I was watching a documentary today that covered the life of a famous photographer who made a statement that summed up how I often feel about my photos. He said, “The finished photo image is often much more than just the result of a mechanical process, it can also be the result of some artistic vision.” In the case of photojournalism, where realism and truth is key, I understand that the original image should not be altered, and in fact publication style-guides state that as a requirement for it to be published. But, otherwise, when the photo is used by the originator to present a specific artistic view, then I say, “have at it.” Thanks to digital post processing software today, it’s possible to alter an original photo’s appearance in subtle or dramatic ways. I prefer the subtle. Here are several examples, I call it “soft focus.”
Once, many years ago, most towns and cities in America had at least one usually small bank that served the people living nearby. The Great Depression of the 1930s mostly spelled an end to many of these banks, but some carried on. Today, what’s left are the shells of those banks, still standing strong with their Greek architectural style, reminding many of what once was. This bank I thought was unusual mainly due to its rather narrow but tall stature. The addition to the right side was an afterthought to the main building … I suspect. The next image provides a bit more detail. Nice subjects to find, and then to photograph.
Ok, true this is a Christmas Cactus bloom at our dining room window, so not necessarily a “spring” photo subject, but hey, the flower has no calendar. Quite beautiful no matter when they decide to pop out.
On the other hand, colorful spring sunsets are typical in SW Virginia at this time of year, given the number of weather cold fronts that move through, often with clearing skies and nice colors, made more special in my opinion when leaves are not on the trees.
The two images below show the hardy nature of Pansies, that were planted last Fall, and made it through cold and snow looking good. The first image surprised me when I walked by, and saw the “smiling face” look up at me. Spring is a great season for photography.
In my opinion, the best places in the Commonwealth of Virginia to look for “history” are located in small towns and cities in relatively less traveled places compared to, for example, Virginia locals near the nation’s capital in the District of Columbia. Not that the latter is not full of great history, it’s just too “busy” for my tastes.
Chatham, Virginia south of Lynchburg is one small town that I love to visit. The old courthouse for Pittsylvania County is located in Chatham and its tall columns and unique clock tower make for some nice photography. The county was formed in 1767 and was named for William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. The Greek Revival building was originally built in 1853. Like I said, lots of history down here.
One of our family friends was showing me a couple of photos she had taken on her iPhone this winter and when I saw one I asked her where she found that subject, an old General Store. I decided right then that I was going to go visit that place with my camera as soon as the weather warmed and cleared. I’m so glad she put me onto this place because the photo below has become one of my new “favorites” of 2015 so far.
Getting a bit closer, I focused in on the old gasoline pump.
Check out the per gallon cost of gas at the time this pump was shut down. 32 cents.
Outdoor advertising was the main method of getting attention to products. Some signs were hand painted, others printed. All interesting and in the case of those still around, looking good.
Subjects like this are really great to find and photograph. In this case I had some help in the form of a tip from a friend. I’d love to get a lot more of these kinds of tips. Who knows, maybe I will.
These type photo compositions look best to me when done in black and white, especially on cloudy or overcast days. Most digital cameras today allow for this black and white setting versus color in camera; but perhaps one might prefer using Adobe Lightroom for example, to selectively transform a full color image into black and white during post processing. It’s all fun no matter what you do. Just do it!
Old buildings, used today or not used at all, no matter the purpose or design, are always interesting photo subjects for my eye. These scenes are located in the old Leaksville business section of Eden, NC. I sure would like to go back in time to see how busy the old hotel was, and the sort of visitor staying there. And then, I’d like to see what products Mr. Jones sold years ago in his hardware store. And what about the movies seen at the Eden Drive In? Don’t see these around much any more. Lots of questions, so many possible answers.