Downey, Idaho revisited

Downey, IdahoOn my last trip to Downey I was at the tail end of a 3 day weather system that came across Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. As I was photographing the grain elevators in Downey I got the dramatic light I was hoping for. Over the span of a few minutes the light went from a cool overcast grey to super dramatic. I like both images however at some point I will have to decide which one to keep as the portfolio image.


I would like to ask followers of Looking at the West which version of the scene they prefer and why.

14 thoughts on “Downey, Idaho revisited

  1. Andrew — Both are very nice images, well seen and crafted. I would probably pick the one with the dark sky for it’s “impact”, greater contrast in the wall and silo details, and the additional shadows in the lower left and lower right. Interesting subject matter!

    • The shot with the dark sky does have a lot of impact. The color and subject matter reminds me of early color photographs by Ansel Adams and Walker Evens when they were on commercial assignments. Thanks for being the first commenter.

  2. I’ll probably be in the minority, but I like the first photo with the light grey sky. It reminds me of a watercolor with a pale washed background. The detail in the building is delicate but seems to stand out more. It’s moody, but it’s more pensive than the second photo, which appears foreboding.

    I also admit, I lived in the Midwest for many years and saw a number of photos like the second one: a grain elevator against a darkening or pre-storm sky. It’s why the first one stands out to me, I think. Beautiful photographs, either way.

  3. The top photograph without a doubt. The muted palette fits the silence of the scene. The tonal range of the silver sky lets the buildings emerge on their own axis creating depth, where the dark sky compresses the space to two dimensions.

    • Ryan, I got this comment when I was traveling and did not realize it was you. PM me I might have a trip to Iceland this year.

  4. I love the balance between dark and light in the first photo. Must be a great place for high-fashion pictorials, especially for long gowns of red, black, blue and white silk. Sorry, that maybe off the wall, but really I see it perfect for the pictorials of America’s Next Stop Model. Great shots! :)

  5. This summer we return to Idaho to the headwaters of the family, the Wood River. We go to scatter the ashes of the youngest of my fathers siblings into that river, and recall his skills with the pen and ardent patriotism that called him to enlist and fight in Vietnam, rather than accept a scholarship to college.

  6. This is one of my favorite destinations. I love both images, but prefer the natural light of the first. It is very truthful and shows every bit of weather and age. Your photo os so crisp and clear–just perfect.

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