The City of Martinsville, Virginia is a part of Henry County. The old county courthouse in the city center was once a hub for activity. Today, it still is but for different reasons. Several years ago the county built a modern administrative complex some distance away, but planners and historians elected not to abandon the historic courthouse and elected to renovate it to serve other purposes to include being home to a popular visitors center. Recently I made some photographs of the newly renovated structure to shown what can be done when people care about their history.
Category Archives: Architecture
The absolute best time to visit cities is, for me, on a weekend when there are lots of parking spaces and just enough “folks” to make it interesting. I always find interesting things of which to point my camera; each time I’m there seeing it all in new perspectives. Telling a story with as few words through photography is typically my objective. Such as …
It’s a good idea when you find an interesting photographic subject, to try and find other similar subjects that together might form an interesting collection of compositions. When I saw the first scene at the main entrance to a large financial institution’s main entrance in Greensboro, NC, with the shiny brass doors with plate glass reflections on either side, I liked the uniqueness of the scene. I then looked for other similarly interesting building entrances as I walked about the streets. This collection is what resulted.
I took a new wide-angle camera lens with me to the central business district in Greensboro, NC to focus on several subjects, one being the high rise buildings located there. Compared to other mid-size cities, Greensboro may not have as many tall buildings, but one thing it does have is a fun city center with lots of friendly places to eat and drink, and to share with others a nice weekend day with close-by parking and acceptable crowds. In short, I like it! Share with me some of what I saw the day I visited over the July 4th weekend.
Living here, I visit Uptown Martinsville frequently looking for photo opportunities. I decided to focus on compositions I felt would look good in black and white. Here are several examples. Note: Most digital cameras today allow one to set the camera in “black and white mode.” I don’t do that, preferring instead to download the image first to my computer, and then use processing software (Adobe Lightroom) to convert the color image to black and white non-destructivly, so that I can keep the color version original in tact. Of course, you need post processing software, but Lightroom is just one of many, some very low cost. It’s all about being creative.
Making photographs of urban architecture is fun and also educational if you take the time to examine the history of what it is you are photographing. It’s not hard to find such interesting scenes around SW Virginia, given the the number of long-closed textile plants that once were economic engines for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. Here are some examples made in Eden, North Carolina.
The Hotel Roanoke was built in 1882 and became the SW Virginia city’s social center. Its original 34 rooms grew to 384 when, in 1989, it was donated to Virginia Tech and subsequently underwent a major renovation, to include the addition of a large Conference Center. The facility is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. I recently visited the hotel and made several images to show just how beautiful it is, and how much staying there can take one back in time. The hotel is located just a 5 minute walk from the center of the City of Roanoke, with all the attractions available there.