Jenne Farm in Reading, Vermont (The address of the Jenne Farm is 1264 Jenne Road.) is suppose to be the most photographed farm in Vermont and perhaps the world.
It even showed up in Forest Gump in a scene where Forest is running across America (and back again) and it has been used in Budweiser commercials and other movies.
I’ve seen a lot of photographs of photographers lined up, tripod leg to tripod leg, in the early morning or like in this photo, in the middle of winter. I’ve visited the farm many times (and tossed a donation in the donation box) but have never run into another photographer there. Perhaps I don’t get up early enough or these are photo clubs or some kind of photo tour.
….in the world of landscape photography, Jenne Farm becomes a sunrise mecca each autumn, a scene that so screams “quintessential New England fall” — rolling hills, weathered red barns, and an 18th-century farmhouse, all flanked by autumn leaves — that it has become, it is said, the most photographed farm in the country, perhaps the world.
“On busy days, there can easily be a hundred people up on that hill photographing everything we do, and sometimes people get confused and think it’s a park instead of a working farm and private residence. They’re always asking for the public restroom, when can they take a tour of the house, and the location of the restaurant.”
In the world of amateur photography, an iconic spot like Jenne Farm becomes “must have” shot on photographer’s bucket list. Once you’ve seen a photograph of the farm, you start seeing every where. On calendars, on post cards, on book covers etc.
Amateur photographers who “collect” these iconic spots become like a bird enthusiast tracks their life list and travel the world to check off more birds than that guy in the bird club.
Antelope Valley – check.
Grand Canyon – check
Bass Harbor Lighthouse – check
Nubble Light – Cape Neddick Lighthouse – check
Old Faithful – check
Eiffel Tower – check
The only problem is not seeing the forest for the trees or being so focused on these icons perhaps they miss other interesting places and scene that are right around them in their neck of the woods. Also standing in a line with a dozen other photographers all getting the same exact shot doesn’t lead to much individual expression or personal style your work.
The goal with any iconic spot should be to bring a unique take on the location. Difficult to do of course with a spot that has been shot to death.
My photography passion compels me to explore the world and seek out interesting places and subjects to photograph. When my wife attended a conference at the Stowe Mountain Resort, I jump at the chance to explore the area.
One of the treasures I found was this historic old covered bridge that served the railroad. The unique roof opening allowed smoke and steam to exit at the top. It’s not the only covered railroad bridge I’ve found this year.
On the Sugar River Recreation trail going from Newport to New Hampshire on the top of an old railroad grade, there is another fine example of an old wooden railroad covered bridge.
The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge is a covered bridge in Wolcott, Vermont.
Built in 1908, it originally carried the St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad over the Lamoille River.
Now closed, it was the last covered bridge in Vermont to carry railroad traffic, and is a rare surviving example in the state of a double Town lattice truss. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974
The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge consisted originally of a
single^ span supported by two flanking timber lattice
trusses. the timber deck structure was removed and replaced
with a steel jdeck truss structure independent
of the wood superstructure. The southerly span is supported by
two plate girders and the northerly span by four steel I-beams.
The yellow pine trusses, each of which has an extra set of
diagonal lattice members for additional strength, now support
only the superstructure of the bridge. Lateral iron rods
connect the top chords of the trusses through the apexes formed
by the upper lateral braces. Ship f s knees provide reinforcement
between the principal top beams and vertical posts near each
corner of the bridge.
The superstructure of the Fisher Bridge is 103.5 feet long overall.
The twio steel spans are 42 and 51 feet long, respectively
north and s”outh. The superstructure is_20.5 feet wide, and has
an interior opening of 15 feet for the track.
The entire bridge rests on a^utments_built of stone blocks
mortared together and capped with concrete, the lower half of
the north abutment has been faced with concrete. The steel
spans rest on a central pier built of timber pilings sheathed
with dimension stock. Concrete back-walls retain the track bed
at each end of the bridge.
On the exterior, the heavy planks pegged and bolted together
diagonally to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge
are sjieathed with unpainted matched spruce boards hung vertically.
Similar siding protects the ends of the trusses immediately
inside the portals. The siding flares outward toward the
bottom of the bridge to cover the bottom chords. The siding
stops short of the eaves to leave strip openings along the tops
of the walls.
The gable ends are sheathed with unpainted matched clapboards
hung horizontally, the portal openings have diagonal? upper
corners to match the interior struts. The siding flares diagonally
outward beyond the line of the side walls to meet the
A shallow-pitch gable roof covers the bridge. A .wood monitor
with louvered sides, which served as a smoke ventilator, extends
nearly the full length of the ridge. The roof and monitor are
covered with asphalt roofing paper.
The artwork (choose from hundreds of fine art photographs of Vermont by artist Edward M. Fielding) is printed on the front cover and is made of thick paper stock.
The back cover is medium gray in color. The inside of the back cover includes a pocket for storing extra paper and pens.
What can you do with our new Vermont spiral notebooks? Daydream about a trip to Vermont of course. Or plan out your ski trips, craft beer adventure, local food tours, keep a diary of the best fall foliage spots, check off towns along RT 100, write notes and ideas for your novel set in Vermont, rate your favorite cheese and maple syrup farm stands, count down the days to your next visit to Ben and Jerry’s, jot down your tasting notes about Heady Topper and more!
Whether you want to get more done every day—have you heard of bullet journaling?—or are trying to be more organized at work, school, or home, a notebook you cherish can be the difference between a happy hum of productivity and, well, watching another episode This is Us or Strange Days.
Artists often use large notebooks, which include wide spaces of blank paper appropriate for drawing. Lawyers use rather large notebooks known as legal pads that contain lined paper (often yellow) and are appropriate for use on tables and desks. These horizontal lines or “rules” are sometimes classified according to their space apart with “wide rule” the farthest, “college rule” closer, “legal rule” slightly closer and “narrow rule” closest, allowing more lines of text per page. When sewn into a pasteboard backing, these may be called composition books, or in smaller signatures may be called “blue books” or exam books and used for essay exams.
In contrast, journalists prefer small, hand-held notebooks for portability (reporters’ notebooks), and sometimes use shorthand when taking notes. Scientists and other researchers use lab notebooks to document their experiments. The pages in lab notebooks are sometimes graph paper to plot data. Police officers are required to write notes on what they observe, using a police notebook. Land surveyors commonly record field notes in durable, hard-bound notebooks called “field books.”
Coloring enthusiasts use coloring notebooks for stress relief. The pages in coloring notebooks contain different adult coloring pages. Students take notes in notebooks, and studies suggest that the act of writing (as opposed to typing) improves learning.
Fine Art Photographs of Cows – I recently found myself in Stowe, Vermont for a rainy afternoon. My wife had a conference at the Spruce Lodge and I had the afternoon free. Fall foliage had already come and gone with the last leaves being ripped off by a breezy, stormy day. But I was determined to get out and photograph the beautiful country side around Stowe which includes many fine family farms.
I came across a herd of dairy cows gathering near the farm gate, hoping that it was getting close to milking time. One cow in particular caught my eye and I was able to capture a few nice portraits.
Managing to keep my gear dry and shooting wide open in the dark and gloomy late afternoon cloudy sky, I manage to capture this sweet face in the pasture.
This is a Jersey cow or cattle are a small breed of dairy cattle. Originally bred in the Channel Island of Jersey, the breed is popular for the high butterfat content of its milk and the lower maintenance costs attending its lower body-weight, as well as its genial disposition.
They look a lot different than the type of cow typically raised for beef such as this fine fellow below seen on a small micro farm in Etna, New Hampshire.
These cow portraits in black and white can be found in the extensive portfolios of fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding. Fine art photographs of cows and farms in New England are available as prints, museum quality framed art, canvas prints, wood prints and more as well as on products such as tote bags and decor items such as throw pillows.
I think all artists work in spurts of creativity. Periods in which the art flows more freely and successful outcomes seem to come more easily. It’s like a manic/depressive roller coaster ride when periods of little activity and success following these more successful creative periods.
I can look back to a few summers ago when I was spending a lot of time down in Connecticut helping my parents move out of their summer home to prepare for a permanent move to Florida. The time was spend cleaning, packing, taking trips to Goodwill, painting, raking etc with moments of intense exploration and photography during breaks and the trips back and forth from New Hampshire to CT.
I explored the Connecticut River Valley region around my parents house with new intensity as I might never get back to that region any time soon plus I explored towns along I91 as I traveled back and forth without the family.
Another recent period of intense creative activity occurred with a few half days in the Stowe, Vermont area. My wife had a conference to attend and I went along, spending an afternoon and morning exploring the area. I probably only had six hours total but I made the most of them and came back with a lot of great images.
Hunting around the Wolcott, Morrisville, Stowe, Waterbury and Hardwich areas of Vermont, always on the look out for vintage tractors for my ongoing series on old farm equipment, I found a bunch of great spots and tractors even though it was raining half the time.
The foliage was past peak, but in a few short hours I was able to capture some handsome cows, old barns, vintage farm trucks, several antique tractors, old abandoned houses, historic wooden covered bridge train trestles, pumpkin farms, old chicken coops as well as some cool old relics from the past. This is what I call a high target area – plenty of cool stuff to photograph.
Craft brewed Indian Pale Ales are all the range these days among the hipster beer fanatics. The more bitter, the more hoppy the better it seems. Originally hopped up for long sea voyagers, the IPA is the current go to beer of craft brewers across the nation.
Floral, pungent and the bitter the better it seems as brewers compete for the most, “blow your head off” hoppy sensation.
The Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury and now in a state of the art facility in Stowe, Vermont has been riding the hoppy beer craze to the top with their highly sought after “Heady Topper” a “double IPA”.
The Alchemist Brewery only has two beers that they produce around the clock – Heady Topper and Focal Banger (another hoppy beer). 45,000 cans of Heady Topper roll out of the brewery each week and are distributed only to a 25 mile radius.
Fans of this heady hopped up beer sold in pint size cans which boldly proclaim that the beer should not be poured into a glass but drunk right from the can to preserve all of the wonderful hop aromas. Sharing is not suggested in other words, get your own can!
Demand is high for the Alchemists brews. When they started out as a home brewery in a neighborhood of nearby Waterbury (think Ben and Jerry’s and Green Mountain Coffee), neighbors began to complain as the line of cars stretched around the block on canning days.
The new state of the art facility, visitor’s center and tasting room in Stowe, Vermont just down the road from the ski area, serves as a mecca for beer aficionados.
I visited recently around opening time during late October when the fall foliage season was just about dead and had no trouble grabbing some four packs for a party but supplies are controlled. At the time they had limits on the four beers in the coolers.
Focal Banger – Limit 4 Four Packs
Sterk Wit – Limit 4 Four Packs
Heady Topper – Limit 2 Four Packs
Skadoosh – Limit 6 Four Packs
I was happy to snag a four pack of each offering for $53 and served them as a tasting at a party the next night. We have five tasters, older than the hipster age but all with plenty of experience drinking beer.
Interesting that IPAs are very popular these days with all of their extreme hoppiness but our panel of beer tasting experts seemed to enjoy the more flavorful, less bitter styles like porter and nut brown. Sterk Wit and Skadoosh were the favorite among the Alchemist brews.
Grist Mills – Before flour came in convenient sized bags and in a zillion versions like wheat, whole-wheat, bleached, gluten-free, rye, potato, rice, pastry, corn meal etc.
In the old days you had to grown your own grain, harvest it, dry it, separate the grain from the plant and take it to the local grist mill to have it ground into flour bay a water powered contraption between two giant stone disks called mill stones. How much stone dust do you think people back then ate?
A gristmill (also: grist mill, corn mill or flour mill) grinds grain into flour. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.
Whole communities sprang up around the available water sources and grist mills were such an important part of every day life that many have survived today and even more mill stones are around decorating people gardens or used as front steps.
Here is a collection of some of the mills I’ve photographed around New England.
Located on Granby Road (just off Route 102) in Guildhall, Vermont, the Old Guildhall Grist Mill. In Guildhall was the Bailey Grist Mill was built below what is reputed to be the first wing dam built in the Connecticut. It was in operation until 1844. According to a petition submitted by one Enoch Bartlett to the Council and Representatives of the State of New Hampshire in 1780, the iron work, mill stones, gears, and other building materials, were plundered from a mill located on Dean Brook in Northumberland and transported across the Connecticut River for use in the Bailey mill.
More photographs of old grist mills from around New England can be found on Edward M. Fielding’s online portfolio of fine art photographs from around New England and beyond – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/mill
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens – When it comes to my camera equipment, I’m very budget conscious. Trying to make a living from fine art photography is a challenge to say the least. Unlike retired doctors, lawyers, dentists and titans of industry who show up to national park scenic overlooks with a bag full of the latest and greatest professional quality equipment, the working photographer needs to keep an eye on the bottom line. Spend too much money on equipment and then there will be nothing left at the end of the day.
When I make an equipment purchase, I have to believe that the investment will pay for itself eventually. This is partly the reason my most bang for the buck lenses in my kit are the Canon 35mm F2 and the Canon 50mm 2.5 macro.
The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens is a great multipurpose lens the provides plenty of room for storytelling. Just a bit wider than a 50mm for more room to include elements such as leading lines or secondary subjects. This lens provides a great focal length for a lot of the book cover type images I shoot. Plus its compact and sharp. You don’t have to worry about it being on a tripod and it is image stabilized.
Compact and lightweight, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM has an 8-blade circular aperture diaphragm for soft backgrounds, a minimum focusing distance of 0.79 ft./0.24m, plus optimized lens coatings for minimized ghosting and flare.
With the 35mm, you know you will always come back with usable, in focus images, regardless of lighting conditions.
The Canon 50mm 2.5 is an old lens design that will drive you crazy if you try walking around with it because it takes forever to focus. BUT, this lens is amazing as a food photography lens or for table top shooting. I put this on a tripod and then use live view to zoom in and focus. It captures amazingly sharp macro images but are perfect for a lot of the book cover images I have listed with Arcangel.
Which brings me to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens. I wanted something with a longer range that wouldn’t brake the bank for the occasions when I’m near birds or wildlife. I’m not really that much into wildlife as a subject, I leave that to the National Geographic photographers, but when in Florida or Montana, I like to shoot animals when I see them.
My preference is for prime lenses. I’d rather walk a scene and study angles instead of being tempted to stand in one spot and zoom around. Also the quality of prime lenses always beats zooms. Zooms are always a compromise. Usually they excel somewhere in the middle of the range and degrade towards the long end. And that is where people tend to use them right? Usually people with long zooms want to zoom in as close as possible to “fill the frame”.
You also typically do not want to buy a zoom with a range that is more than double bottom range. For example something like a 70 – 140 lens (if there is such a thing) would be better than a 70-500. It’s just too much to demanding of the optical engineers to create something that works in all ranges.
The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens is not an expensive lens. It’s a budget lens priced around $500 with a aperture of 4 to 5.6. More expensive lenses will have a smaller aperture and the aperture won’t change with the movement of the zoom.
So you have here a lens that works great on bright sunny days but don’t expect it to be as good in lower light.
As with any long lens, holding it steady is going to be a challenge. The longer the lens the more difficult it will be to get a sharp picture – again, strong light is going to be your friend. Is this lens capable of sharp images? Of course. Every modern camera lens is capable of being sharp (or in focus) at some point. You just have to work with in the capabilities of your equipment to squeeze out the performance.
I’m going to use this image as an example of a great usage of this lens and some amazing results. I found this hundred year old barn in Ely, Vermont. I wanted to capture the details of the roof and cupola details as well as the texture of the century old building.
On a sunny day I mounted my Canon 6D camera on a tripod, focused in with live view, set the timer and captured this image. Later when I processed it in Adobe Lighroom I was amazed at how sharp the details came out. You can see every bit of the chicken wire, shingles and weathered wood.
How to purchase Ely Vermont Barn
Sadly barns like this 1899 barn in Ely, Vermont are slowly dying all across Vermont. They say that an old barn collapses every four days in Vermont. The owners simply don’t have the funds and resources to preserve these beautiful old barns.
Luckily through photography we can capture and preserve these amazing achievements for future generations. Prints and product of this photograph of this old Vermont barn and others around New England can be found in my portfolio of barns and farm life here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/barn
These old barn photographs can be purchase in a number of ways – prints rolled in a tube for framing at home (standard sizes can be ordered to fit your frames) or framed in museum quality frames and mats. There are 1,000s of paper, frame and mat combinations you can choose for a custom look.
For this image I really like the barn wood frames found under the “white” frame options.
You can also order these photographs printed on canvas, metal, acrylic and wood. Although out of these substrates I’d only recommend canvas or wood for a photograph of an old barn. Acrylic and metal are best for colorful, saturated, modern images images.
Simple black museum frames with a white mat also look good.
One of my personal favorite photographs. This classic old car was parked in a lot just over the Connecticut River from West Lebanon, New Hampshire in White River Junction Vermont.
It is gone now. Moved somewhere unknown as the auto repair business that occupied the lot and stored its “future projects” cars has pushed out by a new development and a new bridge. Suddenly “down by railroad tracks” was suddenly valuable property as the state installed a new bridge and the economy improved.
Glad I could capture this image while it existed. And I revisited the same spot in different seasons over the year. This winter scene with the snow and selective color is one of my favorite within the series.
Prints either rolled in a tube or matted and framed, canvas, metal or acrylic prints are available as well as products such as coffee mugs, t-shirt, tote bags, throw pillows and more.