Bird Sculpture

I saw this interesting metal sculpture which I felt was supposed to depict flying birds, but that’s just my opinion. What I did in that regard, however, was to look for a second view (bottom) which gave it a “bird-like” appearance. Very colorful too.

Simple Column

In my prior post I mentioned the Halifax County Virginia Court House. (bottom photo) Here’s a photo at the top I made of one of its large front columns. This type of architecture is very common in the south…especially pertaining to court houses and other government-type buildings. What interests me the most when I wander around looking for photo opportunities near where we live is the history of these sorts of structures, and to help me in that regard there is usually a posted sign or plaque nearby that spells it all out. This region of the Commonwealth retains much of the same character it had back during the early 20th Century. Perhaps that’s why I love living here. Sadly, many Virginians living up in the northern part of state know very little about that past…and sadder still the present. When asked where we live by friends up in Northern Virginia, for example, some say, “Where’s Martinsville?” When we answer, “It’s a bit south of Roanoke”, some ask again, “Where’s Roanoke?” Then after we explain patiently again, some say, “Why in the world do you want to live down there?” To each their own.

Stairs in the Window

Looking at the Halifax County Virginia Court House…circa 1838…I saw stairs inside one of the large front windows and thought it would make a nice photograph. Halifax County has some of the nicest historical buildings in Southern Virginia. The Towns of South Boston and Halifax are still relatively vibrant in terms of commercial activity and that makes for an interesting visit, not only for photography but for shopping too.

“Light” comes in various forms

What would we do without “light” in our lives? My belief is that light comes in many forms…some from lamp posts like you see here, some from similar electric light fixtures inside and out, and some from the sun. Many people today believe we use far too much power generation capability creating light, for no apparent purpose other than to look good. But perhaps the best light comes from within ourselves, when we discover things we had not seen or understood previously. When that old light bulb clicks on within our brains, wonders often result. Think about it.

Looking Carefully

I set my camera to macro mode to focus up close and it was not until I opened the result in my digital darkroom (Adobe Lightroom) that I noticed a “colony” of fungi growing on this bird feeder in our back yard. I wonder what these little guys will do when it gets cold this winter?

Seeing a photo

I spend a lot of time wandering around with a camera looking for something interesting to make a photo of. Sometimes that’s not easy, but I have discovered it’s much less difficult than it used to be, because I have started “seeing a photo” in many things I pass by. In this case it was this old metal garden bench I saw in Martinsville recently. I liked the intricate scroll-work and design, so I got up close to capture a picture. Even though I took the photo in color, I knew it would become black and white when finished in my digital darkroom.

Ready for next year…

My garden hose sits coiled up here, near my backyard small garden plot, waiting for next spring when it will again be used frequently to help grow vegetables for our table. That sounds better than it actually is, because “vegetables” I grow have been limited to tomatoes and cucumbers usually, but I have been known to plant beans, peppers, squash, and lettuce from time to time. My neighbor Al plants a wider variety of produce than I, and he always offers me what he can’t pick, so we do pretty well. He grows some of the best blue berries around.

Last year my tomatoes were the best I have grown in several years, but I put too many plants in the ground and had way more than we could eat, and Al had an equally large crop so he did not want any of mine. My cucumber vines looked great last summer as they began to spread with lots of yellow flowers waiting to become crisp, green cucumbers. In fact they became tough, bitter, yellowish-looking cucumbers which I tossed out. An internet search determined that maybe my problem was too many “back and forth” dry versus wet spells, and my nice green garden hose may have been the culprit, I will never know.

There is always next year…or perhaps I will rely more on Al’s garden skills to provide our fresh produce. Nope…I’d never be able to hold my head up in the neighborhood.

Seeking Interesting Windows

I have written before about how I am always drawn to interesting windows, such as this one on an old building in the “bustling” town of Henry, Virginia…which is hardly a town…rather a zip code…with few remains of what it once was in rural SW Virginia. I go past Henry all the time on my road trips to various photo locations in the Blue Ridge I visit frequently. There was once a paint processing plant in Henry, a rail road stop, a general store, and several other small businesses. Now, there is a Post Office in a parked trailer home, a closed paint factory, a closed general store, several small homes, a hardly used rail road track, and a lot of memories I am sure. Beauty is where you find it, and I think I was lucky to find this beautiful old window with flower box photo composition. America’s past is great to explore.


Keep it simple, stupid…KISS. Good advice at times. That was my objective when I made this photo of these door handles on a church in Martinsville city.

I am amazed at how good digital cameras these days are, in terms of capturing detail in a photo…especially when moving up close. It’s sometimes just “point and click”, but better if there’s a bit more “process” involved. First, find some object that one can recognize even when you get close up. Having to tell people what the object is may not be the best way to compose a photo that people will like. Second, make sure your camera is steady or else you will have some blur that will be much magnified when being so close. Tripods help, but so does adjusting the settings of your camera to get a proper balance between aperture and speed (including ISO). It helps to read the instructional manual too before using a new camera. RTMS…”read the manual, stupid.”