PDN Photo of the Day

The Simple Life

The farmhouse, an icon of the leafy, winding roads and staggering farm lands of rural New England, is more than just an emblem of the American homestead. Many of these dwellings stand as relics of the Dutch, English, French and Scotch settlers who built these simple structures as early as the seventeenth century. This series of photographs, by Brooklyn, New York-based architectural photographer Trevor Tondro, were made for his forthcoming book, A Simpler Way of Life: Old Farmhouses of New York & New England, to be released by Norfleet Press in Fall 2013. His images are a chronicle of the cozy, rustic interiors and painterly exteriors of these modest structures, made by carpenters and farmers in the New York and New England countryside.

—Lindsay Comstock

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  1. Wow! All are suffused with a remarkable calm and stillness that feels eternal. I can feel the early morning dew on my face in the photo of Alna farmstead. Simply beautiful!

  2. Artists speak of chiaroscuro, the value of light. Trevor uses illumination with a focused intensity in the interior shots to dramatize the texture of a pillow, the stripes on a bed cover, or the grain of old wood. These details are elements, small dramas, that make these rooms tell their stories. The photographs catch history: they’re haunting!

  3. The expressive interplay of texture and light entice the eye, beckoning us to explore the storied lives of these houses, and wonder at the generations who gave life to these resplendent spaces.

  4. Hello Trevor,

    I am a person who finds beauty in being simple, and found your photography absolutely beautiful! Pictures take me on a journey to places I may never have an opportunity to visit. Thanks for sharing your work. Wishing you the best!

  5. What is most striking to me is the intensity of each photo. It’s as if you were really in the room or on the farm. I feel like I’m actually at the top of that staircase, worried about being careful not to trip and fall.

  6. These are fantastic, perhaps some of the best examples of photos where I feel that I’m actually in the space that I’ve ever seen. I really appreciate your eye for light and color – I love the images where the brightest color is off-centered or balanced by very neutral colors.

  7. Love these images. I am big fan of Trevor’s work an enjoy his pieces in the NY Times. Nice to see a photographer who can capture the essence of both rural and urban spaces.

  8. Look at how the wood steps have worn; it makes you wonder about the folks who lived there. I’ve always loved available lighting from windows – and I love the sloping ceilings. So cozy. Old houses and barns are so comforting I think, like big old trees. They’ve been around a long time and have seen so much, but they’ll never tell. It’s like they’re old souls, comfortable with themselves. Love all these shots.

  9. Extraordinarily beautiful photos, with an indescribable sense of stillness and immutability…windows streaming light…they touch the paranormal, the richness of old wood and a sense of pride in spareness and simplicity. Vermeer comes to mind, so does Andrew Wyeth.

  10. Trevor, you have done an amazing job of using the light to sculpt the elements in these spaces, drawing our eyes to the textures and shapes of these simple farmhouse spaces, giving them depth and life. I especially like the farmhouse road lined with trees, whose muddy path beckons us towards the farmhouse. I can imagine myself walking this path on a damp early spring morning. I look forward to seeing your book in print! Thank you for taking us to these wonderful spaces.

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