Thank you to all the photographers that participated in the Farms And Barns Photo Contest, sharing their best photos showing barns and farms. Congratulations to the winners and finalists, and a special round of applause for the Grand Jury Winner who wins an Evecase Convertible DSLR Camera Canvas Backpack .

A special thanks to our friend and professional photographer Hank Erdmann for his collaboration as a guest judge. Hank Erdmann is a professional natural history photographer and photographic educator who resides in Will County, Illinois. He has photographed throughout North America, making the Midwest his primary geographic area of interest. He teaches photographic workshops and presents for camera clubs and organizations since the late 1980's. His work has been published in numerous magazines, calendars and guides including National Geographic, and The Sierra Club. Hank is a member of NANPA, The North American Nature Photography Association.

Congratulations Grand Jury Winner "Foggy Morning" by AaronShaver

Foggy Morning by AaronShaver - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"I love this image due to its reality, This is using technology for its benefits, not top create something that isn’t there.  The view is what I’d expect to see if I simply looked at the scene.  Exposure wise, allowing the roof of the building to lose most detail (this is how our eyes would see it) is brilliant, there is no other place that the viewer’s eye would instantly go to, and the center of interest should always do that, it certainly does here.  Losing detail in highlights is something the best photographers fear, but the best photographers also know that in rare instances such tactics not only work, they make memorable great images.

Compositionally the “guideline” of thirds works exactly, where normally it places a horizon on a mathematical basis instead of where it should be, dictated by the scene.  The edge of the top of the grassland does many things here, it anchors the trees, it dissects the structure which brings the eye back to the structure. The image uses balance / imbalance perfectly; all implied lines lead to the structure, and the placement is on a perfect thirds lower right power point, but the shorter tree on the left provides imbalance so that the placement doesn’t stagnate as it often does with perfect thirds placement. Finally the amount of grassland included allows for some darker shaded spots at bottom right adding depth to the image.  My only nitpick is that I would have taken a step or two to the right which would have removed the convergence of the barn side and a tree trunk and isolated the structure even more.

Backlighting can be so dramatic when used expertly, and can be so difficult to use well, this uses it very well indeed.  Superb Image!" - Hank Erdmann

Congratulations Runner Up "Spangle Barn at Sunrise" by markaament

Spangle Barn at Sunrise by markaament - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Like the grand prize winner this image is an excellent image using high key light and very bright light, in my view intentionally and excellently.  Such light is very easy to be seduced into darkening it up as we are so afraid of losing highlight detail.  It’s fairly easy to tell when such high key lighting is intentional because it always sits of the edge of too much left or too much detail lost – that is a very fine edge!  Using the halo around the sun is a great way to get the “eye” view of the scene, the way the eye tends to view such light, using the “blinkies” or the over exposure warning feature, you would set you exposure for just the smallest halo around the sun to blink, to get this lighting you would set exposure so the whole halo is blinking so there is no detail (color) in it.  You then adjust in post processing to set other elements at the brightness levels you desire.  That is how one uses intentional high key lighting and this is an excellent example.  My one suggestion would be to change the barn facing brightness.  The darkest shadows are handled perfectly with just a hint of detail.  For my liking however, I’d prefer the face of the barn, the wood, a bit darker, maybe almost as much as a stop, you want more detail that the shadows, but not as much as one has here.  It would be closer to the eye’s view, still dramatic or even more so as it would slightly increase the contrast ratio of that section of the image.

Compositionally I do one small thing, a physical change in camera placement.  I’d raise the camera enough to separate the back roof point of the barn, from being right on the edge of the bottom of the curve of the horizon.  Where it is now might add minimally to depth but has the effect of pulling my eye to the rear of the barn.  By raising the camera up a foot or two would place the front tip of the barn roof right below the apex of the darker hill in the distance and the whole bran roof line against the lighter grassland color/texture and highlight and separate the structure even more.  I’d be willing to guess that the make was probably at full extension of the tripod height and couldn’t get any higher.  Standing on bumpers or side door frames is difficult and doesn’t usually give one enough extra height and often requires hand holding the camera where balance is difficult at best and makes exact composition almost impossible, that is if you can even get your shooting position next to a vehicle.  For this reason I often travel with a small light aluminum six foot ladder with a hole drilled into the top plate and a ballhead attached to it, it comes in quite handy quite often and doesn’t have to be used within touching distance of a vehicle." - Hank Erdmann

Congratulations Runner Up "Stormy Weather" by bobmajor

Stormy Weather by bobmajor - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"I love the very classic B&W treatment as it really fits the scene to portray it in black and white, it creates a timeless treatment and a more dramatic one than color could give it.  I’\m also happy the make used a non-exact “guidelines” of thirds placement as putting the horizon on an exact thirds placement would add far to much foreground, diminishing the puddle reflection.  The horizon is exactly where the scene dictates it to be.

Exposure is perfect we have all ten zones from whit top black in the final image.  Compositionally I absolutely love the placement of the barn, the tree, and the circular club above.  The scene speaks to loss and renewal with the storm and the menacing cloud, the water all contributing to the feeling of age and decay, and the tree seeming growing out of the remains producing the raw material for a future structure and the same making.  Fabulous capture!" - Hank Erdmann

Congratulations Runner Up "PLACE IN THE DIRT" by LLOYDWRIGHT

PLACE IN THE DIRT by LLOYDWRIGHT - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"This image is the opposite of a high key treatment exploring the edges of darkness.  It has an absolute feeling a dread and doom which is answered stoically by the strength of a still standing stone structure.  The dark tones of the sky menace the scene.  Use of detail loss in both the brightest and darkest areas not only are acceptable (I always tell student lose detail only when you the artist want to, not when the light seems to demand that loss), they absolutely make the image work.  Again a non exact “guideline” of thirds placement leaves the horizon where the scene dictates versus where a formula or ratio does. The horizon is almost in a centered placement but feels nowhere near such.  This is a great example of “Chiascuro” lighting used by great master painters like Rembrandt. The placement of the gate at the bottom edge of the foreground lets the viewer in to the safety of the solid stone structure.  The fence and the lighting keep the viewer’s eyes on the center of interest.  Very well done!" - Hank Erdmann

Congratulations Amateur Winner "Grand Barn " by megansimmons

Grand Barn  by megansimmons - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

Congratulations People's Choice "Mormon Row Evening" by janeortlieb

Mormon Row Evening by janeortlieb - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Wolff Barn" by bradstinson

Wolff Barn by bradstinson - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"'This Small Place Called Home'" by kriswilliams

'This Small Place Called Home' by kriswilliams - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"The Farmer's Life" by Grestrepo13

The Farmer

"Apple Tree in the Fog" by ThankYouPlease

Apple Tree in the Fog by ThankYouPlease - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"The Silent Witness" by Hope79

The Silent Witness by HopeCharmaine - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"maurice-roses2" by matthewburlile

maurice-roses2 by matthewburlile - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Sunset on the Farm" by diversionphotography

Sunset on the Farm by diversionphotography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Wilder Barn" by DEGrabenstein

Wilder Barn by DEGrabenstein - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Nuns Cross Farm" by artursomerset

Nuns Cross Farm by artursomerset - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"The Puddle & the Barn" by martijnvdnat

The Puddle & the Barn by martijnvdnat - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Little Wrangler" by Giddeyupimages

Little Wrangler by Giddeyupimages - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"abandoned homestead" by zenaj

abandoned homestead by zenaj - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Galaxy sunset" by HazerLive

Galaxy sunset by HazerLive - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Old Autumn Barn" by Troy-Hess

Old Autumn Barn by Troy-Hess - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Millcreek Barn " by victorattoh

Millcreek Barn  by victorattoh - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Long-term parking" by lenlangevin

"Abandoned Barn at Sunset" by chrismartintv

Abandoned Barn at Sunset by chrismartintv - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Karoo Sunset" by rudievanderberg

Karoo Sunset by rudievanderberg - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Marshlands" by Guthro_justin

Marshlands by Guthro_justin - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"An old barn" by ourgr8escape

"Sunset over Abandoned Barn" by atanudutta

Sunset over Abandoned Barn by atanudutta - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"IMG_7596_HDR" by alexegeland

Forgotten by alexegeland - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Stoyon's sunset" by KBorcherPhotography

Stoyon's sunset by KBorcherPhotography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Superman Barn, Breeza, NSW" by junalmario

Superman Barn, Breeza, NSW by junalmario - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Summer Farm" by Fahad08

Summer Farm by Fahad08 - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Empire Ranch" by SaguaroPictures

Empire Ranch by SaguaroPictures - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"~ BEYOND THE SAGEBRUSH ~" by jeanalee

~ BEYOND THE SAGEBRUSH ~ by jeanalee - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"The Thomas Barn" by KendraKPK

The Thomas Barn by KendraKPK - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Shelf Cloud Over Sugar Grove" by jodimair

Shelf Cloud Over Sugar Grove by jodimair - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"IMG_9903" by DrewHopper

IMG_9903 by DrewHopper - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Paxton Tractor" by TimDayPhotography

Paxton Tractor by TimDayPhotography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"The Barn" by chemcpherson

The Barn by chemcpherson - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Haynes Barn Flare" by DrewDesharnaisPhotography

"Daybreak On Mormon Row" by JanetDaniel

"Old Red Barn" by barbarahartmankirby

Old Red Barn by barbarahartmankirby - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"shedsunset2" by JMHmy87

shedsunset2 by JMHmy87 - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Teton Barn and Milky Way" by clhyre

Teton Barn and Milky Way by clhyre - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"_H2A4397 fb copy" by kirstyking-turner

_H2A4397 fb copy by kirstyking-turner - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"the house" by viorel87

the house by ViorelCaloean - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"aurora prints-77" by SheriS

aurora prints-77 by SheriS - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Softly Dramatic " by Booscountryphotography

Softly Dramatic  by Booscountryphotography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Grist Mill" by jamesvcase

Grist Mill by jamesvcase - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Chez Théo" by mafe

Chez Théo by mafe - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"iceland_olafsvik_cabin_northern_lights_01" by gilesrrocholl

iceland_olafsvik_cabin_northern_lights_01 by gilesrrocholl - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Under Stars" by SvetlanaYanina

Under Stars by SvetlanaYanina - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"operation desert storm" by agnieszkagulczynska

operation desert storm by agnieszkagulczynska - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Northern Lights from the inside of an old barn" by FranciscoBAguilar

Northern Lights from the inside of an old barn by FranciscoBAguilar - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Boat House" by HughCotter

Boat House by HughCotter - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Meadow Memories" by KarenHook

Meadow Memories by KarenHook - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Bodie California Fire House" by Bessieyoungphotography

Bodie California Fire House by Bessieyoungphotography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Bygone days" by clareahalt

Bygone days by clareahalt - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"He Will Take You There" by Effess

He Will Take You There by Effess - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Moulton Barn" by caseywithers

Moulton Barn by caseywithers - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Barn at Sunset" by photosbydeb

Barn at Sunset by photosbydeb - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Morning Barn" by bunlee

Morning Barn by bunlee - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Shaggy Bull and Barn" by Leepix

Shaggy Bull and Barn by Leepix - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Praire Barn" by kellysuchan

Praire Barn by kellysuchan - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Case 930 with Custom Cab" by dynastesgranti

Case 930 with Custom Cab by dynastesgranti - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Unrecorded History" by Waynerd

Unrecorded History by Wayne-Stadler-Photography - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Old Barn in Eastern Ontario" by FionaDonnelly

Old Barn in Eastern Ontario by FionaDonnelly - Farms And Barns Photo Contest

"Farm "somewhere in utah"" by mikeoutland

Farm "somewhere in utah" by mikeoutland - Farms And Barns Photo Contest