A Sunday Drive Through West Yadkin County

April 20, 2014

I had a little bit of time to play around this morning, so I decided to take a drive out to old Hwy 421 through East Bend and check out some old barns and houses I had seen out that way before.  I left shortly after sunrise and headed West.  The sky was pretty decent with some thin clouds lingering from yesterday's rain showers.  I wasn't real sure what I was going to get, but I decided to roll the dice and give it a try.

One of my first stops out that way was Conrad Rd, which I'm really hoping to hit it right to capture the trees in full bloom arching over the roadway with the fences along both sides.  Unfortunately, only a few of them had started to bloom (an improvement over last week), but not enough to get the image I was hoping for.  I continued on down Old 421 headed into East Bend and found an old house that I had shot years ago and was hoping to get again today with the clouds in the background.  Unfortunately, that was not going to work either because the house lacked the pop that I really wanted out of the image.  I kept on moving, and found another old house tucked into the trees that I have a second look, but again, it was just rather blah, and not exciting.  Back down the road I went, until I was well into Yadkinville.  I was still not seeing anything that was working with the current conditions.  Nothing really spoke to me...I mean nothing!

For one reason or another I ended up at the intersection of Swan Creek Rd, and decided to turn on it simply because swans are pretty, and I was hoping to find something pretty to photograph.  It was a silly reason I know, but I have diverted my direction for much less in the past and it has worked out in my favor more often than not.  I drove down the road for quite a few miles, passing through several different towns until I found myself back in the country again.  I was starting to think that I wasn't going to find anything because the quality of light was no longer improving, and my window was starting fade quickly.  Just then I saw it out of the corner of my eye...I think that was an old blue and rusted truck sitting right beside of an old shelter.  Could it be?  I turned around and gave it a second look.

Rolled Flareside
Yep, my eyes had not deceived me.  There in a large field was an old Chevrolet Apache sitting next to some hay bales.  I said to myself (pretty sure it was out loud) "That's it!!"  I saw a house that looked to be associated with the field and pulled into the driveway. It was still early, but late enough that I thought I could get away with ringing the doorbell.  When I rang it, the bell went off with one of those really long melodies.  I guess if they were asleep, they wouldn't be for long.  Fortunately, within a few seconds the blinds split open and I waved.  The door opened very slowly and I introduced myself and explained why I was at her door on a Sunday morning.  I felt better when she said that other photographers had stopped by to take pictures of the old truck before.  Then I felt my chances slipping away when she said that I would have to check with the owner who lived elsewhere before she would feel comfortable with me working the truck.

The way the conversation was going,  I was pretty sure that I was going to have to come back another time.  I had given my card to her, and she said that she would give it to the owners.  I asked if I could call them and ask.  She seemed to think that would be OK, and she gave me the number.  I pulled out my phone and made the call.  The first time I dialed, I got the message that the call could not be completed as dialed.  Ugh!!!  Instead of bothering the resident again, I decided to try and dial it as a long distance call, and that actually worked.  The owner answered the phone and I explained why I was calling on a Sunday morning.  She gladly gave me permission to photograph the truck, and after saying thank you, I pulled out the camera.

Endings and Beginnings
I decided based on what I was seeing to work with, I would leave my 24-70mm lens attached and add my Singh-Ray Intensifying Polarizer to enhance the colors that I was seeing.  I was lucky that the North sky was in the background so I knew I would be able to dial in a good deal of polarization to the image and make the colors pop.  The paint on the old truck was in fair shape, but the rust patina was just awesome, and excited my photographer's eyes.  I had a constant battle with myself over how much of the shelter to include, and how much of the spring color I wanted to incorporate.  I shot in close, and from far away, but my favorite images were close in with a focal range of 28-35mm.  This seemed to get the best balance for what I was after with this scene.

It only took about 25-30 minutes before I was pretty sure I had everything that I wanted.  In that time, I had captured 27 images, all of them different.  The lighting was just that good, that there wasn't a lot of fussing with the exposure.  I got to concentrate on trying different compositions more than anything.  Not wanting to overstay my welcome, I packed up and headed on after I was content with what I had.

There was still a bit of good light left, but I was out of subject matter.  I wasn't able to find anything else before the sun got too high in the sky to be able to work with.  Plus, the clouds were starting to fade which left a blank and boring sky overhead.

Even though I only had one subject to shoot today, I ended up with 11 images that I really liked, and was able to reduce that down to two that I thought represented the best overall frames of the day.  Now, I just need to decide which one gets the honor of going into the Old Iron Room.

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