As I drove a narrow country road this past week, I found another nice photo opportunity similar to that I included in my last blog entry. I used a Fujifilm 55-200mm lens to capture the scene, shooting out the open passenger-side window of my car. This once-lived-in house has lots of memories still living inside. Finding deserted homes like this always makes me wonder who lived there.
Unexpected discoveries like this old house always make my day. The surprising thing was its location. It was less than five miles from where I live and right behind a grocery market I frequently drive by.
We can see throughout small town America today many examples of classic design utilized in structures built early in the 20th Century. Here are two examples.
I enjoy making photos of small towns located in rural areas. I’m always on the lookout for compositions which show evidence of “pride” in living there.
As I was driving along a rural highway close to home, I happened to glance behind a popular local food market I pass frequently and saw a small church I’d never spotted before. I stopped and found this nice photo opportunity.
What made it special to me was the brightly painted mailbox out front. I’m not sure if church services are still held inside, but the building itself is reasonably well maintained to make that possible. This proves my belief that we photographers always need to keep an open eye to our surroundings, there is much to be discovered.
I tend to look for “history” around me as I seek photo compositions. Recently I saw what used to be a small plant nursery where one could purchase plants and associated items. Small business at work. It’s closed for good now. Hard to compete with larger businesses in rural America these days. I applied a special Fijufilm simulation treatment in Luminar 3 which I thought gave the series an “older” look seen during the days of the iconic film.
I photographed these farm animals at various locations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Farming in this region has been in decline for decades, but a few hearty families carry on.
I feel fortunate when I find old rusty metal objects of various sorts. Some are older than others but all are interesting to me when color and texture is considered.
This photo is one of my favorites. I’ve been there many times, alone and with others. It’s located near 3000 feet elevation along the Blue Ridgeway Parkway. Perhaps one reason why I enjoy going there are thoughts I have about what it would have been like to have lived as a young adventurous barefooted boy in the adjacent farm house of which these outbuildings are a part.
Close enough to sit on the small dock on a hot summer’s day, feet dangling in the cool water, cane-pole fishing for an elusive bass or catfish, and still hear my mother’s voice calling for me to come home … time to eat. Maybe her reward would be a string of fish already caught. I could swim in this pond as well, carefully watching for various critters hiding in the grass. Snakes maybe.
Not shown in the photo are nearby open fields, providing unlimited opportunities for me to explore. I would have been told my limits, however. A well known terrain feature is Buffalo Mountain, which can be seen for mlles. I might have been told to always keep “the Buffalo” in sight. In the winter my wandering would be less. And, I would be told to stay away from the frozen pond. It gets very cold at 3000 feet, but in this part of Virginia it can also warm well above freezing in winter, making for thin ice.
In my mind I sense itches caused by chiggers and mosquito bites. I hear frogs croaking and crickets clicking, bees buzzing and various song birds calling. I visualize Turkey Buzzards, Eagles and Hawks gliding along in circles high above, surrounded by puffy clouds and blue sky. Soft breezes with the scent of fresh cut hay tease my nose. Sneezes would be common as a result.
As a summer’s day ended, and I lay on a quilt pallet my mom would have placed for me on our screened-in porch so I could be cool, compared to my usual bedroom in an attic space, I’d pray for the next day to be as exciting as the one just ended.