By Scott Shephard
I hope you can handle the rather dramatic change in this blog from the vibrant flowers and ferns of the last few days to this black and white image of an abandoned farmstead north of Watertown, South Dakota. Since one of my high school teachers taught me the word, I've been fascinated by the concept of "juxtaposition," which is the intentional use of contrasting subjects to create dramatic effect. And so today, I am juxtaposing.
I took this photo in 2011 and within a year, this house and it outbuildings were gone - bulldozed, removed and replace by rows of corn. South Dakota remains a largely rural state though the growth in population from 2000 to 2010 has been largely to the urban areas. In fact, overall, there have been some dramatic changes in where people live in the United States. In 1800 94% of her people lived in rural surroundings. By 1990 only 25% could say the same.
This farmhouse, which was probably built in the early 1900s and abandoned sometime in the 1970s is perhaps a fitting symbol of our nation's population shift. With that shift has come a cultural shift on many fronts. Today I look at this photo and wonder what the impact of this shift has on how we see nature, how we see the land, and how we treat our neighbors.
Canon 5DII 1/40s f/5.6 ISO250 47mm