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Tag Archives: one-room schoolhouse

Surprises

One of the things about photography that never fails to fascinate me are it’s surprises. Going through a new set of freshly taken photos is like waking up on Christmas morning for me — there are things you find that you didn’t expect.

On a summer vacation trip years ago to central Kansas, we were visiting the small farming town of Goessel, where my father was born and grew up. We stopped into the model one-room schoolhouse, very much like the one he went to as a boy. It was like stepping back in time — small wooden desks, chalkboard at the front, pedal-organ for singing, and no air-conditioning (it was a Kansas-hot summer!)

I decided this was a great opportunity to try a “stitch” photo with our Powershot point-and-shoot, where several frames are taken in sequence, side-by-side, and later fitted together in post-processing to make one long image. I took several frames around the room and finally ended with this one, not very aware of the composition I was making at the time. Upon seeing it later at home, I found it to be one of my favorite images of the trip. The quality of the light, the arrangement of the space, the little girl looking through the book at the desk at that moment. And this from a point-and-shoot camera!

The surprise I got was that sometimes technology is not as important as being at the right place at the right time — and “feeling” the moment.