As I was walking a main street recently in Greensboro, NC, I walked by a building that is being renovated. Along both sides of the long entryway to the building an artist had painted several scenes of what the city looked like historically from the 1930s era. I was very impressed by the composition of the painted scenes but more so by the detailed work that had been done to make them look realistic. Thanks to those who bring history back to life.
Category Archives: Artistic and Creative
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.
Mabry Mill is a watermill located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, Virginia. It is a tourist attraction mainly for the picturesque views of the mill itself. A short trail around the mill connects historical exhibits about life in rural Virginia. The mill was built in 1910 and over the years its condition deteriorated significantly. It was restored during the early 1940s when the parkway itself was relatively new. Since then it’s been rebuilt several times, including the pond adjacent to the structure. Today, the mill is one of the most photographed and painted attractions along the 469-mile route of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Living (fortunately) less than an hour’s drive away, I can visit the mill when the mood strikes — summer, fall, winter and spring.
I’ve pretty much photographed the mill from all angles, close up and far away. I decided recently to try my hand with a new wide angle camera lens at the mill, looking for a “new” composition I’d not tried before. The first image above is what I call a “standard tourist composition.” Compare that with my second and third images below which (to me) seem much more interesting, photographically and artistically. As I’ve written before, try to be different and look for photo compositions most people overlook.
Carrying a camera with you most of the time can be fun when the mood hits you, like it did one day recently when I made these photos which I place in a “perspective” category.
In this photo I got very low to the ground and close to these foot-high backyard plants, so that the scene could make you think you were walking in a jungle with tall vegetation blocking your way.
After I stood up and stretched my creaky legs and joints, I decided to get a bit crazy with perspective. Remember, this is all about having fun.
Later I decided to get up really close with this beautiful flower.
And lastly, I placed my small camera against the base of our backyard flagpole and fired away. I was pretty lucky to get this image because beforehand I did not look up to see those nice clouds and sun location in the sky. It turned out pretty neat in my opinion. So there you go, having fun with perspective views. Try it yourself sometime.
I like to make photos that are different from the typical “tourist shot.” Not in terms of professional standards of excellence, but more so in terms of images that many people might not elect to record through the lens of their camera. I submit that it’s not that hard to make spectacular photos while visiting image rich locations such as the wilds of Alaska or Monument Valley in Utah. On the other hand, I believe when you look around you no matter where you are, there are equally visually appealing images waiting just for you. Here are some examples I made in Roanoke Virginia recently to make this point. Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
It’s been written and said by many photographers to the effect that the BEST camera is the one you have with you at the time. I practice this lesson a lot and carry some sort of camera with me everywhere I go. Sometimes it’s my inter-changeable lens mirrorless camera, a Panasonic Lumix GX7; sometimes it’s my small and pocketable camera, a Panasonic Lumix LX7; and sometimes it’s the very capable camera in my iPhone 5s. I always have some way to record things that my photographic eye sees around me no matter where I am. There are sooooo many things out there that are visually interesting, and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to record such for my photo collection. Maybe I’ll be the only one who ultimately sees most of those photos I make, but maybe I’ll share some of them with others, such as I am doing here. For example, at OUTBACK Restaurant recently, I had my small Lumix LX7 with me and I made the following photos. In order: 1. on the ceiling while waiting for a table, 2. on the wall next to where I was standing, 3. the lemon in my glass of ice-cold sweet tea after eating a delicious steak and lobster combination, and 4. outside the main entrance while walking back to the car. These things were waiting just for me and I captured them … to be a part of my memories forever.
Making photos is not always about sunsets and landscapes. How about just “letters” of the alphabet? Examples below. Use your imagination and creative eye when you click the shutter. By the way, the term “Crooked Road” on the first image (a Tee-shirt) relates to a Blue Ridge road that goes through the center of the Bluegrass music heritage area of the region. Lots of signs, tee-shirts, hats and such seen all about the area.