The great thing about digital photography today is that it’s easy to convert a color image into B&W. Not like the film days when you needed a different film. Also, its nice to be able to add a special treatment during post processing such as I did with the church, making the original appear much softer. Regardless of all this, one has to begin with a good image Well composed, with some interest involved. I find that structures like these work best for me.
Author Archives: Michael Morgan
From a photographic point of view, I am a big fan of any old advertisement or business sign still around. They remind me of my personal time growing up in the late 1940s and 1950s when what we became interested in from a “buying” standpoint was a result of some interesting sign hanging outside a business, or some painted version on the side of brick or wooden buildings. No TV to help the selling spree, but that’s indeed NOT a bad thing. Coke or Pepsi?
I often like to pick a specific subject when I look for nice things to photograph. Sometimes it’s old buildings, signs, doors and windows, landscapes, or people and animals. On my last photo trip I was looking for “colors.” I was lucky because I found lots of nice colorful images. Here are the best ones. Sometimes “luck” helps, as in the case of the pigeon and the balloons. Enjoy!
I have photographed this old “rock house” several times before. It is located between Martinsville and Danville Virginia along the main highway and whenever I drive by I always take a look to see what might be “new.” As I drove by recently, I noticed that the owners had removed the wire fence that once kept visitors like me from getting too close. That did it. I had to stop. I assume the home was lived in during the early 20th Century based on its design. Today, it serves as a great photo subject. I liked the small purple flowers growing on the porch steps and the view out from an old window opening surrounded by lots of ivy.
I’ve written before that when you are walking around with your camera, especially on streets in towns and cities, there are lots of interesting objects or scenes to photograph besides the typical tourist shots. Just use your imagination. It works for me anyway. Here are several examples recently made in Uptown Martinsville, Virginia. The “face profile” image is in fact a section of a stucco wall that had fallen off. I also thought the unique “hand” door knocker was pretty neat. Never seen one like this before. Caught my eye. Try your hand at making your own different images.
I can’t help but marvel at the beauty I often find in simple, close-up compositions of various photographic subjects I find in nature. God’s handiwork for sure. My point is that when you go about with your camera in hand or pocket, whether it be your mobile phone or a traditional model, look for compositions that others might overlook in their haste to move along or to find some spectacular view of a majestic landscape or the warm feelings conveyed by a setting or rising sun. Be different! There are many, many possible images just waiting for someone like you to record them for posterity — or your Facebook page. Here are some examples I made recently.
I love trains, especially those that thrived throughout the United States during the early-mid 20th Century. Rail lines went just about everywhere it seemed, connecting towns and cities large and small. Most train depots had a similar look. Long, single-storied brick and wooden structures that lay parallel to the train tracks. There was always a long wooden deck or concrete loading and unloading platform which felt the pulse of thousands of travelers for decades. Today, in locations such as Bassett Virginia, these iconic stations still exist, albeit in some decay, but are still being used for purposes other than train traffic, which has ceased. When I visited the Bassett train depot recently I was looking for something different to photograph, but with an objective to portray the aging and rustic nature of the facility. The town of Bassett now uses this building for a city market, where local goods are sold on weekends. It is also used for special community gatherings. While trains no longer pass by, people like me often do.
I enjoy wandering our relatively small and somewhat struggling city center of Martinsville, VA adjacent to where we live, and making photos of items in store windows and store fronts. It’s interesting to note that Martinsville was, until the late 1980s, a primary “economic engine” for the Commonwealth of Virginia. With the demise of American manufacturing over the years, especially textiles and furniture, given that cheaper goods are available from off-shore resources, cities like ours have struggled. Many, like here, are seeking ways to make their business districts more vibrant and that brings out ingenuity of store owners to attract customers. But, economics and government policies are not my focus here, photos are. The main challenge faced when making photos through store window glass is the angle of the sun and reflections, much less dirty glass. So, picking the right time of day is important. Anyway, as I walk along, my eyes are always roving to see what I can find. Colors, shapes, interesting items, etc. Here are some examples I made recently.