I am always jealous of photographers who live near the mountains.
They have such gorgeous landscapes on which place their work.
"Flatlanders" like we Midwesterners aren't as lucky. We have relatively flat terrain (in most areas), although some of it is populated by beautiful grasses and corn stalks.
One way to overcome that obstacle is to place something interesting in the foreground: a fence, a stone, anything that will anchor that area of the picture and draw the eye to it.
That's what we had in mind when we came upon this rural scene on our recent day trip to southern Wisconsin.
Maximum depth of field brought the barn in the background into acceptable focus.
More of our barns are featured in a gallery on our online portfolio: 
I've learned that the most beautiful barn in the world can look boring and uninteresting if its not surrounded by  a wonderful landscape.
On a recent foggy morning in southern Wisconsin we found this old place on a hillside, with cows grazing in foreground.
"Ok," I thought. "A pretty cool shot, but its missing something."
So we found a convenient pine tree and shot through the branches.
The branches provided a nice natural frame for the barn and hyped up the perspective a bit.
My only regret from this morning of shooting was that color in the the trees hadn't hadn't peaked. But even with on line color guides, you've still got to be lucky.

 I traveled to southern Wisconsin on a recent weekend searching for fall color and old barns. 
As luck would have it, the weather man dialed up a foggy morning, which I love for making moody images.
We found ourselves in the Dodgeville/Ridgeway,  area early in the morning when we shot this old place atop a hill overlooking a a fog shrouded pasture of cows.
Like all our images, this one's available through the barn gallery our web site, ernestjschweitphotography.com 
or by emailing me at ernestjschweit@sbcglobal.net.
Watch this blog for more images from our trip.

We must have driven past this old barn off Route 12 near Wauconda, Ill., 100 times, but it wasn't until the owner repainted it white and added an American flag that we really took notice.
And when we did, we tried to challenge ourselves by stretching for a new perspective.
Walking the property, we almost fell over what I'm guessing is an old concrete property line marker.
So we decided to work it into the composition. 
It took a few frames before we got it just right, but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.
We'll make it available in the barns gallery on our web site, www.ernestjschweitphotography.com.

.We received some much appreciated exposure for our Wisconsin barn photography from the online magazine, Ozaukee Magazine. Here's a link. They focused on our work that's being shown at the Cedarcreek Pottery in Cedarburghttp
As a personal challenge, we decided to re-imagine an image from our New England photo trip last summer.
So we gave this straight forward barnscape a shot in black and white. I won't go into all the technical manipulations that went into the conversion process--email me and I'll be happy to share--but nearly two hours later, well…here it is….what do you think?
Apologies for the lengthy time between posts, but its been a busy summer, with kids visiting, playing catchup with the house, etc. We did manage to sneak away for a motor trip to Asheville, N.C., and to see family in Kentucky.
Along the way, we found this old place near Wellington, Ky.
Even though we're supposed to post only midwest barns, we liked this one so much, we decided to move outside our geographic boundaries.
I love the contrast of the flower plantings and finely trimmed grass in the foreground against the weathered look of the old barn and its over grown surroundings.
Enjoy. There's more at www.ernestjschweitphotography.com
We'll stray from our midwest locale once again and share this lovely barn in New England that we photographed last summer.
We were visiting family and had factored in three or four days to ramble Connecticut and Massachusetts looking for old barns.
This one literally jumped of the roadside with its wooded setting and colorful foundation plantings.
We included the old tree stump to give some depth to the image.
Its a real gem; one of my favorites!
More barn images are on our web site, www.ernestjschweitphotography.com

Sometimes the old barns we cherish become a secondary feature in a shot, like this one, which we made on a trip with my wife to Madison, Wisc. The line corn stalks beneath a white clouded fall sky in Varona grabbed our attention was we drove by; the old wooden barn faded into the background. We picked the horizontal crop to accentuate the line of corn leading to the old barn. More of our barns are at www.ernestjschweitphotography.com. We'll post this one there for purchase.
For two years, we traveled the backroads of  Wisconsin, making images of old barns and talking to farmers about their love of the land. Those images are published in "Wisconsin Barns." The book features 107 images organized by region and makes a great gift or moment. "Wisconsin Barns" is available for $14.95 plus shipping.  Copies signed by yours truly are available special order by emailing me at ernestjschweit@sbcglobal.net

I know that time of  year we should be posting images of snow clad barns in fields of white, but I've had just about enough of the cold weather here in the midwest.
So as luck would have it, I stumbled upon this lovely fall setting we captured in Varona, Wis.
My wife and I were headed back from the farmer's market in Madison; our itinerary for the day included some "barning." So off the main drag we drove until we found this.
We enhanced the clouds a bit with Lightroom 5.2 and decided on the horizontal crop because the expansive landscape seemed to suggest that treatment.
We'll post this image for purchase on the "American Barns" gallery of our web page, www.ernestjschweitphotography.com.