West Tisbury Barn, 2010
There are places I like to return to and take pictures whenever I’m in the area. A lighthouse here, a tree there. In one place there’s a pasture I like to photograph. They're all places where I find a certain peacem, each one for a different reason.
The barn above is one of those places. It’s in West Tisbury, Massachusetts. Over more than thirty years I’ve photographed this barn in every season and in every possible daylight condition. I've photographed it on film and with digital cameras, in color and in black and white. I've done it with the doors open and the doors closed. I've done it with horses milling in front of it and with no animals in view.
To be honest, there’s nothing special about this barn other than that each time I’m nearby I look over into the field and find myself compelled to photograph it yet again. One of the things that draws me, now that I think about it, is that the lane that approaches it puts you right at the corner of the fence, framing the view and creating a giant V of lines.
The funny thing about this is that the pictures I take of this barn are never very interesting to me because they never seem to capture the feeling that I have when I'm there. Some of the pictures have interesting angles and sometimes the sky is more active than others. But when all’s said and done it always gets back to the same barn and the same landscape.
That the barn and the landscape have remained pretty much unspoiled over thirty years is no small feat on an island that has become only more developed over that time. I live in a city where it seems no empty lot remains undeveloped. So maybe it’s their very permanence that makes this view so special to me. Maybe that’s the story I have to figure out how to tell about this place.
Until then, I guess I’ll just keep taking mindless pictures of it with the hope that one day something interesting might walk into view.