Here are some close up photos I made recently of details of a log cabin at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum in Ferrum, Virginia. My last post told more of the story. I like to spread out my images from post-to-post…so there you go. Interesting details here, especially being able to adjust the images in post-processing to show the inside of the cabin while looking in on a sunny day. This is where good digital image processing software and techniques become valuable. I use Adobe Lightroom, Version 5…latest and greatest.
Given all the home comfort many people have today in the United States, it’s hard for some of our younger generation to understand and appreciate the many hardships their ancestors experienced daily. This was especially true on farms, where land first had to be cleared by hand, then cut trees fashioned into logs and wooden planks which formed the basis for the homes in which they lived along with associated out-buildings…they thrived for generations. What they ate mostly came from gardens, domestic and wild animals. Cooking was done over open log fires, water was obtained from wells or local streams or lakes, and at night families gathered around oil lamps reading the family Bible and books, playing various games, talking, or simply relaxing after the rigors of the passing day. This brief photo collection of mine was made at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum located at Ferrum College in SW Virginia. The purpose of the institute is to show how farm life was during the 18th and 19th Century in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia. Museum volunteers dress in period clothing and perform common chores experienced daily by those who labored hard to survive often under extreme conditions. Thousands visit the museum and outdoor exhibits annually.
As I was driving through Rocky Mount, Virginia near the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I saw this colorful building in a part of the downtown area. So, I pulled over in a parking spot across the street and made these two compositions. My objective was to have two views…one of most of the building, and the other more of a creative colorful image…which by itself would not have been complete. I needed two views.
I am not a true “horse person”…in fact I was only on top of one once or twice when I was as kid…just to have my picture made…wearing a cowboy hat looking (well) rather nervous. But, today since I have become interested in making photographs myself, I always look for animals whenever I can find them. I did spot these two beautiful horses last week on a farm and I was able to get up close…behind a fence of course. I felt sorry for them both because as they were grazing in the grass together, they were being pestered by numerous biting flies. To keep them away as best as possible, they flicked their tails a lot, and shook their heads. I was glad to be able to capture one tail swish here. I suppose were I to get proper instruction, I would not mind learning to ride a horse.
This sign is on an old, now closed, rural General Store in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Everyone worldwide most likely recognizes it. Back when the store was open, the popular soft drink was sold in bottles, or from a soda fountain. The bottles were most likely kept cool in a container of ice, and you dipped your hand inside to get your bottle…for a nickel probably. Today, the icon is the same but there are several varieties of Coke…Diet, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke, etc. Personally, I prefer the old fashioned kind in the 8 oz bottle.
I “live” for finding photo opportunities such as this one. Unfortunately they usually are located in such a position that makes it next to impossible to photograph from a good angle. In this case, that angle had me stopped dead center in the middle of a lightly traveled backwoods road in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Montanans of Virginia. There was no shoulder on the road, so the pavement was all I had. So, quickly grabbing my camera, and noting that my car’s windshield was pretty clean and clear, I placed my camera close to the glass behind the steering wheel and fired away. It worked, and I got a nice image. Mind you, stopping on ANY road to make a photo is risky, but… I had to have the shot!
Not too many years ago I owned a nice Mad River canoe and an even better Wilderness Systems kayak. When our grandkids were small I used to take them canoeing since I could get two easily inside with me at the stern guiding the way, with them splashing paddles and generally having a good time getting wet. I also fished from my canoe but not that much…it was the kayak that served that purpose when I was so inclined. Mostly, however, I spent hours on a nearby lake nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, inside my kayak exploring all sorts of dark coves such as that shown in the second photo. I donated my canoe to a local church group a few years back, and sold my kayak and all it’s nice fishing gear to my neighbor’s brother even more recently. My time “on the water” in such craft is now over…and I miss it. Aging and all that comes with that has caught up with me. So now, as in the first photo below I have to content myself with making photographs of others doing what I used to do…in times past.
One of my favorite places to visit near our home in SW Virginia is Reynolds Homestead. Not only is there interesting history related to it, but there are numerous photographic opportunities to explore. Below are a few of my recent photos from there, but before you look, here’s a brief summary of what the place is.
“The Reynolds Homestead is an outreach facility of Virginia Tech located in Critz. It features the fully-restored Rock Spring Plantation House, the birthplace and boyhood home of tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds. Built in 1843, the two-story brick home has been restored to its nineteenth century state and includes many of the original family furnishings. The grounds include the original brick kitchen, a brick milk house, a log icehouse and a log granary. The family cemetery is located near the house and across a field is the slave cemetery. The house is a registered state and national landmark.”