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A pair of grain elevators sit alone on top of a ridge near Shonkin, Montana. → Buy a Print

If you drive through rural America you would have a hard time not seeing a grain bin. And because they are so ubiquitous, you would probably also have a hard time remembering you did so. Grain bins, you see, are probably the most utilitarian object on the rural landscape; designed to be more useful and practical than attractive. Like the lonely period that ends a sentence, though, grain bins serve a very useful purpose. I photograph a lot of them when making photographs of rural America. I suppose this is my tribute those short silver structures that dot the rural American landscape.

Some call them silos. Other people call them farm bins. No matter what you call them, we know grain bins are used to store…grain. Such as wheat, barley, soybeans, corn, and so many other crops. Most are round, though some are square. You will see at least one photo of a square bin in this collection of 20+ photos of grain bins. I think the reason most grain bins are round is because I think it is easier to empty a bin without corners. But what do I know.

Photographing grain storage may not be glamorous, but grain bins often serve as much a useful purpose to my photography as they do farmers. For starters, after driving across miles and miles of rural Montana landscapes, grain bins are often the only man-made structure you will see. And when I photograph a landscape I like to punctuate it with some sort of object. Doing so helps to provide depth and scale and helps to accentuate a photograph of a landscape.

This latest installment of 20+ photos features some of my photos that include grain bins. Some are new, and some are old. Some are shiny, and some are rusty. Some are alone, and some are joined by many other grain bins. And while some might find grain bins boring, I think their simplicity and very simple design mean they are beautiful in their own way.

To see more collections of my photos be sure to visit my Photo Galleries page.

Rural Sign Post
Photo Contest Finalist (Twice)

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