First Things

Picture Perfect

| February 2006

One picture, the old saying notes, is worth a thousand words. Never has that been more true than in this issue of Farm Collector, in which we feature five pages of photographs taken by our readers.

The project was born of necessity: Readers were deputized in order to help Farm Collector get a broader look at the shows held coast to coast each year. With your help, we traveled farther than seemed possible, and saw things in a whole new way.

We saw original paint on creaking old wooden threshers, bird's-eye views of a vast display of Massey equipment, and rear tire chats. We saw a fabulous series of images of a horse-powered push header in action against amber fields and impossibly blue skies. We saw unabashed affection for fellow collectors in warm and inviting portraits. We saw - and you will, too - pride in American agriculture, commitment to preservation of a way of life, and the simple pleasure of a common interest. And we saw smiles - bushels of smiles.

The only wrinkle we encountered in this project was technology. When taking photos with a digital camera, if there is any possibility at all that the photograph will be published, photographers must adjust their camera settings to the largest size image possible. Other than that, all went smoothly, and we are grateful to all who contributed images and information for this feature.

Just outside my office window, the ground is covered with a blanket of snow topped by a crusty glaze of sleet. We're in for the duration. No matter: I look at the photo on page 18 of a steamer at sunrise, and I can feel the promise of a hot summer day … the kind of day sized up before 7 a.m., when one makes hour-by-hour plans carefully engineered to avoid any overlap of maximum exertion and maximum temps. Can you feel the humidity? Can you smell the coal burning? Enjoy a final look at the show season of 2005!

Leslie McManus, Editor