South of Ellicot on the eastern plains of Colorado stands and an old farmhouse built many years ago. It’s long since been abandoned, missing its windows and doors, though, it’s still stands after years of being abused by the rain, wind and sun.
I marked this farm on my GPS maps about a year ago, because I knew when the right day presented itself, it would make for a really cool photograph. That day came on April 6th, 2017 when the setting sun was on path to set over Pikes Peak, and behind the farm to the west.
The shot was a bit tricky since the farm was severely back-lit. This is when HDR comes in very handy, as you can expose the sky, farm, and foreground independently of one another, then merge all three together. The hope is to have the entire picture exposed correctly, but in this case, the farmhouse was still a little dark. I only did +1 EV, 0 EV, and -1 EV when I should have gone 2 stops instead. Despite this, the shot still came out OK, but I will most likely make another trip out east with this idea in mind.
I was tempted to clone out the jet’s contrail, but once I started working on the photo more, I realized it adds a neat aspect to the shot. It’s a blend of modern era with the old west, isolated on the canvas of the eastern plains.
Because time is short when working with a setting sun, I had to hustle around to get as many different shots and angles as I could. Not to mention, the dogs on the other side of the dirt road weren’t use to having strangers stand around out front.
Zooming in little more shows some of the detail of the farmhouse and the color of the wood. I also had to wonder if the tree in front of the farmhouse was planted there on purpose, or if it grew in much later, after the house had been abandoned. It might very well be the only thing that’s holding the structure in place. The winds are furious out east, often times clocking in at over 70 mph.
Here’s another shot with the sun behind the tree. You often need to block the sun, otherwise it’s way overpowering and almost impossible to expose for anything in the foreground.