Reader photo by Melinda Stuart. Click to view full-size image.
Reader photo by Melinda Young Stuart. Click to view full-size image.

Reader Melinda Young Stuart, of Barnardsville, took this photo of a barn punctuated with a smattering of snow on Feb. 3 in the Buncombe County community of Dillingham.

Photographer’s notebook

By Melinda Young Stuart

I pass this old barn at Dillingham most days and always give it at least a quick look of appreciation. It has been a target for my camera many a time over recent years. Seldom, however, have I focused on the door, which hasn’t seen movement in quite a while. I like the way the diagonals play off against one another.

One sees a number of these “on the diagonal” board walls on barns in north Buncombe County. I assume the design helps rainwater to run off, while the open cladding allows air circulation for drying tobacco. These boards are unusually long! The dominant tulip poplars (good building wood) hereabouts grow tall and straight, as do our various pines.

Over the years, this large structure has probably seen many different farming activities. In recent years, it’s been used to hang tobacco in the early autumn, prior to going to market.

Two big storms this past winter (2012-2013) took a toll on the barn, with the wind lifting off part of the roof and giving the entire building a decided slant. Any day now I expect to find it collapsed.

Snow seems to bring out the texture and pattern of buildings like this one, as it did on this particular morning in early February. I shot it in regular color, but decided a monotone treatment would more effectively bring out the design aspects.

The rural countryside is full of artistic effects. Once you start to notice them, they are everywhere!

Photo stats:
Shot Feb 3, 2013, at Dillingham, N.C., using an Olympus SP500UZ;  f4 at 1/125; made black and white.

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