Homes On The Range

This is a shot from a few weeks ago when I was out in Indiana, a part of the country I don’t get to as often as I should, given my brother’s penchant for grilling primal cuts of meat and filling and then emptying growlers of good, local craft beer.

We took the time one day to stroll through a small land preserve called the Celery Bog, and I caught this shot, which typifies what I saw happening with the land in that part of the country: expanses of either nature or farm land, butting up against tracts of recently developed housing and commerce. It’s the type of still image that speaks of motion and change. I almost said progress, but then a giant pile of qualifications started stacking themselves up in by brain behind that word, so I think I’ll not use it, other than to say that I’m not going to use it.

For many, the restoration of the prairie habitat represents better progress than the availability of town homes. And although this was a small piece of land, and it is a restored rather than pristine environment, it still made me pause to see the grass (which was my favorite color, that light straw, wind-burnt-dead-grass-just-before-springtime pale yellow) running right up to that hard line of development.

These juxtapositions are easier to see, I think, in less developed areas of the country. Living in a city, there is nothing around BUT development, and Philadelphia’s wonderful park system is just a small respite from that. Out in farmland, though, where there is, as we city slickers like to put it, “nothing,” the presence of development represents a greater change. Change is out there, on the horizon.

I wagged my camera around quite a bit before settling on this composition. Following some good advice I read, I didn’t take a bunch of shots then use my photo editor skills to select the best one; rather, I ran through the possibilities with my eye while my brain figured out what I wanted to say with the shot. The result is a frame that is closely focused on the habitat, with the development creeping in just at the periphery. This isn’t a shot about a whole landscape, or the sky, or clouds. It’s about the relationship between us and the ground we inhabit, so that’s all that made it into the frame.

D300s, 24-70mm f2.8; f2.8 @ 1/6400th, ISO 200, 24mm.

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