Month: April 2016



Not many people ask me why I shoot what I shoot, maybe they don’t need to ask and connect with the images they look at.  I have spent two and a half years on this photo journey and I never seem to run out of things to capture.  Many places in rural Iowa’s landscape are changing.

I grew up on a small family farm in North Central Iowa.  My Mom, Dad and three siblings in the modest farm house and my Grandfather in a trailer house 50 yards away.  I have so many fond memories of my past and all the simple experiences being raised in a rural farm.  I related to the animals the most and they were raised in clean safe environments.  Now everything seems to be confined in cages and pens and never gets to see the daylight or open sky.

We had a windmill on the farm that was no longer in use other than as a giant wind vane, I can still hear this 60 foot skeleton creak, squeak and groan as the tail changed direction with the prevailing winds.

Why old and abandoned farms and barns?

Farms have been getting larger and larger every year, gone are the small family farms that once dotted the landscape.  Modern farming practices have changed every aspect of agriculture and what used to take days to do can now be completed in less than a day, thus family sizes have shrunk, once thriving communities are in decay and whole school districts are gone and merged with surrounding communities.

Throughout this transformation, whole homesteads are being leveled, with no one to live in them and no use for the out buildings, they are disappearing at an alarming rate.  Hogs used to roam outdoors during the day and slept in the barn or hog sheds at night, now it is such an oddity to see a pig outdoors.

Many of these buildings are falling down due to these modern farming practices.  This is why many of my images are of these buildings and farm sites.  I wish to record these places and try to present them in a manner that honors the people of the past that worked so hard to build them.  I often wonder what they would think if they saw them today.

You will not see many images of modern farm sites as most lack character and story to present in an image, many are quick build steel pole sheds and steel grain bins.  Nothing wrong with that just not the architecture that I enjoy seeing not do they captivate the imagination and the struggle that it took a century ago to construct those buildings.

It is not for me to decide whether this change is good or bad, though I lean towards the latter most times, I just attempt to capture them and let the viewer decide.  Only passage of time will decide the verdict.