This is a closer view of one of the two buildings pictured yesterday. This photo was taken right around sunrise and it occurs to me that this old building has lived to see a lot more sunrises than I have.
I asked my first year photography students recently to tell me what they thought a photographer was and Bjorn, a person whom I think has great promise, suggested that a photographer is a person who engages in time travel – that photographers have the power to take those who view their photos to a particular place in time. It was an astounding and unexpected answer. And of course, Bjorn’s answer has me thinking. . . .
I realize, for example, that while my photos allow me to do my own kind of time travel in that they help me remember things that I have seen and experienced, they also have the power to do the same for the viewer. You may have never been to this particular place, but it may remind you of similar places.
Photos like this may have another emotive power, too. It’s not hard to see the ghosts of those who lived at this farmstead. I look at this scene and can see the farmer’s wife stepping through the door to check for fresh eggs, I can see the children playing in the tall, prairie grass and I can see the farmer working the distant field with his simple tractor.
To me, this way of life exists in my imagination as I am a “city boy.” But to many South Dakotans, this life still exists. It is as real and predictable as the the South Dakota sunrise.
Canon 1DII 1/6s f/9.0 ISO100 17mm