1981 IH 1086

Painted with Light
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Media Name: 1086_for_web.jpg
Photographer Mark Jenson shot the January image for the Farmall Calendar 2017. Mark is a light painter, meaning each image is lit with flashlights. He works in the dark, and the end result are lovely images. He provided a few words about his work. 

The year 1981 might be one of the most fascinating times in International Harvester history. That isn’t to say it was one of the best times. The American economy was in the tank, with interest rates and unemployment at historic highs. The farm economy was even worse, and reached the lowest point since the Great Depression. At Harvester, a combination of a high debt load, low profit margins, and sales that were below projections were causing massive troubles for the company. The new 88 series tractors brought much-needed updates and technology to the line, but the 86 series machines were still being sold off. This one was made in the last year of 1086 production, and is now owned by Jason Viney of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. The machine was junk when they bought it in 2014. The family installed a new TA, motor, wiring, and more to bring the machine back to life. A paint job is in the future for the machine, although the patina on it in the photo above is lovely. This image was done by guest photographer and light painter Mark Jenson, using flashlights and a lot of time and care to create a special image of a historic machine.

By Mark Jenson

The kind of photography that I specialize in is called light painting, or painting with light, and is something that I have been working with for over 15 years.  After finding the subject, I talk with the owner about their wants and wishes for the shot.  I secure a location for photographing the subject after dusk, once it is pitch black outside.

I photograph with no strobes or giant flood lights. I only use 4-5 different flashlights and a few things that I have made over the years.   Once the sun is set, I take long exposures and place light on the subject where I need it.  Some photos can take many minutes to photograph, while others may take up to a half an hour. On most nights, if I can get one almost-perfect shot in 3 to 5 hours, it is a good night.  

For the 1086 tractor, I shot the photos for 3 hours and photographed approximately 10 shots to make one final image. Being out in the middle of a field, or on a farm after dark, with all the noises, and quietness is very moving. I love taking hours shooting these great tractors, painting light into the camera, and taking what some owners think of as a simply tractor into my art.

Mark Jenson is the fantastic photograher who helped create the spectacular January image of the 1086 Farmall tractor for 2017's Farmall Calendarand his work can be viewed at his personal website here.  Here are some more images of Mark's elegant light-painting. Don't miss the fantastic thresher image at the end!

Mark Jenson provided the January image in the Farmall Calendar 2017