Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, NY, Displays Photographer Brandt Bolding’s Photos of Farms in Dutchess, Columbia, and Montgomery Counties and the Berkshires, MA

One local photographer captures the beauty of a rapidly disappearing way of life

Brandt Bolding first became interested in Northeastern farms almost a decade ago when he got involved with the Dutch Barn Preservation Society. “I spent quite a bit of time going around New York State looking at all the farms that I had never seen before. I started shooting, and had quite a compendium of photographs at the end of the day,” says Brandt, a professional photographer and documentary filmmaker with a passion for historic preservation. “People became interested and started buying them.”

Originally, Brandt began shooting barns and other farm scenes that he stumbled upon while driving the roads of Dutchess and Columbia counties. But eventually, “I ended up developing relationships with the farmers, and now I see them all the time. I would say that they’re part of my family. I’m interested in helping them preserve a way of life, and they like that. They love the fact that somebody cares about what they do. Farmers wake up at 4 a.m. and finish at dark and never talk to anybody about their work. They don’t have anybody saying, ‘Hey, great crop of corn.’ So they appreciate  what I do. I make sure to invite them to my shows.”

Brandt admits that serendipity plays a part in capturing the perfect shot. “It always happens this way. I’m dead tired, I’ve run out of gas physically and mentally, and suddenly I see something I’ve never noticed before.”

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FARM: Agricultural Life of the Hudson Valley, an exhibit of Bolding’s photos, is on display at Olana State Historic Site daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Oct. 30. For more information about the photographer’s work, visit www.brandtbolding.com.

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