Up the steps to the porch

Old farmhouse
Pentax IQZoom 170SL
Kodak T-Max 400
Rodinal 1+50

My subdivision used to be farmland. When I moved to central Indiana a quarter century ago, I occasionally drove out this way and it was as rural as rural can be. Now it’s all vinyl villages and shopping centers.

An old farmhouse lies around the corner from my house. It’s on a parcel that I’d guess covers just a few acres. A family still lives there — is it the original family that sold the rest of the land for this subdivision?

These steps lead to the farmhouse’s front door, but it’s clear that nobody’s used that door in a long time.

The road I stood on to make this photograph used to be a state highway, but not since the 1960s when it was moved to intersect with the nearby Interstate highway. Now this old road is just the back way into my section of the neighborhood, and it dead ends when it reaches it.

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11 responses to “single frame: Old farmhouse”

  1. Michael McNeill Avatar

    It looks like you were well hidden taking this photograph Jim but I was wondering how comfortable you felt taking a photograph of someone’s house, particularly as you say someone is still living there. Was it a quick ‘shoot and run’? ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s clear that this family doesn’t use its front door, so I wasn’t worried about being detected. I also didn’t linger; it took no time to frame this shot and press the button.

      I never want to be notice when I’m out making photographs. At the same time I have the right to make photos of anything I can see while I’m standing in a public space, so I try not to worry about it too much: the law is on my side.

  2. DougD Avatar

    Nice to have one character house in a sea of vinyl.
    Around here they used to save the original homes, now new subdivisions raze everything first

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a mixed bag here. Some old farmhouses get saved, others don’t. I can’t detect a pattern.

  3. Martin Cutrone Avatar

    Nice image, Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you Martin!

  4. brandib1977 Avatar

    Nice shot. Old homes have such nice character.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m working on a photo book of the pics I’m taking around my vinyl village. Hope to publish it this summer. They try to design some character into these modern homes, but it always looks tacked on.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        It’s a shame that we’ve come to this. At least they try…. I guess.

  5. Richard Novak Avatar
    Richard Novak

    Nice photo Jim. My area of Naperville, IL, is similar – lots of new subdivisions, Naperville is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the US. Population was about 25,000 in 1970, has 150,000 now. There are original farmhouses from the 1800’s here and there, and every year another one is knocked down. I try to photograph them when I can, and I feel bad when I see one removed before I got a chance to snap it. Sometimes I’m not as brave as you to walk up and take a pic when I know people still live there, but I agree you have the right if you are standing on public property. An another topic, how do you like the Pentax IQzoom 170? I’ve been watching IQzoom models on ebay to pick one up, but haven’t yet. I like the look of the 150/170 models, though I was concerned about the lens being a bit slow.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I know Naperville, a little — my wife’s from St. Charles, not too far away. She says that in the 70s all of that was waaaaay out beyond the Chicago suburbs and was much more rural!

      I like the IQZoom 170. I recommend it. Sure the lens is slow but in good light it’s fine. I don’t use P&S cameras for low light work anyway!

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