An Old Garage


I had to spend half of another day off digging out from a snow storm so no time for hiking. I did take a little walk around the farm in the afternoon. I didn’t find any good photos in the woods and fields – everything was white and amorphous. It is one of those things where it looks neat to your eye, but the effect is lost in the translation to the 2-D monocular world of the camera. I run into scenes like that all the time; maybe it’s just me.

106-709.jpgAnyway, I wandered back to the farmyard and decided to see what there was interesting inside the old garage and barn. My grandparents bought the farm back in the forties and the garage and barn were here already having been built around 1900.

I remember when I was a kid ice skating on the pond until I couldn’t take the cold any longer and then I’d head into the garage where my grandfather had a fire burning in a pot bellied stove. He was supposed to be working on things in there, but I think he was mostly just sitting around drinking beer.

The building is on its last legs now. A hundred years takes a toll. On top of that, a few years ago, the big tree out back (that I nearly killed myself falling out of once) fell over in an ice storm and knocked the back of the building sideways. Now it sits kitty corner on its crumbling field stone foundation. I can’t really see how it remains standing at all.

106-747.jpgInside there is mostly just junk these days. Some of the junk is recent and not very interesting. Garish colors and wild advertising claims adorn aerosol cans of starter fluid and bug killer. Broken plastic snow shovels and various chunks of PVC pipe litter the floor. A mound of metal and plastic that looks like the remains of a lawnmower sits in the middle of the floor.

Ah, but on the old bench toward the back is the good stuff.  The slab of dark wood runs down the whole of one side wall. All manner of interesting old tools and forgotten parts quietly molder back here in the shadows. Most are still right where my grandfather left them when he died. Stuff made from cast iron. Stuff made to last. Colors are mostly brown and black and rusty red. The familiar smell of oil and grease mixed with dust and iron filings faintly hangs in the cold air.

I found some photos that I liked here. I actually ended up taking quite a few shots. As usual most didn’t match up to the vision that I had in my head when I pushed the shutter release. Some weren’t bad so I threw a couple on this page.



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5 Responses to “An Old Garage”

  1. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Your writing is so evocative! Was the lighting a gift of the outdoors? Especially on the last photo, the lighting just makes the picture.
    There is something very luscious about rust on old cast iron.

  2. Bernie Kasper Says:

    Looks like you found some buried treasure from where I sit Mark, the images are very nice, its nice that you can find things that bring back great memories :)

  3. forestrat Says:

    The only light for these shots was coming in from a couple of small windows on one side wall. Oddly enough I had been day dreaming about how the light fell from those windows just a couple of weeks before. I thought the shadows would be really nice.

    I’ll post a few more pics when I get a chance.


  4. lookingforbeauty Says:

    It’s the pale turquoise overcast ov colour that made me ask. I’ll look forward to those next pics.

  5. forestrat Says:


    Ah, the bugaboo of digital art – color management. Unfortunately once an image is released into the wilds of the Internet, God only knows how it will look to others.

    First off the overcast you see might not really be there. The yard stick in the top photo was actually green and so were the chunks of garden hose under it. The vise in the middle should be basically all brown-ish. The weight holder on the scale at the bottom is basically brown, but along the top edge of the arm it really does have a green-ish patina from weathered copper in the metal.

    If you take this explanation into account and there still seems to be a color cast, it might be on my end or yours or both.

    I aim all my processing toward printing on my Epson printer and so I have adjusted my screen to match it. This might look funny on other folks screens. It looks horrible on my screen when not viewed through my editing software.

    I looked at the images from several other computers that I have here. They all look different, but mostly the differences are in brightness, contrast, and saturation and not so much color balance. On the other hand all these machines are using one form or another of Windows OS. I have no idea how this stuff looks on a Mac.

    I have a page on my web site about adjusting your monitor ( that might be helpful to see if there are any adjustments that could be made on your end. My explanation might not be the greatest, but there are a couple of good links at the bottom of the page.

    I always worry about displaying my pics on the Internet. Your typical bright evenly exposed mountain with blue sky and puffy white clouds can probably handle a lot of abuse without suffering too much in overall impact. On the other hand my stuff tends to be on the dark side with deep shadows that are often played off against some bright whites. A little change one way or the other on brightness or contrast on the viewer’s monitor and things go bad in a big way very quickly.

    Hope this helps.


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