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Back to Iowa

I returned to Iowa after a year long hiatus.  I visited for the first time last year. This time I had new gear to try, and the flash tube in my Qaudra actually managed to hold itself together :). So optimism prevailed. And was rewarded.

Flying into Cedar Rapids certainly reinforced the stereotype of Iowa – corn, corn, and more corn. There are literally corn fields right across the street from the airport. And you drive through them on the way to and from.

Yet there is something strangely comforting about where we were headed. Perhaps, as I alluded to last time, it is the constancy of the land and the people there. An innocence. The simplicity of the farming life. A naive view, perhaps, but one that wouldn’t escape me. And reveals itself to be true.

Perhaps my favorite image there is of a familiar site – a certain mailbox, in the glow and color of the dawn on a rainy morning.


It’s been there a while. And will be for a while more. Patient. Like the land.

I loved the smell and the feeling of the farmland – something dramatically different from the Florida I call home. There are reminders everywhere.


An innocence, a resilience, an honesty. Florida seems new and dynamic, the teenager on the block. Iowa’s been there.

I was even blessed with a rainbow – over the corn. Of course.


Some folk decry the onslaught of technology in photography. I realize this has always been the case, even among the digital sect (not to mention film); the medium format guys are poo-pooing the new, BSI sensors in 35mm format that are, well, ahem, perhaps better(?!) than their larger sensors. The world upside down.

I don’t think I could have captured the image above – taken very early in very little light – without the high ISO capability of modern sensors. And this was made hand held. Amazing.

A place is not complete, though, without the people that inhabit it. Or those that did. :). Gotta include that corn, though!


And then there are those who, like the land, are timeless. Been there. Done that. Are wiser for it.


These are the people with stories worth listening to. And wisdom to absorb.

This is Dr. Speas – a retired large animal veterinarian. I love his expression, though he wears it often (as he should). He knows something, you see, that you don’t. He’s a gentle and wise man. Though, from what I understand, not always so – I wouldn’t want to tussle with him in his younger days. He wrestled horses and cattle for years. He’s what a friend of mine called “country strong.” He knows it. He just wants you to know it, too.

I took many images in Iowa, and have only just returned. I shot some video too, for the first time. I look forward to what is revealed in them.

And to return to those fields.

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