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Behind the Scenes: Hot Tin Roof

I thought it would be fun to share some of my work in a slightly different way. This is a series of posts to share some behind the scenes looks at the before and after, and the (sometimes) story behind the images in my collections.

Today’s image is Hot Tin Roof from The Barn Collection, my third release. It’s one of my favorites because the red roof is so striking.

The Barn Collection is one of my favorites, because – if you can’t tell – I love barns, and within ten square miles I had hundreds of gorgeous old barns to choose from.  You know how they say a barn is a barn is a barn? That’s not true. Some barns are special and you can just tell by looking at them.

It’s not as easy as you might think to take a photo of even the most perfect barn. First you have to be able to stop and get the photo. And if you’re paranoid like me, always assuming someone is going to see you and come running out the door with a shotgun and a banjo, you have to stop in just the right place, have the camera ready to go, and quickly find the perfect angle.  Front is usually boring, side angles are better.

But I rarely leave the car, and I never set foot on private property.

90% of the time I just stopped in the middle of the road, rolled my window down, looked in the rearview mirror to make sure no one was behind me, and I snapped as many photos as I could. Sometimes I backed up and rolled forward a little until I saw it – the perfect vantage point that took the barn from a one to a ten.

Traffic in Red Boiling Springs was sparse enough that I had that luxury. I don’t recommend it in highly populated areas!

But sometimes you just can’t do it. Sometimes the perfect barn slips away because it is too obscured, or there are dogs charging toward you, or a car comes up behind you.

In this case I had the luxury of time. It was a slightly cloudy day but cool and no one was rushing me.

As you can see, though both versions are nice, the original image bears little resemblance to the finished piece.


I applied some filters and played around with the contrast until I was happy with the outcome. I’m not very adept at photoshop so I just cropped this one so  the focus was entirely on the barn, but I didn’t have to remove any objects from the photo.

Here’s a secret: half the magic of photography is in how you compose the shot and how it’s cropped.

I like how old fashioned and rustic  the finished product looks, and there is more detail in the lines of the barn wood than in the original. It’s not just a pretty barn, it creates a mood.

Even though it’s part of my third collection, it’s one of the first pieces I completed and it inspired me to keep challenging myself.

Hot Tin Roof is part of The Barn Collection, available in various print mediums, including cellphone cases.

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