Green Hills Literary Lantern


Cover illustration:
"The Comfy Chair"
a photograph by Coleman Rogers

(click here to visit his website)

"I came upon this building by accident - I was out on an overcast Sunday morning, driving with my eyes wide open in search of something else altogether. Sometimes, I have specific compositions in mind when I set out, but other times I will have a theme in mind and I try to not drive off the road as I search for an image that fits my concept. On that Sunday morning, I went out to take photos at a local farm. A small wagon and signpost near some railroad tracks had caught my eye while driving past a few days before. The architecture of this building looked interesting as I drove past and I stopped to investigate. As I walked around the structure, I noticed that the door was ajar and I cautiously pushed my way in. I was surprised to find a single room, two stories tall with very little inside except some wonderful diffused light, a carpet of rotting paper and the stray bits and pieces of a business that had gone under long ago. It was immediately clear to me that this space held many possibilities for interesting images. I had to make a sly trip back to the car to gather my tripod and the appropriate camera."

"My goal for this photograph was to imply a story by using found elements; I wanted to capture this photograph without manipulating the surroundings. The first important feature for me here is the debris on the seat, implying that no one has sat here for quite some time. The layers of decaying newspaper and reading material are a statement on their own, a collection strewn and then abandoned. The textures and lines of the beams, leading my eye to the wall decoration with no wall, provided a frame for the chair. In this photograph, the range of values presented a difficult challenge. The light coming in the window lit the skeleton of the building, the shadows in the background partially obscured the piles of broken equipment. I admit to bracketing this shot: I made a series of 7 captures, adjusting the exposure time in half-stop increments. My intention was to use this series of exposures to create a synthetic high-dynamic range piece where the details in the highest and lowest exposure values are brought out (HDR photography). After viewing the individual exposures, I felt strongly that this single exposure emoted the story that had developed in my head."

"I captured this image using 35mm color film in my Maxxum 7 body with a Zeiss zoom lens, the combination mounted on a tripod and triggered remotely. It took some time to get the perspective that I wanted, standing on my stepladder, balancing on the carpet of paper. I do not have the exact specs for the focal length, aperture or speed; I wanted the entire image in focus, so a small aperture with a corresponding long exposure time of 4 or 8 seconds would have been used. My use of a neutral color film was intended to reinforce the bleak resulting image."

--Coleman Rogers, June 2010