March 9, 2014
I enjoy a spot by the fireplace and a warm cup of coffee as much as the next person but there is also an innate love for the outdoors and winter. I remember one New Years Eve under a full snow my younger brother and I decided on the spur of the moment to hike a few miles, pitch a tent and spend the night braving the elements. With less sense than gear we quickly filled back packs with the essentials and took off into the night. I don't think I ever came as close to freezing to death but there was no other such winter excursion more enjoyable or memorable.
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farmstead in Olathe, Kansas recently added a new barn to the site. With a full snow in progress I headed out to the site to get a picture. The wind chill was -19 degrees. As I would be shooting into a wet and falling snow I hunkered down by an old tree trunk. I shoot just enough to forget how to set my aperture (hold some button down while you spin the dial). The lens setting was so wide open from my previous use I couldn't set the shutter speed with all the white. I struggled with this for a few minutes until my ungloved fingers were nearly frozen requiring a trip back to the car to warm up.
Lessons learned -- when shooting in inclement weather set your camera as much as possible where it is warm and dry. Buy some photographer gloves (where you can pull back the finger tips to work the controls). And last, keep those batteries charged (I was down to the last few battery amps without digging through the camera bag in the bitter cold for a spare battery). With warmed digits anew I headed back to my vantage point to take this picture.
It is rare to take a picture of a newly built barn today. Most of my barn pic's are aging structures of the past. This barn, at the Mahaffie Farmstead in Olathe, Kansas, was a gift of Maron Moore, a long time supporter of the Mahaffie Farmstead.
It is a beautiful barn in every respect and a great addition to the site.