A Rainy Day in Randolph County

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Bamboo Thicket
Looking at the weather for this morning, I was expecting 70% cloud cover over pretty much all of the state.  This could mean many different things when it comes to lighting.  I've seen that forecast cover bright blue skies all the way to completely cloud covered and great for waterfall photography.  I would have taken my chances with some waterfall photography except for the fact that we have been rather dry lately and the water levels were sure to be way down. I was actually really wanting to get out and hunt some old barns and maybe some old cars instead though, so that was what I planned on doing.  I had heard from a number of coworkers that the area of Randleman, NC in Randolph County was a great place to find barns.  I had been there one other time and found a single barn that was worth photographing, but decided I would give it another try.

I left right at sunrise and found myself in an increasing mist of rain on the other side of Kernersville.  That rain continued to be a full fledged downpour by the time I got to the other side of Greensboro.  I continued on seeing that the rain was only supposed to last another 50 minutes or so.  In that time I could be there and hunting the barns.  I arrived at the section of Hwy 311 where there were supposed to be barns.  I saw a few small ones, but nothing that really caught my eye.  It was still raining, so I started the getting lost portion of my ride.

One of the side roads I came to had a nice old house at the corner that I thought I would see if there was an angle I could shoot it from.  It was too isolated from the trees and the sky wasn't detailed enough to take up that much of the frame.  However, to the side of the lot, I found a grove of greenery that turned out to be a patch of bamboo which had an interesting texture to it.  I pulled over and figured I would give that a try since the rain was slacking off.

I pulled the camera out with the 70-200mm lens on it and added a Polarizer.  I framed up a few shots and got a total of nine different compositions from the trees.  I wasn't sure how they would turn out, but at least I had gotten the first exposure out of the way.  I packed up the camera and got back in the truck.

From there I drove around, making turn after turn after turn.  I saw a few barns, but nothing that really grabbed my attention.  What was worse though, was it seemed that every street I went down there were "No Trespassing" signs along every field, and under every mailbox.  Even if I found something to shoot, I was going to have a hard time avoiding having a gun pointed at me.  I've gotten spoiled shooting landscapes for the better part of the year now.  I've forgotten how difficult rural photography can be...and dangerous.  It is always beneficial to have a contact with the property owner prior to going out to shoot a barn, or old home.  I had nothing along those lines today, and it became a scouting trip more than anything else.

After several hours of driving around aimlessly, I set my course to the house and gave up for the day.  As I was going through my nine images, I wasn't overly impressed with any of them, but did have one that was worth processing at least.  It was a long morning, and I don't have much to show for it, but I had a good time scouting at least.  I also have a bunch of work to do to prep several sold prints of mine so overall, this will be a very productive day.

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