Telephoto Lens

Here’s an example of when having a telephoto lens is nice. The enlarged area is shown by the black box in the first photo. For my photo friends, these were both taken hand-held, using a Panasonic 45-200mm zoom lens on a Panasonic GX1. Click each image to see a larger view. The digital sensor size of this camera makes the long range end 400mm on a standard 35mm camera. So…it gets really BIG….which is good…at times. The downside is that with this lens, the extreme long end gets a bit “soft” in focus…as do many such zoom lens. OK, my technical talk is complete.

As an aside, the day I made these photos, the humidity was very low…20%. That made for one of the clearest sky and detail scenes I have had at this spot lately…about 3000 feet in elevation. Usually at this time of year the humidity and air pollution from coal-fired power plants in West Virginia and Ohio makes a mess of what yoiu can see far away…sadly. But, this time I got lucky.

Grannies Cabin

All that needs to be written about this photo is in the title. It’s located along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The composition “makes” this photo in my opinion. This is a technique often not well practiced by many photographers. Once you get used to composing a scene in your camera, it becomes natural to do, and you won’t give it a thought…until you look at it later and admire your genius. Well, maybe not that “genius.”

The House on the Hill

This log cabin style small house is for sale…and it sits on a hill beside a small stream with a nice waterfall. A wonderfully scenic location…or so you might think. In fact, this scene is directly behind a large tourist facility. The small stream is the headwaters of the Dan River, which winds its way down the mountains toward Danville, Virginia and points south and east. Once there was an operating carousel located near where I was standing when I made this photo; also a small hotel, and several gift shops. Most are now closed. I suspect that’s why the house on the hill is for sale. No matter…my camera made it look perfect to me.

Leonard’s Mkt

As you near the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia, there are all sorts of tourist-oriented stores…many selling antiques and “mountain” type merchandise. I stopped at Leonard’s Mkt as I neared the parkway recently and found it closed…perhaps for awhile. It was a treasure trove for my camera however, and I even saw the “guard cat” on duty…well, maybe not so alert duty as you shall see below. An image I especially liked is the one with the US flag and the bell…those two items together had meaning…to me at least. I wonder exactly who “Leonard” is?

Opie’s Candy Store

Opie Taylor was Andy (Griffith) Taylor’s young son on the 1960s era TV show. A candy store in his name is now operating in Mt. Airy, NC…known to many as the fictionalized city of Mayberry, NC. I went in the store during a recent visit to the city and made some snaps. Lots of kids and lots of candy. They also sold ice cream.

Andy Griffith…Mayberry RFD

It’s not where the very popular, 1960s era Andy Griffith TV show was filmed, but Mt. Airy, NC is the city where the star of the show was born, and it’s become for many fans of the show the fictionalized city of Mayberry, NC. Mt. Airy is pretty crowded in mid-summer when thousands of tourist fans of the show come to see what it’s all about. Many shops in the city have the same names as those establishments in the TV show…such as the Snappy Lunch diner. I went “tourist” myself recently and made some photos which I hope you enjoy. By the way, the Andy Griffith TV show remains in syndication and it’s on every night of the week where we live. Thus, new fans still are added.

Motor Hotel

My luck at finding interesting buildings from our past continues. While headed to a photo road trip destination, I passed this old motor hotel which appeared as if it had been closed for years. The thing about it which I found most interesting were the small adjacent single-car garages adjacent to the art-deco style rooms in the fist photo. The stone used in another portion of the building was also interesting to me, as were the Virginia creeper vines all over the outside. I stayed there for about a half-hour making images and wondered all the time of what the place would have been like when it was probably one of the busiest and most popular places to stay along the state highway where it is located. I suspect the advent of the inter-state highway system in the 1950s began to spell doom for such establishments…as they were by-passed in favor of “getting there quicker.”

Going to the Drive-In

When I was growing up, a trip to the drive-in movies on a Saturday night was pretty much routine in the summer. Movies shown were usually of a Class “B” variety…and were not that good, but we hardly watched much anyway, since we kids spent most of our time outside the family car, playing around on the slides, swingsets, jungle-gyms, and other items to fall off of. These items were located right below the large screen, so when we did watch the movie we had a very distorted view. Still, it was fun even without the movie. Also fun was eating all the junk food sold in the building where the projector was located; with outside seats adjacent where we often gathered to talk too much, so that we got yelled at by adults trying to enjoy the movie. Most people remained in their cars, watching from afar, however, listening to the movie sound coming through a car window-mounted gray-metal speaker.

In Eden, NC near when we live in adjacent Virginia, there is an old movie drive-in theater that remains operational, and as far as I can tell is making enough money to remain open. But, I read recently where the transfer of all movie theater projection from analog (film) to digital equipment will prove too costly for small theaters… especially drive-ins…to remain open much longer. Such is another sign of so-called progress. Too bad that so many kids in the future will never be able to experience all the fun of going to a drive-in movie on hot summer nights.

Storybook House

I keep finding…and photographing…Victorian-style homes I find near where we live. This one is in Eden, NC and to me it looked like some sort of kids “storybook” house…full of nice people, pets and happiness. I really liked the colors.