I have written a number of times about my fondness for photographing ramshackle barns. Driving back roads around the more rural sections of my region, I often stop to take snapshots of farms that have been abandoned, foreclosed, or otherwise left to fall into disrepair. Much of the time the barns are the most interesting features, appearing to be structures that once stood as magnificent buildings but now are painful to glimpse, the dignity in their character lost among the destruction—foundations crumbling, roofs drooping, walls opening with trash showing through their gaps, and rubble cluttering the surrounding yards.
Indeed, I have such high regard for these icons of country landscape that I tend almost to personify them, and I nearly experience a sense of guilt capturing images so revealing of their deteriorated state. Nevertheless, I find them compelling, and I feel obligated to record their decline (or merely preserve their presence before completely falling into ruin) on every occasion I gaze into my camera viewfinder.
The photo above displays a large barn that must have been grand to observe at one point in its history; however, anyone glancing at it today perhaps might be tempted to look away with discomfort, maybe the way a person avoids eye contact with an old misdirected friend—who might be acting out of character or behaving badly—as though in an attempt to spare him or her further humiliation.