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Category Archives: Landscape

My Favorite Rural Church

I have not been inside the United Methodist Church, on a narrow road south of Stuart, Virginia, near the North Carolina border, but I have made photos of it, twice. In both instances I was not expecting to see it as I drove by, because it’s set a ways off the main road. I believe I was led to this church for a reason, not so much to become a church member, because it’s too far from home for that. Instead, I believe I was given an opportunity to see and photograph it because when I’m there wandering around composing with my camera, I’m at peace, thankful for all that the good Lord has given me.

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When we were living in Europe, I learned that there is a difference between a graveyard and a cemetery. The former is located next to a church, while the latter is located elsewhere. This is obviously a graveyard. Looking at the headstone, I noted that “William D. Mays” was 86 years old when he died in 1891. Thus, the church and graveyard have a long history. I like this composition because of the way it places the headstones in the foreground.

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Another view from farther back. And lastly, another composition even farther away, and framed in the shade of a large tree, still with fall leaves.

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I never tire of visiting this church with my camera, and yes I know some may be asking why I don’t go there on a Sunday, no matter the drive from home, to worship with others drawn to this great looking rural, Blue Ridge Mountain church.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Architecture, Landscape

 

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Black and White Mix

I like to mix my color images with black and white compositions. This works well on high contrast scenes. Nice to vary your technique from time to time.

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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Architecture, Black and White, Landscape

 

Blue Ridge Farming Landscapes

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.

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Landscape

 

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Rushing Water in the Wild

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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.”

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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Landscape

 

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The Civil War House

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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!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in America's Past, Landscape

 

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Great Views of Buildings

I’m always on the lookout for nice looking buildings of every kind. Well maintained and often restored old homes, churches and government-type facilities seem to always be interesting, especially in small towns in rural America. Here are a few examples of what I saw recently.

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Architecture, Landscape

 

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American Military Veterans

Here’s a brief photographic look at a portion of the Danville Virginia National Military Cemetery. I felt a black and white presentation would be nice.

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Riding the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

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The weather was cloudy and a bit foggy when we arrived in Bryson City, NC early in the AM to board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a five-hour round trip into the Nantahala National Forest. My wife Barb and I, her brother Jerry and wife Mary Ann, along with 300 other passengers, lined up by the waiting 12-car train idling nearby.

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We were greeted by a very friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff which made our trip most enjoyable, learning about the history of the region along our way. Once seated, I immediately noticed the historic atmosphere of the passenger car in which we were seated. It’s too bad we can’t routinely travel in such a manner today.

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Views out of the seat windows were spectacular, as was the included lunch meal we had pre-ordered. The next photo is my sister-in-law Mary Ann enjoying the views and the second is my wife Barb enjoying her BBQ lunch while we rolled along.

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Having been a passenger on trains several times in my life I knew that if I went to the open area in between cars where they connected, I could lean out the window (safely obviously) to make some interesting photos of the train and the surrounding beauty of the region.

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The day after we’d completed our train ride, we drove elsewhere in the region to explore, and on the way back to our motel, we happened upon the train on it’s twice-daily journey, but this time we were across a fast-flowing river we’d been so close to the day prior. We stopped the car, and I got out to capture the following images. The last photo of the caboose at the end of the train is a fitting end to this brief story. It was, in short, a wonderful time together!

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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Landscape, Photo Stories, Transportation

 

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Smoky Mountain Train Past

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It’s simple. I love old trains. While we were in the Smoky Mountain region of Western North Carolina recently, we rode the Great Smoky Mountain RR into the Nantahala National Forest. I’ll have a photo story about that later, but after we rode the train I found some old railroad cars from time’s past, and I was very happy to capture with my camera what I saw. The “open” passenger cars shown below carried many thousands of sight-seeing visitors for many years. These old cars are obviously now fully retired, but remain vibrant in color.

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The images below show details of other train cars which, to me, were very interesting. I sought to compose each photo in the most interesting manner possible.

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Smoky Mountain Color

My wife and I just returned from a great visit to Western North Carolina’s Smoky Mountain region with its beautiful fall colors. One thing that many “learning” photographers focus on is the weather. They seek sunny, relative warm and totally clear (no clouds) conditions. Their frequent chant before departing on a photo trip is “No rain, no rain.” In fact, what’s most important is their ability to take advantage of what the good Lord puts before them. For example, cloudy and misty conditions mixed with peeps of blue sky and bright sun can create almost perfect photo conditions; that is, if you’ll only recognize that as such. This situation is what greeted us and I was thrilled with what resulted. Colors become more vibrant and contrasty when there is partial sunshine and wet leaves. So, don’t worry about the weather when you get out with your camera. Just take advantage of what you have.

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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Landscape

 

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