Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Back to the Farm—2

July 4, 2021

As mentioned in numerous posts (including last week’s), our visits to our friend’s family’s farm in southwestern Pennsylvania are filled with great conversation, jigsaw puzzles, Rummikub games, and feasts. But we do get outdoors, too. Last month I took a few photographs of the grounds around the house and for the first time circumnavigated the neighbor’s hayfield.

1 The pine tree at the side of the house supports a variety of life.

2 Looking past the pine tree, you see the view beyond the driveway.

3 The catalpa tree isn’t quite as old as the house.

4 I wonder if the children who grew up here ever pretended, as I did, that catalpa blossoms were popcorn.

5 The backyard birdbath takes in the morning sun . . .

6 . . . and the afternoon rain.

7 Around the hayfield some views had many clouds . . .

8 . . . this one just one . . .

9 . . . this one none.

10 A few trees look as if they had been planted in the field.

11 Some clouds had a pinkish tinge long before sunset.

12 A break in the surrounding woods afforded this view, so different from the flatlands where I live.



33 responses

  1. Looks like Virginia creeper climbing up the tree in your first picture.
    Were you sorry to leave that hilly terrain and head back to the flatter land where you live? Or was it still a case of home, sweet home?
    Catalpa blossoms as popcorn is a new one on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 4, 2021 at 10:42 PM

    • It was both, Steve. At least I get to see and photograph the cliffs along the nearby Vermilion River; they’re some break in the flat terrain. I would turn my tricycle upside down and put catalpa flowers into the fender of the front wheel, and turn the pedals, making the “popcorn” fly out of the “popcorn popper.”

      Liked by 1 person

      July 5, 2021 at 11:20 AM

  2. Of greens and blues and clouds.. 🙂 Fine set; gives a good impression of the place.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 5, 2021 at 2:14 AM

    • Thanks, Harrie. There’s nary a bad impression to be given.


      July 5, 2021 at 11:22 AM

  3. sandy siebenschuh

    These are truly beautiful, Linda, and evocative of a wonderful time at the Farm. I can see again, in my mind’s eye, the road we took on our walk, the fields we passed, the clouds in the big sky, and mostly the welcoming warmth of the old farmhouse and grounds. I’m saving every single photo.


    July 5, 2021 at 6:39 AM

    • Thank you, Sandy. It was great to share those experiences with you. I’m glad you find these photos evocative of our time there.


      July 11, 2021 at 9:06 AM

  4. Your writing is as lovely as your images. Love the view of the birdbath as seen through the rain on the window.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 5, 2021 at 8:35 AM

    • Thank you, Clare. I’m especially happy that you like that rain photograph. I decided at the last minute to include it.


      July 5, 2021 at 11:23 AM

  5. Leslie Oregon

    What a sense of peace this series evokes. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 5, 2021 at 3:40 PM

    • You’re welcome, Leslie. I’m glad you found a sense of peace this series. I always find peace here—when I’m not trying to beat the others in Rummikub. But that kind of excitement is easy to take.


      July 5, 2021 at 4:20 PM

  6. Lovely pictures, Linda – especially 6. But these aren’t the underexposed ones you mentioned from the farm, are they??? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2021 at 3:12 AM

    • Thanks, Adrian. Most of the underexposed photos from this trip to the farm are in the previous post, but #3 in this post was horribly underexposed. Thank goodness for Lightroom and the Z7 ii’s 45-megapixel sensor. Glad you like #6.


      July 8, 2021 at 7:23 PM

      • As you hold the Z7 up to your eye, just under your right thumb is the AF-ON button, and just to the right of that is a big black knurled dial, the Main Command Dial, which can very conveniently be rotated with your thumb – when you rotate that dial, the picture in the viewfinder will become lighter or darker, depending on which way you rotate the dial; and in the bottom of the viewfinder a linear scale will appear, telling you how much over- or underexposure you are applying. Remember, the picture you see in the viewfinder is exactly how the picture will be. 🙂


        July 9, 2021 at 4:08 AM

        • I have not been paying attention to that linear scale, Adrian! Thank you for drawing my attention to it. I had figured out that the viewfinder was WYSIWYG, but that doesn’t help me enough, obviously. Maybe I need to think harder, evaluate more carefully.


          July 10, 2021 at 5:24 PM

          • Yes, I really do think that you realise just how WYSIWYG the electronic viewfinder is – far, FAR different from the optical viewfinders in SLRs/DSLRs. It might be good for you to look through the viewfinder and, while you are doing that, to use your right thumb to rotate the large nurled control just right of AF-ON >>> you will SEE the viewfinder image getting lighter and darker, and see the linear scale changing as it does so. When you press the shutter button (assuming you’re using AF-ON), the image you will capture is exactly what you are seeing in the viewfinder. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            July 11, 2021 at 4:29 AM

          • Another thing to think about is Depth of Field aka Depth of Focus which is the amount of the image that is acceptably sharp. The Z7’s viewfinder shows accurate DOF down to f5.6 but not at smaller apertures. I’ve converted the Fn1 function button on the camera’s front to act as a full DOF button, ie just as we had on SLR and film cameras.


            July 11, 2021 at 4:42 AM

            • I don’t often open wider than ƒ5.6, but I’ll try to remember what you say. I have not set the function buttons yet, so I may do what you have done. Have you assigned the Fn2 button?


              July 11, 2021 at 9:11 AM

              • The Fn buttons are very useful. Fn1 is depth of field preview, and I’ve set Fn2 to quickly move between Single (for still subjects) and Continuous (for moving subjects) autofocus, by holding Fn2 down and rotating the big knurled control just right of AF-ON. Also, holding down the red Movie Record button and rotating the knurled control lets me change v speedily between full frame and DX (=APS-C) format.

                Liked by 1 person

                July 11, 2021 at 9:22 AM

      • And while I think of it, what sort of exposure metering are you using – matrix, centre-weighted or spot? 🙂


        July 9, 2021 at 4:09 AM

        • I had been using spot metering but switched a few days ago to matrix. Somehow—maybe that same day—I set ISO to automatic, which I think messed up some of the photos I took today. But just now I Googled how to turn that setting off and did. Do you think that was the right thing to do?


          July 10, 2021 at 5:33 PM

          • Yes, that was the right thing to do – lots like Auto ISO but I’ve never been able to persuade myself its for me. Spot metering is very precise, so you’re better off, at least for now, with matrix or centre-weighted – and again, you can SEE the results of using different types of metering in the viewfinder. In spot and centre-weighted metering, pushing in the sub-selector joystick locks the exposure, so that you can recompose the shot without the exposure changing. Sorry if all this sounds a bit complicated, but these really are the basics that you (and I) need to know for basic photography; there are many other bits of my Z6 that I know nothing about, but these are not useful to me, at least for now. 🙂


            July 11, 2021 at 4:54 AM

  7. Lovely shots of a lovely place on this earth, Linda. Love catalpa blossoms but the pods, not so much. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2021 at 3:27 AM

    • Thanks, Steve. Guess you’ll have to give your catalpa pods to Lynn (bluebrightly). See her comment below.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2021 at 7:25 PM

  8. “Idyllic, rural, summer and quiet” — the first four words that came to mind.
    😊Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2021 at 9:21 AM

  9. Wow! That is some place. How wonderful. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 8, 2021 at 5:50 AM

  10. Such a pleasure, Linda! I like seeing the field explored like that, and then the wooded edge of the field (#13) comes as a welcome surprise. The pastoral look in #2 & #12 is familiar from upstate NY – and the parts of Germany we drove through also had that look. Your appreciation is clear in the photos. I would never have guessed the outside of the farmhouse looks the way it does – what a celebration of light those windows are! Very modern but keeping the classic symmetry intact. We didn’t have Catalpa trees where/when I grew up but I would see them later – those long seed pods are so much fun! But I don’t remember the blossoms – popcorn, I can see that in your photo. The rainy window is a good addition to the mix. #7 & #10 might be my favorites but I’m not sure. It would be nice if you could get back in the fall…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 8, 2021 at 12:33 PM

    • They are fun….if on someone else’s property. 🙂 We’ve no catalpas on ours but I have known a few folks with one or two and the clean up is a pain. They are quite prolific and make a bit of a mess, especially if they sit for a while and start to decay.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2021 at 3:04 AM

    • I’m hoping to get back in the fall, if for nothing else (hah) than to reshoot the front of the house with a proper exposure. I’d love to see what you would do with that hayfield. I kept searching for compositions in the surrounding woods but didn’t find any worth sharing. Maybe Steve Gingold will give you his catalpa pods. Thanks for commenting, Lynn.


      July 10, 2021 at 5:34 PM

      • WordPress won’t let me put this reply where it belongs. Grrrrr.


        July 10, 2021 at 5:37 PM

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