One type of home I love to photograph are those with a Victorian style design architecture, popular in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The name “Victorian” refers to the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. Not only did the design include all sorts of colorful windows, peaked roofing, and intricate trim designs and scrollwork. but entrances to the home and yard often included cast iron fencing with its own unique design, crouching concrete lions, and large bells. In those times people spent a lot of time on their front porches watching sidewalk passers-by, and inviting friends to enter their front fence gate and come sit for a spell. I bet many a young boy’s pants were ripped when trying to climb over those type metal fences rather than using the gate! Today, one hardly ever sees anyone sitting on their front porch, assuming their home even has one that is functional in that regard. Many young people today probably would as, “What’s a sidewalk?”
Even though the weather does not always feel like Spring, what we see around us confirms that it’s here. Blooming flowers attest to that, and it’s always a pleasure to record with my camera this beauty. When I make photos of flowers, I like to get as close as possible, position my camera approximately at the same level as the flowers, compose the scene in the most interesting manner with no undue distractions present, and especially have the main subject in focus. So, with that in mind, go out and find your own “Spring flowers.”
One of the most important aspects of making photos I’ve learned is to put yourself in a position such that the composition resulting becomes the most interesting. This can be especially true when using a telephoto lens. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. The first photo of the church spire is fine by itself, but when I looked at the result on my camera’s LCD, I decided it was sort of “ho-hum.” So, I moved (zoomed out) about 20 feet to my rear, so that the top portion of the spire could be included in my composition along with the flowering Bradford Pear tree in the foreground. You decide for yourself, but in my opinion the latter image is much more interesting.
Reidsville, NC was once home to the American Tobacco Company, which made the iconic cigarette “Lucky Strike.” The plant is closed now, but the town has not declined as have many other similar-sized manufacturing towns in North Carolina. In fact, the main street of Reidsville hardly had an open parking spot the day I visited recently to make some “street Life” photos as I wandered around town. Below is a varied mix of scenes I saw that day for your enjoyment, so you may see what I saw. I note that there is a main line train track running through the center of the town, and while I was there two long trains passed by. A busy place in many ways.
One day it’s near 70 degrees and I see many signs of spring season in bloom. Then, winter sticks its head back out, hopefully only for a brief moment. Perhaps my photos here will warm your heart no matter where you are. By the way, the two Pansies you see here made it through this very cold and snowy winter in our back yard. Also, the Bradford Pear Trees shown here have a way to go yet, but are indeed trying to push winter aside.
There is a 1920s era song titled “Painting the Clouds with Sunshine” which, since I had just recently listened to it on my iPhone, served as my inspiration to title this post. I was planning to publish these two images I made recently in Danville, Virginia’s historic Tobacco District, and was thinking of how to introduce it all on my photoblog. It came to me in a flash. One or more artists had indeed painted the upper walls on this old brick building with “sunshine” and that resulted in many smiles from passers-by I am sure. I am always glad to see business owners and local governments strive to improve the appearance of their central business districts, which in some cases may have declined over the years. This colorful work of art really did the job in that regard!
We live just two miles from NASCAR’s iconic race track, Martinsville Speedway — it’s oldest track, with two races annually, spring and fall. In two weeks the stands you see below will be packed with screaming fans, pulling for their favorite driver. Living as close to the track as we do, I often stop by to make some photos when the mood hits, as it did recently. My intent was to show the “stands” with the nice patterns they make to the camera eye, especially from underneath the great steel metalwork. I also got a candid shot of a track worker, painting along the wall, making the place look perfect, before crashing cars shortly ruin it all. But, that’s just racing!
I was lucky to be able to make this photo late one afternoon recently. As I was walking back into the house from being out in the backyard making some photos of blooming spring daffodils, I happened to look toward the sky and saw this scene. Moody is the best title I can give it. Over the past two years I have had my moods change dramatically from time to time; sometimes to the good from the bad, sometimes the other way around. Why that is so is not important to this post. What is important is the fact that we all suffer from “attitude deficiency” through life, especially the older we become, with the myriad of physical and mental health concerns that occupy our minds. So when I see a scene like this it reminds me of the fact that we are basically a “moody” bunch. But, the good part to this is just like the cloud-dimmed sun in this photo — there is always a bright, happier spot for us if we will just recognize that and move forward with a renewed spirit. God has a plan for us and He often makes that apparent when scenes such as this in my photo are presented to us. Having a camera in hand at the time makes it even better!