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Big Country. Small World.


Big Country. Small World.

What happens when a photographer from a big city, travels to parts of the country where few people live and posts those photos to the internet?

Well of course it just happens to be the relatives of someone who follows him on social media.

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but as a photographer, I knew the minute I drove up on this photo, it had classic Americana written all over it. Part of the Lost Americana series. Find out more at
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson.

Over the weekend I went on what was supposed to be a four and a half day road trip, more on that later, and had spent the majority of the first day in my home state of Illinois in what was a very Illinois weather for the fall; rain, clouds, wind, and cold. Still I managed to get some interesting photos and played hop-scotch with the storms thanks to weather maps on my phone (oh how things have changed since I started doing this in 1996).

The end of day 1 had me north of Springfield, Illinois and watching the clouds break apart, but of course as the sun started to go down. The sun and clouds were giving me some lovely colors and I was just looking for a subject to photograph when I saw the town of Cornland just ahead on Google Maps. I knew I needed to get a photo of the town sign and was just hoping that the good folks in Cornland took enough pride in that town to give me a nice sign. They did not disappoint. I was given a sign, bushes, a flag and pumpkin.

However, right before I got to town I noticed this little house over some train tracks and on a slight hill. The farm sat all alone outside of town looking like something out of a Normal Rockwell painting, just sitting there all pretty as the sun was fading. Before I could pull over a bank of trees blocked my view so I pulled a quick u-turn went back and made this photo above, along with several others.

The photo by itself was cool enough, but due to a my truck acting a little funny, I turned around and went home early the next day. Sad that I was missing out on 3 more days of travel and back at my home, I shared the photo on Instagram & Twitter. With in a few hours of posting I see this in my Twitter notifications. Seriously, what are the odds of this?


Turns out even in this big country it’s a small world. That tweet came from the wife of a guy who follows me on Twitter, after he found me via a farming podcast I was on with a guy in Oklahoma. Get’s even more surreal when a a fellow photographer in North Dakota who travels rural backroads mentions that he lived just down the road from Cornland for a couple of years.


Oh, and yeah. I got that town sign photo too. Thanks Cornland.

Part of the Lost Americana series. Find out more at
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson.

Interesting post script to this story. I had pretty much set my mind to it that I was going to drive out and see if I could get a mailing address of the mailbox of that house so I could send them a copy of the photo. With the sun going down and me scrambling to make photos with the light I forgot. All that was corrected when I got the address of from the niece of the couple who lives there.


Hey, I might shoot your relatives farm next. Don’t forget to follow me on all the social media channels.

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