Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Light, oh glorious photographic light June 5, 2014

Corn sprouts along Minnesota Highway 60 east of Faribault. Photographed around 7:45 p.m.

Crops emerge in fields along Minnesota State Highway 60 east of Faribault. Photographed around 7:45 p.m.

LIGHT. Therein lies a factor that can make or break a photo.

Any student of photography covets the golden hour, that time around sunrise and sunset when light softens and sets a magical mood and tone.

A gravel road shoots off

A gravel road shoots off 220th Street East southeast of Faribault.

Monday evening, driving to and from a friend’s rural acreage east of Faribault to gather buckets of rhubarb, moody skies and light drew me to raise my camera, to fire off a few rapid shots of the landscape.

A decaying farm site along 220th Street East.

This windmill and decaying barn and silo caught my eye along 220th Street East.

There was no time to pause and compose, only snap through the rolled down passenger side window of the van.

Back in town, that sweet sweet light, although fading, still mingled with hovering grey skies that threatened more rain.

Several blocks from my home, Willow Street intersects with Minnesota State Highway 60. To the left is the home, now a museum, of founding father, Alexander Faribault.

Several blocks from my home, Willow Street intersects with Minnesota State Highway 60, right, and Division Street, left. To the left is the home, now a museum, of founding father, Alexander Faribault.

Again, I lifted my camera, this time shooting through the windshield, to capture a few images of this place I’ve called home for 32 years.

A portion of historic downtown Faribault in the fading light of day.

A portion of historic downtown Faribault in the fading light of day.

Historic buildings define downtown Faribault. I love this downtown for its quaintness, its history, its small town feel (although Faribault, in my opinion, is not a small town with nearly 30,000 residents).

Historic buildings define the downtown area.

Historic buildings define downtown Faribault.

I often wonder why locals and outsiders seem not to value this historic district with the same enthusiasm shown to similar historic Minnesota communities like Stillwater, Red Wing and Hastings, even neighboring Northfield.

Such were my thoughts during the golden hour of sunset.

Β© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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22 Responses to “Light, oh glorious photographic light”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Lovely pictures of your beloved Faribault. πŸ™‚ I am sure there are many who share your love of your town.

    • Oh, yes, I didn’t mean to imply (or is it infer) that others don’t appreciate Faribault. They do. I just don’t see the same level of interest from visitors. And sometimes I think we become so accustomed to what we have that we overlook or don’t appreciate it.

      • Beth Ann Says:

        Exactly. I think we often don’t appreciate what we have right in front of us—at least I know it is true for me. And I did not mean that you inferred that others do not appreciate the beauty in Faribault. It is obvious from your downtown that many do!

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    The “locals” are ever-seeing but not. The “out-of-towners” gravitate toward more ‘touristy quaint’=downtown Stillwater, Red Wing/St. James Hotel, Hastings’ downtown antique shops, etc, Northfield’s chic college/up-scale coffee house/shops tree lined street. Although I enjoy wandering through such haunts, they are there to indulge/create/cater to our “wants” and gladly take our $$$$. More “stuff” that may make our personal places a bit more fun (such as the lady bug kitchen timer I have!!!!). Such enticing spots are carefully crafted to attract. Historic spots/buildings, etc, either fascinate or not (which is why DH and I adore the East Coast…….it just oozes with historic vibes!!!!).

  3. Dan Traun Says:

    I believe it is paramount to never lose sight of the past, the History and stories of days gone by. Venturing forward, no matter what it is, doesn’t seem to have the same meaning without the benefit of how things came to be. Love love love the golden hours – definition vary; mine is more than an hour on either end of the spectrum. Clouds impact the light a great deal. They can make or break a sunrise or sunset shoot.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response, Dan. Spoken from the perspective of one gifted photographer. Readers, if you have not checked out this Red Wing photographers work, please do. You will be impressed, as I am.

  4. Loving your captures πŸ™‚ That is what really draws me in with photography with the light and focusing in on the details. Happy Thursday!

  5. Jackie Says:

    I’m an old-historic-town-kind-of-girl too Audrey, We have a few of those old buildings left in Rochester, many have been restored, but have the same historic presence. Rick and I sat on the deck last evening and marveled at the beautiful sky, I had all I could do to not get up and jump in the car. I was really surprised we didnt get any rain out of those clouds….just prettiness πŸ™‚

  6. Ooh….very nice. I especially love the photo of the windmill and broken-down silo. The light not only triggers your photographer’s brain….it nudges you to think deeply about what you see in front of you.

  7. Clouds make for such interesting photos. Thanks for sharing these. The dead end road is my favorite.


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