Photo Story: Wyoming's Iconic Moulton Barn

This image of Moulton Barn in Jackson, Wyoming was taken 10 years ago next month, during a two week trip that took my wife and me in a rented car (a Ford Taurus… yuck!) from Salt Lake City to my brother’s home in Spokane, WA via the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

My brother's Nikon D40 plus 18-55 kit zoom.

"Moulton Barn"
Mormon Row, Jackson, WY
Nikon D40 with 18-55mm kit zoom @ 38mm
1/40sec, F13, ISO 220

The barn image was taken on my third day with my first dSLR.  Actually, it wasn’t even mine.  My brother (in Spokane) had just purchased a Nikon D40 with it’s 18-55 kit lens.  He’d been eyeing Nikon dSLRs and was waiting until a model was available for under $1,000.  That seems like a lot of money for this 6mp interchangeable lens camera and kit lens, but it is so easy for us to forget just how expensive those early dSLRs were.

I actually had no interest in having a photographic trip.  That’s hard for me to believe now, but I had planned only to take my little 3mp Panasonic point and shoot to document the trip. I had no interest (or so I thought) in lugging around anything larger and heavier.

So, I told my brother this and the next thing I knew a UPS truck dropped off at our house his brand new camera with a note to “use the hell out of it” and to return it to him when we arrived in Spokane.

Camera Set up.

I remember reading the manual on the plane.  The first day, as we drove from SLC to Jackson, Wyoming, I shot in the auto mode.  As I recall there was a green icon of some sort on the mode dial for the no-brainer mode.  Or was it a red heart?  Anyway, that was good for one day.  On the second day I switched to P mode, but since I knew nothing about EV compensation or white balance or ISO adjustments, it didn’t seem to me that P mode provided anything different than the Auto mode.  On the third day (when I took this picture) I switched to Aperture Priority (though I have no idea in the world why I chose F13 instead of, say, F5.6).  Aperture Priority is what I was used to, from 30 years before with a Nikon EL film camera.  

I do wish I had learned about white balance, ISO, EV compensation and RAW during the trip. All my images were shot as jpegs.  

This image is actually on a wall in my office as an 18” print.  It looks great, though because my eyes and my standards have changed over these 10 years, I do seem to be more and more bothered by the color blotches I see in the sky in the 18” print.  On the other hand, from a normal viewing distance, it isn’t noticeable.

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