visited Weare on more than one occasion.”

The Former Woolen Factory

Fine art photography of an abandoned factory
The former Hartford Woolen Mill in Newport, New Hampshire by Edward M. Fielding

This abandoned former woolen mill is now serving as a canvas for the local rural New Hampshire aspiring graffiti artists.

Currently a brownsfield site being monitored by NH Environmental Services.  The 3.8-acre site is the location of an abandoned 19th century woolen mill building approximately 12,000 square feet in size. Several wooden roof beams of the former mill building have rotted, and the building is in a general state of disrepair. The site was most recently owned by the late Christi Ambargis. Ambargis acquired title to the property from the Hartford Woolen Company in January 1960. Ambargis held title to the property until his death in 1996, at which time the property passed to his wife. She renounced and
relinquished any ownership of the property due to considerable tax liens levied against it for non-payment of taxes, and potential liability for the clean-up and remediation of environmental contamination. In 2000, a tax deed certified the town as the site owner.

Ambargis reportedly collected used oil from various sources and stored the material at the site for intended use in a fuel-blending project.

Abandoned Truck in New Hampshire by Edward M. Fielding
Abandoned Truck in New Hampshire by Edward M. Fielding

Abandoned Train Bridge

Old Train Bridge Newport New Hampshire
Old Train Bridge Newport New Hampshire by Edward M. Fielding

When railroads go bankrupt, their track beds and bridges are usually forfeited and sit idle until the state decides that no new train is coming anytime soon and they are turned into multi-use trails for hiking, skiing, biking, ATVs and snowmobiling.

The old Concord to Claremont Line follows the Sugar River and has an impressive array of steel truss and wooden covered bridges along its section between Newport and Claremont.

The Concord and Claremont Railroad was an American railroad company during the mid-nineteenth century in New Hampshire spanning from Concord to Claremont.  Currently The Claremont and Concord Railroad now operates on a short line between Claremont Junction on the main line to Claremont. 9 miles (14 km) of the line between Claremont and Newport is now the Sugar River Recreational Rail Trail, owned and managed by the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.

Abandoned Farm Equipment

Abandoned farm equipment can be found all over New Hampshire, even in the middle of the woods with trees growing through them.  You look around at the forest and think, how the heck did this get here?  Yet in 40 or 50 years a cleared farm field can revert to forest erasing all traces of the farm save for the stone walls and rusty old farm equipment.

People salvage these old rusty plows and haying equipment for garden ornaments but it can be dangerous trying to pry some of this old stuff from the forest’s grip.  A few years back a guy trying to salvage some old equipment from the woods died.  He got cut in half when the equipment gave way  expectantly and his winch yanked part of a hay baler into his midsection.

Old Abandoned Tractor at Muster Field Farm
Old Abandoned Tractor at Muster Field Farm

Old barns, sheds, and sugar shacks are also commonly found all over rural New Hampshire.

Old Abandoned Shack by Edward M. Fielding
Old Abandoned Shack by Edward M. Fielding

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See the Abandoned Collection here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/abandoned


New Release! Red Chairs by the Lake

Red Chairs by the Pond by Edward M. Fielding

Red Chairs – A new fine art print by Edward M. Fielding (www.edwardfielding.com) is now available as a canvas print (shown above), museum quality prints, framed and matted in custom sizes and frame choices (100s available) as well as metal, wood, acrylic prints and on products.  Click here to order your print of Red Chairs

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Perfect decor for your lake house, shot in New Hampshire but this relaxing image of two red chairs out by the lake is perfect for any lakeside home or simply for dreaming about sitting by the lake on a warm fall afternoon.

Anderson Pond is a small fifteen acre kettle pond within the residential development of Eastman in Grantham,Springfield and Enfield, New Hampshire. Eutrophic in
nature (fertile with abundant nutrients for plant production),
is becoming a little shallower as each year goes by. As silt builds
up on the bottom, a succession of plant life occurs called a
hydrosphere. What we see now are various water lilies and
pondweeds. As the water becomes even more shallow, reeds will
develop.

Spring brings a plethora of frog song from spring peepers,
bullfrogs, green frogs, leopard frogs and American toads. On
warmer days, painted and snapping turtles may be seen sunning
on the logs or a family of mergansers or mallards might occupy
the pond, sometimes joined by the great blue heron strutting
the shores on the lookout for fish.
Several species of fish inhabit the pond: perch, large and small
mouth bass and even a northern pike or two.

– excerpts from an article about Anderson Pond by Craig McArt and Renée Gustafson


New England Winter Scene with snow, red barn and vintage red tractor

Old tractor in the snow

Behind the Shot:  Classic New England Winter Scene

This is one of those photographs that has it all.  Snow, a great old red barn or more accurately, a maple syrup producing sugar shack and a great old red vintage tractor.

New England winter shots like these require a lot of planning.  Photographing winter in rural New Hampshire among the hills and dales, along the country lanes and over the forested mountains, can be a huge challenge in winter.

Most of the time there is no place to park.  Drainage ditches line the old country roads and snow plows are apt to come by at any moment to bury your car under a pile of slush and snow.

Best to plan ahead, keep track of points of interest that you wish to return to in winter, watch the weather reports and hope and pray that the farmer doesn’t move his old vintage tractor out of position.

These aren’t movie props ya know.  Farm equipment such as this great old red tractor are working essentials to the operation of these farms such as this one in Lyme, New Hampshire with its working maple syrup operation.

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In winter farm equipment might used to move firewood or push snow out of the path to the barn. Although often an old tractor like this one, even if it is still working, is probably used mostly in the summer for hay cutting.

A few tips on photographing classic New England winter landscapes such as this:

  • Plan out your shot before walking around the scene.  You don’t want to create a bunch of ugly footprints in the snow.
  • Avoid bright sun.  Sunlight can be harsh in winter with glare reflecting off the snow.  Overcast days are great for reducing shadows and preventing highlights from creating overly contrasty scenes.
  • Meter for snow.  Don’t let your snow turn gray because you didn’t use exposure compensation.  Add a stop of exposure to make sure your snow isn’t dull and gray.
  • Keep certain locations in mind for future photo shoots in different seasons.  For example this old tractor and farm in Hopkinton, NH is on my list for a revisit once winter sets in.  I shot it in the fall, now for a winter version of this scene.

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New England Winter Photographs by Edward M. Fielding

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A horse and red barn in the middle of a snow storm in the Stowe and Waterbury area of Vermont.

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The photogenic Jenne Farm in Vermont which as graced the cover of many a calendar.

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Trapp Family Lodge, stone chapel in the woods in Stowe, Vermont.

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A scene from the secret cross country area in Lyme,  New Hampshire.  A former scout summer camp, now a warming hut for cross country skiers.

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Hanover green in winter.  A snow covered green scene with bench on the Dartmouth College campus in downtown Hanover, New Hampshire.

All images are available as fine art prints, framed prints, canvas, metal prints and more.  https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/winter

Wandering the back roads of New England

New England Photography by Edward M. Fielding

Here in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire around the Connecticut Rivers and in the foothills of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and valleys of Vermont’s Green Mountains, there are so many dirt and gravel back roads to lose one self.

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For a photographer chasing the brilliant changing leaves of Autumn foliage season, that brief time each fall when the forests explode with reds, oranges, yellows and green, these back roads can be a gold mine for finding compelling landscape subjects.

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Hundred year old wooden barns, stone walls stacked by farmers no doubt cursing their “rock crop” as the plowed the thin New England soil and later turned to raising sheep until the Australians killed that market and they sent their daughters down the valley to work in the mills making fabric and the factories along the river making rifles.

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Life on Anderson Pond – Thought I saw a fisher cat

I did. I did see a fisher cat!

The first time I saw a fisher cat was xcountry skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.  A few of us were stopped to catch our breath on the steep climb to the warming cabin when we saw a small dark animal skirting across the snow.

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Unknowing, I thought it was a mink or a weasel but I was set right by another skier that it was a fisher cat. Judging by their ferocious reputation I assumed they were bigger but no they are about the size of a house cat.

Here on Anderson Pond we have large windows looking towards the pond and strip of vegetation barrier between the house and the pond. There is a public right of way hiking trail along the pond and wildlife tends to enjoy the cleared path as much as the local hikers.

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That’s where I saw my second fisher cat. Alerted by my always on guard Westie dog, I looked up just in time to see what appeared to be a black house cat running down the trail with a large object in its mouth. Probably a squirrel or rabbit.

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The next day I glanced out and saw the fisher cat on climbing a tree about 20 feet from the house until my dog spooked him. Beautiful dark fur, not purely black but deep dark brown at least as back lit from sun.

Fishers are not related to cats. Their cousins are weasels and pine martins. They have a well earned reputation as ferrous hunters as they are the only animal that can take down a porcupine. It was thought that they simply flip over porcupines and scoop out the contents like a cantaloupe but observed attacks are even more scary. The fishers attack the porcupines face repeatedly until they inflict so much damage that the porcupine sub-comes to the attack.

Don’t feel too bad for the porcupines, unchecked populations of porcupines can really decimate a forest as they chew up the trees relentlessly.

Autumn in New Hampshire

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Autumn in New Hampshire – They say here in New Hampshire there are four seasons stick season when the trees have no leaves, mud when you are waiting for the leaves to pop out, green summer and the color explosion of fall.

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Out of 52 weeks in the year, the autumn season comes down to perhaps three weeks when the foliage is peaking in various regions of the state and you have to time your capture time just right. Wait too long and a hurricane or tropical depression like Irene will roar up the coast and strip off the leaves. And perhaps take out a few roads, bridges and houses.

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Many people book trips to the state for the long Columbus day weekend. Usually there are a lot of activities and festivals going on around Columbus day and you’ll see a lot of bus tour activity – but often these tours miss the peak by a whole week.

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Peaks start in the colder areas, up north and in higher elevations. So if you plan your trip with this in mind and start north and meander south, you’ll be able to maximize your views of the incredible display from Mother Nature.

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Crisp fall days in the mountains and valley’s of New Hampshire can be exhilarating and one of the best times of year to go hiking as its not too hot. Wear layers as the shorter days will start out chilly but as you start hiking along or take in a local agricultural fair, the sun will begin to warm the land and you’ll be striping down to a t-shirt. Only to start to get cold a few hours later when the sun begins to dip on the horizon.

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New Hampshire’s climate from NewHampshire.com:

The Granite State is known for its highly changeable climate where the weather can be warm and sunny one minute and cold and snowy the next. Each of the four seasons vary greatly in their daily temperatures and weather patterns. Climate variations are also due to distance from the ocean, mountains, lakes or rivers. Spring arrives mid March and with it the most unpredictable weather patterns of the year. It’s been known to snow well into April when the flowers are just starting to bloom. The wacky weather patterns of Spring are replaced mid-June by the warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights of Summer. Starting in late September to early October, the landscape becomes ablaze with color and the evening temperatures start dipping below freezing. The days, however, are usually fairly sunny and mild. Winter begins in late October with the first dusting of snow and continues through March, with the last snow usually falling in April.