No words needed here other than the title to this post.
Since I was a young boy growing up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Little Rock Arkansas I have been attracted to the “edges of water.” Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and the ocean. Makes no difference what the circumstances were at the time, if there was any water in nature about, I wanted to be near it. For a few years we lived very close to the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina. Sitting on the porch of our home there, I gazed daily at the beach front less than 500 yards away. Still, that was often not close enough for me, so I walked and ran along the sandy inter-tidal zone, enjoying myself tremendously. Why? Because I was at the water’s edge. After we moved much farther inland to SW Virginia, I was fortunate to once again have ample opportunities to seek out and find beautiful shorelines such as the one pictured above. Thus, when I go out with my camera I will find myself being drawn to sights like the ones below. At the waters edge.
Age and accompanying health issues have given me a “new normal” when it comes to going into “the woods” A few years ago it was normal for me to pick a general destination, put on my sturdy hiking boots, load a back pack including at least one camera, and then hike long, winding trails in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of SW Virginia. Circumstances have changed for me today but my desire to get into that environment has not diminished at all. Now I typically drive to various locations near our home, park, and then walk shorter distances with my camera in hand to find photo compositions as they are placed before me by the good Lord — who always makes sure I have opportunities that He leaves up to me to take advantage of, which I always do. Some digital images I capture never get past the screen of my laptop during post processing. Others, like the one above and below, wind up here on my photo blog for you to enjoy. Nature’s beauty awaits if you will just get out and experience it.
Quite by accident (or luck) I spotted this very interesting and somewhat colorful tree fungus growing outward like a shelf about six inches wide on the tree’s base. That set me off to look for other fungus, no matter the kind. But first I decided to get a close-up view of the above image.
Close in, the fungus looks like “snow” (to me anyway). Continuing along, I saw a large boulder in a neighbor’s yard, and on it I spotted some green fungus on top.
Looking close again gives a much different view of what was there. This is why getting in close to a subject can be very interesting, depending on the subject.
Once again, photography is all about having fun and always keeping your eyes open for interesting compositions.
It was a beautiful sunny day this Saturday past when I went to Fairy Stone State Park near our home in SW Virginia. It’s a very popular place because of its beautiful lake and surrounding hiking trails. Only non-motor powered water craft such as canoes and kayaks are allowed on the fishing and recreational lake, so it’s usually a relatively quiet location. That is when the swimming area is closed for the season as it was the day I was there. In the summer when it’s fully opened, the noise of joyful kids and others swimming and running about the sandy, man-made beach overwhelms your senses.
As I approached the long boat dock with canoes lined up, I glanced out on the lake to see how many were out there exploring with happy paddlers on board. But, looking about I saw no one on the water; just these canoes lined up.
But when I looked behind on the dock area I saw definite evidence that there were indeed canoeists out there, shoeless and probably a bit wet.
Looking at the lake in front of me again, I saw no canoes on the water. But, that did not mean that they were not out there somewhere, probably in some remote cove looking for whatever nature had to offer them this day. I’ve paddled just about every foot of Fairy Stone Lake during the time we’ve lived here. It’s a wonderful place and the peace in spirit that results from just being there is something I will forever cherish.
I spent most of my professional life working around “dirt” in some fashion, having spent almost 30 years as an Army Engineer at home and abroad. Thus when our two girls were young they listened to me talk about what I was doing, and sometimes saw first hand what that was. One of them coined the term “pickin’up dirt thing” to refer to any sort of heavy construction equipment they saw. Recently, we hired a local construction guy to come demolish our in-ground swimming pool, and to then dump loads of fill dirt into the resulting hole. Yesterday, looking out the window at the Case front-loader sitting out back waiting to complete the job, I laughed to myself when I said, “There sits a pickin’ up dirt thing.” Then, I was inspired to make some close up, and somewhat unique black and white photos of it, just to be a bit creative. So here you go!
I have sort of gotten into the habit of posting (on Fridays) a mix of photos with no common theme, except that I like them. I make many photos during the week mainly because I usually have at least one camera handy (like my iPhone 5S) and I like to keep my eyes moving around for interesting subjects and compositions. So here we go for today.
Years ago I picked up the term “God Beams” from one of the professional photographers I follow. That’s what I saw on an early morning walk in our neighborhood, with the sun rays poking down from the opening in the clouds. After I got some distance from home I started looking at the sky and regretted I had not carried one of my cameras along. Then I remembered my iPhone 5S, which has an excellent camera. Lots could be written as a caption to this photo.
This image is of grass and other debris sitting in the middle of a fairly large shallow puddle on the street at the end of a cul-d-sac where I was walking after a rain storm. Normally the grass in the pavement is dry brown and not so nice looking. But the sun beam striking the grass after the rain and the reflections off the water made for a nice image.
As I was backing out of the driveway in my car recently, I looked to my left by the driveway door and spotted several very nice looking butterflies feeding on these flowers. Having one of my cameras on the seat beside me, it was a simple task to hop out and get close to make these two colorful photos.
So, there you go. Take a pick which one (or more) you like best. Photography is fun, but you need to get outside the house to make it really get interesting. Cheers!
This is one of my favorite photo locations in Martinsville, Virginia. The “Little Post Office” is on the U.S.Register of Historic Places and is well maintained today. It was built in 1893, and is a small one-story, gable front brick building with a frame rear extension. The exterior and one-room interior of the building are detailed in the Queen Anne style. It was used as a contract post office by star route mail delivery supervisor from 1893 to 1917.
It’s a very photogenic spot, with many close up photo opportunities as can be seen below.
This time of year on the East Coast of the U.S. may be a good time to look for some “weedy colors” as you wander about. I’ve found that this type of vegetation can offer more interesting composition than what I’ll call “brand-name” flowers see in gardens and elsewhere. The image above is a good example, as are those below. Enjoy your camera!