Thursday, July 7, 2016


Pioneer Village is a collection of buildings from Wisconsin's past 150 years that had been disassembled and then reassembled on a site of perhaps a 10-acre a few miles north of the village of Saukville, Wisconsin.  I've been there before, but it had been a year or two, and this time I wanted to focus more on detail shots.  Here is what I kept.

First are some external shots.  I am a sucker for shots of old windows, particularly those set in weathered wood siding.  In this case one window provided a view of a second window on the opposite side of the building.

The windows probably lined up better than this photo portrays.  However, if I had stood directly in front of the window, my reflection would have appeared in the glass, so I chose the offset view.

Here is a shot that I thought would work but didn't.

I was attracted to the building's red color and solitary window, and I thought that by including the slant of the roofline I might create an interesting, if simple, composition.  In retrospect, I should have included more of the lawn in front of the building.  However, the day was sunny, and the combination of light and shadow on that bit of lawn was quite distracting, and I cropped most of it out.

One of the buildings included a corncrib.  I felt that the only shot I had was to photograph the crib's interior.

I tried various angles and finally settled on one shot in landscape rather than portrait that I converted to black and white.  I also underexposed the shot significantly in post processing.  OK, I think.

In addition to a number of buildings that might be found in a small community of, say, 100-150 years ago, Pioneer Village includes a reconstruction of a train station and a railroad locomotive.  Maybe I could have gotten a shot of that locomotive, but instead I focused on signage on the side of the locomotive that included the name of the railroad with which it had been associated, the Milwaukee Road.

There were also a number of horse-drawn carriages (sans horses), and I was attracted to the juxtaposition of different colored wheels on adjoining carriages.

I can't seem to get enough of rusting metal.  The following shot of sheet metal on a piece of farm equipment didn't really offer much, but I kept it anyway for its patina.

Now for a few interior detail shots.

There was some sort of grinding instrument in one of the barns that I thought provided an interesting abstract.

The interiors, particularly of a number of the outbuildings, were quite dark.  In the case of this shot I had to ramp the ISO up to 3200, and even then this required an exposure of 1/25 second at f/5, even when exposed nearly 2 f-stops below what the camera's light meter was calling for.  Still the quality of the natural light created a interesting effect.

It wasn't all outbuildings and farm stuff.  There were a few reconstructed residences as well.  I somehow thought the mannikin in one of the houses was a bit creepy and took the following:

I thought the lace of the window curtain complemented the lace of the mannikin's head covering.  I took a few different shots here but wound up liking this one that included both the entire window and the framed picture on the wall to the right.

Another of the residences included songbook opened to a particular selection.

I liked the simple cabinetry in the pantry of one of the houses and took this detail shot of a painted hinge.

There is just enough rust coming through the paint on the hinge to give the shot some interest.

My favorite shot of the bunch, though, was a very simple still life of a broom in a corner inside the door of a rustic cabin.  I did not stage this shot, though someone obviously had "staged" the broom in a sense.

The best elements of this shot were its simplicity and importantly the natural light that was coming through the doorway and illuminating both the simple broom and the plastered walls behind it.


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