Rustic Lens

Von Berge Ranch Part 1- Fenn, Idaho

Last year, on one of my exploring trips driving around the Camas Prairie I saw a collection of really cool old rustic buildings set back off the road a bit.  I was actually looking for something to shoot for a weekly challenge and decided to try to get a good shot of these old farm buildings from the road. I didn’t know who owned the property, so I didn’t want to drive out to them. At that point I decided that someday I would find out who owned it and see if I could get permission.

Idaho farm buildings

A few months later I had a booth set up at the Dogwood Festival in Lewiston Idaho to showcase my prints. It was on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday the wind blew so hard that it blew another vendors canopy over and then it rained. Saturday and Sunday were both rainy also. All the poor weather made for a poor turnout of people, but one family that came through my booth was from the same town as me. It was another business man from Grangeville that I have dealt with a few times, Mike Hauger. He didn’t know that I am a photographer as he knows me as the Subway guy. After looking at my beautiful prints of old buildings and ghost towns, he mentioned that he has a piece of property near Fenn that has an old water tower and other old buildings on it. He told me I was welcome to go take pictures if I would like. He started to describe where it was after a few words, I knew exactly which place it was. It was the one that I had been meaning to try to get permission to go to. Well, I sold a few pieces at the festival, but not enough to pay for the booth rent so this was the best thing to come out of the whole experience. I was also commissioned to shoot another old building for someone’s birthday present but you’ll have to wait for that blog as the birthday is still coming up.

Of course I couldn’t wait for a chance to go check this place out and one day on the way back from Lewiston, the clouds in the blue sky were just too good to pass up and I detoured out to this ranch to explore.

old farm water tower

That water tower is so cool! Mike didn’t want me to go inside and risk getting hurt, but I risked my camera and tripod by setting it just inside the door and getting this next shot.

hdr inside abandoned water tower

Next I moved on to one of the old barns and it turned out to have interesting shots of very different scenes on each of three sides of it.

old Idaho barn

This is exactly the grungy and rustic type of place that first stoked my interest in photography. This next couple shots are HDR (high dynamic range) so that I could capture the bright details in the sky and also the shadowy goodness inside the barn.

hdr inside the barn

I love the textures in that old wood. The next one shows a piece of equipment that I was wondering about. Mike said it’s an old grain mill to make flour.

old farm grain mill

Talk about the photographer’s paradise! The farther I explored on the property the more awesomeness I found. This old tractor is amazing in it’s rustic crustiness.

old harvester

Mike said they pulled it out of the barn about 20 years ago.  For the sake of keeping this post manageable, I have limited the number of photos I put up here.  There are more awesome shots in my FULL GALLERY that I highly encourage you to check out. Since this day out on the ranch, I started researching the property and trying to find any info I could on it. I found some really cool stuff, but you will have to wait for part 2 to see it.  Part 2 will also be some amazing sunset shots that I got here when I took my son-in-law William out with me to capture the beautiful light on these rustic structures.

The camera and software gear used in these shots is listed below:
Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only (Black) (ILCE7RM2/B)

Sony SEL24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Zoom Lens for Mirrorless Cameras

Rokinon FE14M-E 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Sony E-mount and Fixed Lens for Other Cameras

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom)

ON1 Effects 10 FREE

Thanks for reading my post! If you click on any of those links, I will get a commission that will help me bring more of these stories to you. You can also order prints and wall art of any of the pictures above or in the gallery by clicking on the picture. Watch for Part 2 as the story and pictures are even better!

Do you like to explore?

Evan Jones

I am a landscape and travel photographer who is drawn to old and rusty stuff as well as beautiful landscapes. I like to explore the backroads of the Northwest United States and anywhere else I can get to. My blog is at


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