At the end of the Year

2014 is not over yet, but that time is getting close. In between days of clouds, rain, and recently some sun here in SW Virginia, I was able to get out and find some nice images to mark the close of what has been a very successful year for me photographically. I thank the good lord for that, and also the genius designers and manufacturers in Japan who put together the best camera I have ever owned. Fuji X100T. Definitely not a camera for a casual shooter, but if you really are passionate about making photos, and want to have fun doing it like in the “old days of film cameras with separate dials”, then this camera might be perfect.

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A Merry Christmas Family

I’ve posted photo stories before about the wonderful neighbors we have where we live in SW Virginia. I’d like to continue this now by highlighting the family who lives across the street from us. This year, they decided to do some “extra” Christmas decorations about their home and adjoining yard. When I saw what was going on as the decorations were being put up, I immediately saw a great photo story just waiting for me. So, here is that story.

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This is Daniel, Sarah and daughter Sophie. Daniel serves in Law Enforcement as a uniformed officer, while Sarah works at the local hospital as a Registered Nurse. Both have helped me on many occasions in numerous ways, and have always been extremely kind and generous. They are, in short, a perfect family to live near, as are others in our neighborhood. When Dan decides to “do something” he goes into the project with an extreme amount of energy and creativity, never letting anything stand in his way. Like, for example, when he decided this year to get a BIG Christmas Tree.

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He found this very beautiful natural Blue Ice Cypress Tree, which he planned to locate in the high-ceiling family room of their home. Its original twelve-foot height had to be shortened at the base by a foot, because when he first drug it into the house, its top scraped across the ceiling. Once inside, and with step ladder close at hand, he decorated it and then stood by with pride looking at what he’d accomplished. I wish more people would use “natural” Christmas trees but alas times have changed. The sweet smell and touch of the tree made me harken back to when I was a young boy helping my family decorate our tree; much, much smaller I might add.

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Now, let’s get to the heart of this photo story, the decorations. Unlike the popular seasonal movie, “Christmas Vacation” with a home almost completely covered with lights, Dan took care not to overdo it. Beautiful describes the results as captured by my camera lens.

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Looking about the yard in front of their home, I saw several inflatable decorations which I felt added greatly to the festive scene, and together certainly serve as a prime “drive-by” attraction for those cruising through the neighborhood seeking Christmas cheer. One by one, here they are.

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By the time I’d completed my photo session, the skies had darkened completely, and what I saw through my camera lens made me wish I could start all over. But, there are only so many ways to compose camera scenes, and I did not want to overdo my efforts. Keep it simple is my standard motto. But, what Dan and Sarah have created about their home this Christmas is far from being simple. It’s not easy to place all those lights, position and secure all those inflatable decorations, and to do everything in such a way that it looks (in a word) perfect. If you think young Sophie was not involved in this process, I can assure you she was. Nothing excites a child more than seeing “Christmas” all about them. Merry Christmas to all!

Wandering the Path

I could probably write a lot of philosophical words about the title of this post, thoughts such as “taking advantage of paths in life that are placed before us.” But, this is a photoblog and not a place to get some personal developmental inspiration. I do hope, however, that my photo compositions below make you think about what might lie ahead for your camera lens, if you’ll just wander along paths, such as this walkway in a local nature area; and if you do, perhaps you’ll discover something nice just waiting for you. But, be quick because some scenes might change quickly, as it did with this twitchy squirrel.

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Some Artistic Compositions?

I “paint” with my camera, as do many others like me. When I see objects which I think might look good in a framed artistic work of art, I snap the shutter of my camera, and then when viewing it on my computer during post processing, I sometimes smile when I see success. On the other hand, some images get the “boot” to the trash bin. It’s all about having fun. These were made using my new Fuji x100t camera, and are essentially out-of-camera results, with some cropping.

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Looking Close

It’s usually interesting and often beautiful to use your camera lens to “look close” and thus see things you may have missed otherwise. These phtos were made at a nature preserve in Greensboro, NC last week. A beautiful warm day, preceded by a cold and wet day, and followed by same. This is typically the sort of early December weather we have in this part of the country. Great photo weather non-the-less. Used my new Fuji X100T camera.

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The Red Motor Hotel

In the United States decades ago when travelers drove their private vehicles on vacations or otherwise, there were no “Interstate Highways” such as we have today with main exits having any number of chain motels to serve as a place to rest for the night in relative comfort. Back then there were what I’ll call Motor Hotels that provided a place to stop that was more like one’s home than a temporary place to stop for the night. I found one such place near our home in SW Virginia. It had a separate “office, while across the adjacent street there was a long, single story building with individual “apartments” complete with separate garages in which to park the family car for the night. I’ll call this place “The Red Motor Hotel.”

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