Len’s Pick of the Week: Weighing In at the Thresheree

Aug. 23, 2019

My pick of the week for this week is a photo of the antique tractors getting weighed in before the tractor-pull competition at the Valmy Thresheree on Aug. 17. The challenge is, how do you portray an event in just one photo? How do you give your viewer a sense of what it was like to be at the thresheree, even if the viewer might be seeing the image 50 or 100 years from now? I chose the weigh-in. 

The image shows the judge working the scale and the tractor being weighed, with the driver watching closely. In the background, another driver waits patiently. But what really makes the image for me is the man resting against the tree, watching the activity from a cool, shady spot. I made sure not to merge the tree branch with the driver on the tractor being weighed, but I used the curve of that branch to draw the viewer’s eye to the main subject, then to continue the gaze around to the man resting against the tree, keeping the viewer’s eyes in the frame.