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Category Archives: Architecture

Axton Virginia is Special

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Axton is a special place, for me, because I love making photographs of locations that today are far from what they once were. This very small town is located along the state line with North Carolina, near Martinsville, Virginia. Today there is an elementary school there which is part of the Henry County School System, a Fire and Rescue Station, some retail convenience stores, a few old buildings-some occupied and some not, and many small farms. The old water tower there definitely caught my eye.

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Once, a train line passed through and stopped at this station. I walked around it, thinking about what it was like when a train approached on rails now gone.

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There was a furniture store here at one time, now empty, and a Post Office building that to me looks like an old bank. It’s now being used to sell various items.

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Lastly, the farming nature of the area is easy to spot by some vacant farm homes, barns and other structures.

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Like I wrote earlier, Axton is a special place for me … and my camera.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2016 in America's Past, Architecture

 

A Quilter’s Country Home

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My wife Barb is a very good “Quilter” and she has close friends here in SW Virginia who are equally so, or better. They each truly love what they do, and spend a good bit of time doing it together. A few days ago, I drove Barb to her quilting friend Patsy’s country home, to deliver an item she had made to be “machine quilted” on Patsy’s large frame machine. I was excited to go along because I wanted to see and photograph Patsy’s century-old family home. The brick style is classic, and it’s in very good condition. There were outside aspects of the home that caught my eye. Such as …

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After I went inside, and after Patsy kindly said I could go look at whatever I wanted, I wandered about being most attracted to the warm wooden textures, especially on the well-worn stairs. The stained glass window in the front door was also interesting. It’s not an original, but looks like it.

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I also walked around outside, making photos of her apple trees and the grape arbor, noting that birds and bees were thoroughly enjoying themselves on the fruit. Patsy also has a vegetable garden, and before we left she took me into her “root cellar” to show me all that she has preserved for later use. She offered me a couple of mason jars full of goodies, which I happily accepted.

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Three hours after we arrived, we drove home having just experienced the true hospitality of a “SW Virginian” … folks we are so very happy to be close to.

 

Finding Peace

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When I ride along narrow roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I see images that make me feel more at peace, especially when I get home and put my photographs on my computer, where I can look at what I saw, in much greater detail. Making photos is fun! And peaceful!

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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Animals, Architecture, Landscape

 

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NC Mountain Legend: Mast General Store

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I’m a sucker for being first in line to visit any old General Store. Anywhere. We’re fortunate to live close to many still operating in the mountain regions of Virginia and North Carolina. My favorite is located in Valle Crucis, NC near Boone. Mast General Store has so much to see you need at least an hour, and even then you will feel like going around again to find that “special treasure” just waiting for you. In that regard, there’s lots to make you get your credit card out, or your cash, whichever. As far as photo opportunities are concerned … well, just take a look at what I saw recently.

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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in America's Past, Architecture

 

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Looking up in Uptown Martinsville

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Martinsville, Virginia is my home. While I live just outside the city limits, I consider myself a resident, because I spend so much time there with my camera. I have seen the city in ways many people do not. At one time not too long ago, Martinsville was a primary “economic engine” for the Commonwealth. Today, not so much because of major changes in how America obtains manufactured goods, such as textiles and furniture…overseas versus local. But, this is another story. Here, I want to show you what I saw recently while “looking up” in Martinsville. More importantly, I’m convinced that the economic future of the city is also, “looking up.” Lots in that regard is ongoing, but again that’s another story. Now for the photos. PS: Others who live here might want to guess where the photo subjects are located.

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An Old Church on a Lake

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It was a dark and somewhat dreary day when I visited this old stone church on Lake Janaluska, NC. However, during processing of the images I made, I used some filters and other adjustments to make it look more interesting.

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A Small Potting Shed

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As I was walking down a street in Eden, NC I noticed that to the rear of a large brick house now a realtor’s office, there was a smaller brick structure that I wanted to see more of. So, I walked to it, looked inside an open door and saw this.

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Looking closer I wondered what it’s purpose had been, since it was obviously no longer in use. There were marble steps around the lower perimeter of the opening, as well as pipes and shelves holding a few small pots.

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I concluded the small space was once a “potting shed” that might also have served as a winter season “greenhouse” complete with watering capability. Whatever it was, it definitely caught my eye, and made me thankful for being able to record with my camera what I saw.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in America's Past, Architecture

 

Weather Vanes

A Weather Vane is an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. They are typically used as an architectural ornament located at the highest point of a building. I found two at the top of buildings in Martinsville, Virginia. The first is at the top of the historic “Gray Lady” house and the second sits at the top of the city’s Post Office. Both looked better to me in black and white.

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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in America's Past, Architecture

 

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Big City Glass

It’s enjoyable to make photos of scenes that show a different view, such as how large buildings are reflected in the widow glass of other large buildings, when viewed from a certain angle. The first image below, made recently in downtown Greensboro, NC, is really different because of the symmetry, colors and contrast along with the reflection on the door window, of a large building across the street.

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Here are a couple of other images from Greensboro, which show how window reflections can give a completely new look to reality.

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Photography is fun!

 
 

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Tall

I often like to go out with my camera with a single subject or theme in mind. When I walked around downtown Greensboro, NC recently I planned to focus on compositions that involved things “tall.” For me, Greensboro and it’s neighboring city Winston-Salem are perfect places to visit. Lots of available places to park on weekends, friendly people and inviting places to visit. So, have a look at what I saw. Looking up.

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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Architecture

 

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