As I drive along winding roads in SW Virginia I often pass by interesting old homes which are now vacant. Some are in bad shape, others not so bad. The photos I made of one such house below fall into the “not so bad” category. In fact, it was interesting and inviting in a way: for example,as I wandered about the outside I expected some person to pop their head out the door and ask what it was I was doing there. The lacy curtains on the front door were sort of spooky, given that squinting eyes might be lingering inside in the shadows looking at this stranger standing on the porch. The wooden scroll work along the porch ceiling was also interesting, complete with peeling paint. Once again, my travels brought me to interesting photo opportunities. Thank you Lord!
Author Archives: Michael Morgan
A military veteran myself, I decided to spend that day in 2014 in a favorite small town of mine located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town was renamed in 1884 from Taylorsville to Stuart in honor of Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart, who was born 20 miles west of town in Ararat, Virginia. Small in size, but large in character in relation to a vibrant and bustling central business district. Several seasonal “festivals” are held here annually and are attended by thousands from all over the region. Yes, I like Stuart and am glad I chose it on Veterans Day this year in which to make some photos to commemorate that day … for me.
On a clear day, such as this one, I like to go find farming landscape photo compositions in my favorite location, the Blue Ridge Mountain region of Virginia and North Carolina. I am so happy with my Panasonic GX7 camera, but if all goes according to my pre-order plan, I hope to get my new Fuji Film X100T camera later this month; the latest model of a camera I have lusted for over several years. Yes, I know, “lusting” is a sin; but hey, it’s only a camera we’re taking about. Now to the photos. Enjoy.
I like to make photos of churches in rural, countryside areas. In this case it involved the Grace Mountainside Church in Robbinsville, NC in the Smoky Mountains. While I was interested in the building itself, it was really the stained glass window on the entryway red door that caught my photo eye. This is a relatively old church, which has been renovated with new siding. I also liked the contrast of the colorful vegetation in front, with the plain siding of the church.
I check out an online “Photo School” website that places its focus on how to be a better photographer, versus having lots of basic “how to’s” and camera techniques. Just like we were used to in school when I attended, there are “lessons” and some “homework” involved. One such frequent assignment offered is to have viewers consider focusing (no pun) their work for on a single, subject. The latest got my attention and I decided to try it. Essentially, the assignment was to wander around one’s home and make interesting and unique compositions of familiar things. Guidance was to use one’s imagination, which I did as shown below. No need for explanation of any of these photos, other than to say that are familiar to me, every day.
If you are a person who likes to kayak, especially on Class 3-4 rapids, then a scene such as this will get your blood rushing, just like the water. Once, I had a kayak but it was used only under (shall we say) Class Zero-Minus conditions, such as on a quiet fishing lake. Anyway, finding and photographing scenes such as those that follow gave me equal pleasure to that experienced by those who like to “ride the rapids.”
On our recent train ride aboard the Great Smoky Mountain RR (see prior posts earlier this and last week) one of the main historical attractions along the ride (per our staff host who rode with us in the car, giving us drinks and when necessary giving us some local lore) was what is referred to as “The Civil War House.” On the outward leg of the trip, I missed seeing it since I was on the side of the passenger car opposite to the house. However, on the way back I decided there was no way I was going to miss seeing it a second time. So, I positioned myself by the open space in the connecting area between cars, where I could look out at the passing views with no window involved. I was not alone. Soon I was joined by another passionate photographer and his wife, both very nice folks. We shared the limited space with me looking forward to provide ample warning to the approaching attraction. His wife remembered our host saying that the house was located at mile-marker 70 “something” so when we passed MM 80, counting down I started to pay very close attention. Then in a flash, I saw the house coming into view as we sped along. We both made room for the other and started clicking away. I’m not sure what he got, but I was pretty happy with one of my images. The scene reminded me of how much American Civil War history there is still around today in Virginia and North Carolina. In this case, I’d never have had the opportunity to see it had it not been for riding on the train. Lucky me!