My Favorite Rural Church

I have not been inside the United Methodist Church, on a narrow road south of Stuart, Virginia, near the North Carolina border, but I have made photos of it, twice. In both instances I was not expecting to see it as I drove by, because it’s set a ways off the main road. I believe I was led to this church for a reason, not so much to become a church member, because it’s too far from home for that. Instead, I believe I was given an opportunity to see and photograph it because when I’m there wandering around composing with my camera, I’m at peace, thankful for all that the good Lord has given me.

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When we were living in Europe, I learned that there is a difference between a graveyard and a cemetery. The former is located next to a church, while the latter is located elsewhere. This is obviously a graveyard. Looking at the headstone, I noted that “William D. Mays” was 86 years old when he died in 1891. Thus, the church and graveyard have a long history. I like this composition because of the way it places the headstones in the foreground.

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Another view from farther back. And lastly, another composition even farther away, and framed in the shade of a large tree, still with fall leaves.

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I never tire of visiting this church with my camera, and yes I know some may be asking why I don’t go there on a Sunday, no matter the drive from home, to worship with others drawn to this great looking rural, Blue Ridge Mountain church.

Deserted Farm House

As I drive along winding roads in SW Virginia I often pass by interesting old homes which are now vacant. Some are in bad shape, others not so bad. The photos I made of one such house below fall into the “not so bad” category. In fact, it was interesting and inviting in a way: for example,as I wandered about the outside I expected some person to pop their head out the door and ask what it was I was doing there. The lacy curtains on the front door were sort of spooky, given that squinting eyes might be lingering inside in the shadows looking at this stranger standing on the porch. The wooden scroll work along the porch ceiling was also interesting, complete with peeling paint. Once again, my travels brought me to interesting photo opportunities. Thank you Lord!

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Stuart Virginia on Veterans Day

A military veteran myself, I decided to spend that day in 2014 in a favorite small town of mine located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town was renamed in 1884 from Taylorsville to Stuart in honor of Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart, who was born 20 miles west of town in Ararat, Virginia. Small in size, but large in character in relation to a vibrant and bustling central business district. Several seasonal “festivals” are held here annually and are attended by thousands from all over the region. Yes, I like Stuart and am glad I chose it on Veterans Day this year in which to make some photos to commemorate that day … for me.

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Blue Ridge Farming Landscapes

On a clear day, such as this one, I like to go find farming landscape photo compositions in my favorite location, the Blue Ridge Mountain region of Virginia and North Carolina. I am so happy with my Panasonic GX7 camera, but if all goes according to my pre-order plan, I hope to get my new Fuji Film X100T camera later this month; the latest model of a camera I have lusted for over several years. Yes, I know, “lusting” is a sin; but hey, it’s only a camera we’re taking about. Now to the photos. Enjoy.

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The Red Door

I like to make photos of churches in rural, countryside areas. In this case it involved the Grace Mountainside Church in Robbinsville, NC in the Smoky Mountains. While I was interested in the building itself, it was really the stained glass window on the entryway red door that caught my photo eye. This is a relatively old church, which has been renovated with new siding. I also liked the contrast of the colorful vegetation in front, with the plain siding of the church.

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Familiar Things

I check out an online “Photo School” website that places its focus on how to be a better photographer, versus having lots of basic “how to’s” and camera techniques. Just like we were used to in school when I attended, there are “lessons” and some “homework” involved. One such frequent assignment offered is to have viewers consider focusing (no pun) their work for on a single, subject. The latest got my attention and I decided to try it. Essentially, the assignment was to wander around one’s home and make interesting and unique compositions of familiar things. Guidance was to use one’s imagination, which I did as shown below. No need for explanation of any of these photos, other than to say that are familiar to me, every day.

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