It was 5. February 2011. My wife and I had landed in New York two days ago for a two-week vacation in the United States. For the first few days, we would split ways after landing in New York. I headed north to Illinois to attend the Ronald Reagan Centennial celebration, she preferred the warm beaches in South Beach, Florida where I was to meet her later.
On the day before this picture was taken I landed in Chicago. It had been a fierce winter storm and the Chicago airport was closed down, forcing me to spend a night in New York before I could continue to Illinois.
I woke up in Dixon and started on the drive to Tampico after a short breakfast. It was a crisp winter morning. After driving for about an hour I was struck by the contrasts of the bare landscape. I felt so alone. It was just me and the rental car, hardly any other traffic. For a long stretch, it was nothing to see, except snow covered fields and the occasional old farmhouse. So peaceful and quiet, but at the same time bare, cold and unwelcoming.
In photography, I’m mostly into cityscapes and low-light urban motives. I seldom find motives in rural settings. I think it was the contrasts that gave me inspiration.
I parked the car at the side of the road and turned around, looking back in the direction I came from. The result is the picture below. It was something about the gritty asphalt, the contrasts between the trees and the snow and the sky, that just clicked. When looking at this picture, I can still feel the chill and hear the light sound of the wind blowing.