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Old Farm Photography

Updated on March 7, 2016
cam8510 profile image

Chris enjoys photographing the places he visits. He shares these photos as travel articles and also mixes them with creative writing.

As-Is-Where-Is Photography

I get the impression this one wore out rather than rusted out.
I get the impression this one wore out rather than rusted out. | Source
Leelanau County.  Old farmhouse in the woods
Leelanau County. Old farmhouse in the woods | Source

As I walked around this old farm a few days ago, my mind couldn't help but go into one of those melancholic retreats to yesteryear when I was a child growing up on a dairy farm in Indiana. Our farm didn't look like this one. Well, first, let me tell you what I know about this farm before I tell you about the one I was raised on.

This farm is about five miles from my house. The owner recently passed away and left it to his son. The man who passed on was 101 years old. His son is in his eighties. There is a randomly stored collection of very interesting junk on the farm. It has been accumulating here and there for over a hundred years, so that here and there have become the same thing, the same place.

Yes, that is a toilet seat on the other side.
Yes, that is a toilet seat on the other side. | Source

I've gotten to know Bill, that's the new, younger owner, for a couple of years. Actually, sometimes he remembers me and sometimes he doesn't. I was over taking these photos the other day when Bill drove by. He called to me, so we stood along the side of the road and talked. He was actually in a hurry because some of his cows had gotten out. I offered to help get the cows back in the appropriate field and he accepted. He wanted to know if I knew anything about cows. I said yes, I spent my whole childhood chasing cows.

I would have liked to have seen this one with the chassis.  By the way, I wonder what they did with the chassis?
I would have liked to have seen this one with the chassis. By the way, I wonder what they did with the chassis? | Source

I drove down the road to where the action was. It was warm out for mid November, so I took off my black North Face jacket. I walked over to where a very rough looking older woman was wrestling with a fallen gate. I picked it up and wired it back to the post. She just stared at me. I explained that I had told Bill I could help get the cows back. She just shook her had and said, "That red shirt ain't gonna help none." Well, we got the cows back. I drove back to the farm where I had been taking photos. On the way, I found three more cows that had just slipped through some sagging barbed wire. I gently encouraged them back through the way they had come out and went on my way.

A late 1940s Ford
A late 1940s Ford | Source

That's the kind of farm this is. It is sad. Bill has spent a lot of time in court facing animal abuse charges. He keeps cows and horses. I have never seen any sign of that and I have talked to a couple of neighbors who don't believe it. I don't know. It could be I suppose. Either that or some ignorant person saw a thin horse standing in the snow and thought it was being neglected. Horses seem to like standing in the snow. And some of Bill's horses are old. I don't know. He told me that he is back in court now. I don't know what it is about this time though. I didn't ask.

Do you know what Bokeh is as it pertains to photography?  Google it.  I fianally got it going somewhat with the addition of a 50mm f1.7 Minolta Maxxum lens.  Bokeh is a good thing.
Do you know what Bokeh is as it pertains to photography? Google it. I fianally got it going somewhat with the addition of a 50mm f1.7 Minolta Maxxum lens. Bokeh is a good thing. | Source

As I wander around the farm, I sometimes wonder how much money is laying around here in the form of scrap metal? Then there are the cars. The old cars and old trucks in this collection are only the beginning. I have another article with more photos. It is called "Old Cars and Trucks in an Open Air Museum." Hows that for a title? The metal on most of the cars is phenomenally well preserved even though the cars have been here for forty and fifty years.

Lonely and abandoned, this old girl sits off in a field, far away from the rest of the junk, year after year.  A second rate piece of junk.
Lonely and abandoned, this old girl sits off in a field, far away from the rest of the junk, year after year. A second rate piece of junk. | Source

One time a friend and I crawled around in most of the cars I had photographed and got the make, model and year information. What we couldn't find on the cars, we found online by comparing my photos to the photos online which had the information. My favorite was a big Dodge Truck called a Job Rated Truck. It had a job rating of T. Each job rating had a description of what the truck was built to do. This way, purchasers would know which trucks to look at. That particular model was powered by the first hemi engine.

Early effort of the auto industry at air conditioning.  I just don't think the wind should be blowing through your hair when you drive one of these.
Early effort of the auto industry at air conditioning. I just don't think the wind should be blowing through your hair when you drive one of these. | Source

The truck you are looking at now is one I relate to. It is a loner. I felt like a loner as I stood looking at it. The first time I came to this farm was with a dear friend. This time I was alone and it felt somehow not quite right. This old truck must have broken down out in that pasture. It never got brought in closer to the rest of the junk and the farm buildings. It just sits out there, winter after winter, summer after summer. I finally walked out to it the other day. It is an interesting truck. The doors are gone. The flatbed has moss and lichen growing on it. The color of the paint is a bit odd to. I couldn't find any indication of the make, model or year. Do you know by chance? Please let me know if you do.

I don't think moss and lichen were the original load this flatbed was carrying.
I don't think moss and lichen were the original load this flatbed was carrying. | Source

Silos. When I was growing up on the farm, we had three silos. There were occasions when I had to climb them and I didn't like it at all. They were sixty feet tall. That is how I developed a fear of heights. I could definitely jump from an airplane to parachute, but I have a terrible time being up high on a structure that is hooked to the ground. Is that a phobia? I actually introduced a forum topic a couple of days ago about my plans to go parachuting and skydiving. It is an odd fear that I have.

The nuclear age introduced a new definition of the word silo.
The nuclear age introduced a new definition of the word silo. | Source

Look at the inside of the silo. Isn't that awesome? If you don't know exactly what a silo is for or how it works, I'll offer a brief explanation. There is a pipe, about ten inches in diameter, that runs up the outside of the silo. Farmers go out into cornfields with a corn picker and harvest the whole plant. It gets chopped up into little pieces. It is then fed into a big blower which actually blows the silage (that's the name now that it's going up into the silo) up through the pipe and into the silo. When it is full, there is a large piece of equipment that is lowered onto the surface of the silage. That equipment gathers and throws the silage through one of a long series of doors that runs down the side of the silo. You can see the unloader suspended in the top of the silo in the photo.

Inside the silo with the silage unloader suspended from the top.  Google silo and silage if you need to.
Inside the silo with the silage unloader suspended from the top. Google silo and silage if you need to. | Source

Well, I will let you browse through the rest of the photos without me going on and on. I will catch you at the end of the article.

Good Bokeh
Good Bokeh | Source
Who will be......."The Weakest Link?"
Who will be......."The Weakest Link?" | Source
I'm trying to come up with an artsy title for this.  Patterns of Infinity?  Spoked Intersection? Two Old Wheels with Broken Spokes?  It reminds me of the Olympic Symbol of five overlapping rings.  What do the Olympic Rings symbolize?
I'm trying to come up with an artsy title for this. Patterns of Infinity? Spoked Intersection? Two Old Wheels with Broken Spokes? It reminds me of the Olympic Symbol of five overlapping rings. What do the Olympic Rings symbolize? | Source
Okay, bed frame and spoked wheels.....I got nothin.   You?  Maybe this was part of a bed race at one time.
Okay, bed frame and spoked wheels.....I got nothin. You? Maybe this was part of a bed race at one time. | Source
Wicked
Wicked | Source
Wheels everywhere.  Count them.
Wheels everywhere. Count them. | Source
Can you guess what this is/was?
Can you guess what this is/was? | Source

I enjoy photographing old things. I don't know if it's the history, the rugged appearance or the sheer stubbornness of these things to not give up and dissolve into the earth, that attracts me. Maybe all of the above. I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thanks That Grrl, I have incorporated my photos into a few hubs. Most recently was a hub with my sunset photos.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Your photos are good. I hope you explore more places and post your photos too.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Kathryn, thanks for stopping in and commenting.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 4 years ago from LA

      Wow, I love these photos! I have one in my front yard here in LA . It is a rusty ol' blue '49 chevy truck that totally needs fixin', but is not letting anyone near it! Instead it has me writing songs with lyrics based on it such as , "Please don't drive too slowly in your '49... .." Really good blues material...

      (P.S. Thanks for you patience with my idealism, Elsewhere.)

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      avian novice, thank you for that kind response to my hub. That whole farm is a photographer's paradise.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Chris, you got some really nice material here. My father used to have an old skipjack (model A truck), that he had going when I was a kid, as well as a'58 GMC pickup. You're right, the metal on those trucks lasted forever, most likely due to the thickness of the parts made. I really liked the photos that you got.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      haha That would be a job I'd be interested in.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Gymnast is out, the boy is 25 now. Mattress quality control tester could work. For him or his father either one. Hahahaha

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      eHealer, thank you for those wonderful compliments. This is my favorite kind of photography. I did this kind of thing once before and that is when I got the Rising Star. Good to see you too.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Cam, your photography is breath-taking. Just beautiful! What an original subject and very interesting. Good to see you! Voted up and Write on!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Maybe he should look into becoming a gymnast......or a mattress quality control tester.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Creative pictures. Thank you for sharing.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      At 6'5", he doesn't have to be burly. He was breaking beds at 10 years. The wood would crack when he did his flip. 17 to 18 times of the flip and the mattress would go on down. He got a few rude awakenings.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I enjoy looking at old farm equipment and truck, cars, tractors,etc. I like to try to imagine how these people lived day by day. There are still many of those old hay rakes around here in Oklahoma. My hubby has a 1953 Chevy truck that he bought a while back. It is had a blackberry bush growin inside it when he bought it. There was even a bird nest in the steering wheel! I really enjoyed your hub! Voting up and interesting! :)

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      jaydawg8o8, thank you for that. And Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. It's nice to meet you.

    • jaydawg808 profile image

      jaydawg808 4 years ago

      I really love the photography in this hub!! :)

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      I tried twice on my last post to you to write billybuc, but both times my ipad thought it was smarter than me and "corrected" it. Sorry about that.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Randy, thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments. Actually, international was my first thought. I tell you, that farm is a photographer's paradise.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Becky, thanks for stopping in. The story of your daughter's bed is cute. Your son must be a burly dude. It's always nice to see you.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Curial, thank you for those words. They are very encouraging. I've been getting better with the photography since I got a new DSLR. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Billy bud, thank you so much. I am glad you enjoyed it and it means a lot to me that you did. Thanks for taking time to visit and comment.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      The photo with the caption"Can you guess what this is" is a photo of an old hay rake. My grandfather had one just like it on his farm and it may still be there.

      Like you, I enjoy taking photos of these old places and will travel deep into the woods to get some good shots. The old red truck resembles an International model but I'm not sure of it.

      Enjoyed the photos and your descriptions.

      SSSSS

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Beautiful pictures. I always enjoy looking at old things. The last picture is a rake, isn't it? My uncles owned a ranch but did a lot of haying.

      My daughter sleeps on an old iron bed like that. I bought it for her brother who broke beds. He would turn over at night by going straight up into the aid, turning in mid-air and falling back onto the bed. The newer bed frames could not handle that. The iron one did.

      When he finally outgrew it, I painted it white and painted little flowers all over it in different bright colors. It looks beautiful but she is almost 6 feet tall now and so will be going to a full size soon, so she can lay diagonally on it.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is really interesting, and the photography is excellent. The ambient light that day was perfect. It helps create a feeling of time, voices speaking from the past.

      Mark

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, that was a great hub! The pictures of course were great, but your recollections and reflections were top notch. Well done!