I think that a nice time to make photos is when leaves are off the trees. We can see so much more, plus “colors” as they exist stand out better. I love findong nice photo opportunities in farming settings here in SW Virginia. Below are two examples … old and new.
Category Archives: Landscape
Second snow storm in February was a bit more than the first one, bringing about 5 inches versus 4 the first time. All within a week or so. Time for spring. The only thing I like about snow is being able to make photos early in the morning just as the skies are clearing. Now, if I were a kid with a sled I’d be having a ball with no school.
There’s nothing that special artistically or photographically that makes these two photos I made recently truly stand out … other than the fact that I like them. I knew that to be true right after I made the shot. For example, when I opened the front door to our home early one day last month to go get the morning newspaper, the cold hit me like a blast. Regardless, my eyes saw the clouds and blue sky with trees silhouetted in a nice way. Boom, I grabbed my camera. On a much warmer day this month, while walking along a lake shoreline I happened upon this swan drying its plumage in the sun, with its body angled just right so the feathers stood out. Not special, really, about either of these two images except again, I liked them.
I’ve listened to people say, and so-called experts write about, needing to be in some great location to make that “perfect” photo. “It’s all about location”, they opine. To me, it’s more about keeping your eyes open so when you see something that strikes your interest, record it with your camera right then. I’ve been to many extremely scenic locations in my time, four times in Alaska and the Bering Sea as one example, and I do admit to those occasions being full of great scenes that make wonderful photos. But, it was not that hard to make those images when they are there in front of you, so long as you know what your camera can do, and you do it right. Most times, however, I’m not at great scenic locations. So, I have to make the best of it. As long as I’m happy with the results, that’s all that matters.
There were times when I was hiking miles and miles of Blue Ridge Mountain trails when, after carefully watching my step along rocky outcrops, with tree roots waiting to grab my foot to put me down, when I’d look up and say to myself, “Wow, that’s a surprise!” Today, I no long hike those trails as age and health issues have made me mostly use my car more than my feet to get me places, but I still find surprises along my way. The above photo is one such find. Had leaves been on the trees, I’d probably not have seen this old cabin in the woods as I drove slowly past, on a very steep and winding downhill narrow road in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But I did see it. Problem was, I was moving about 15 MPH on a road where stopping was not a very safe option, given the possibility of following traffic. However, I tend to drive “out the back window” as I learned while driving the fast Autobahns in Germany, always shifting my view from front to back in the mirror to see if any cars were closing in. Thus, I was confident there was nothing behind me, so I stopped, backed up, opened the driver’s side window and made this photo. As soon as I did, I noted another car winding a curve behind me headed my way. I had ample time to start moving along safely and smiled at what I’d done. Sometimes, I guess you have to take a risk to find a surprise. If you never look, you’ll never find.
There’s a special (for me) location along rural Route 8 in SW Virginia that I often drive by on my way into the mountains, that always makes me want to stop. The problem usually is that the farm house across the highway is apparently home today to a truck driver, because he usually parks his rig in front of the main object of my photo interest: I.M Akers General Merchandise Store. A relic from the Blue Ridge past. From the covered area in front of the store where hand cranked gasoline pumps perhaps stood, to the public drinking fountain by the main entrance, and lastly to the old homestead “out back” where I assume Mr. Akers and family once lived, working daily to manage and run the store; the only such place around for miles as far as I could tell, it’s all about history, and I like that a lot. Here’s a collection of photos I made recently when the semi-truck was NOT parked out front, thus affording me a great photo opportunity. Thank you Truck Driver whomever you are!
As I proceeded on a recent photo trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, about 40-50 miles from home, I decided to focus photographically on “lone trees” that were located in scenic positions. It was a windy and cold day, but the sky was clear and blue. In all, a very nice time. Lone trees follow.