It’s August and Crape Myrtle time in SW Virginia. White and pink colors brighten our neighborhood.
We have experienced almost daily thunderstorms this month. Typical July weather here in SW Virginia. Sunrises and sunsets have been especially interesting from a photographic standpoint.
This is an image of a section of the Smith River, as it flows through Henry County, Virginia. It’s a popular recreational location for kayakers, canoeists and trout fishing enthusiasts. It’s also a popular place for photographers like me.
I don’t spend much time looking specifically for photo opportunities of birds, but once in awhile I get lucky and see a “target of opportunity.” First, skittish Cardinals usually don’t wait long for one to make a photo. I recently saw (through our kitchen window) a male Cardinal sitting on our backyard shed roof. It was loudly chirping, probably seeking to attract a female. I grabbed my camera fortunately with 55-200mm lens attached, which was sitting on my desk where I’d placed it while downloading images from the day prior, and hustled outside expecting to make several nice images of the bird. After the first try, my camera alerted me with a message on the LCD screen that there was no SD card inserted. Stupid me, I’d left the card in the reader I was using to download photos. So, I went back inside and installed the card, hoping the Cardinal would remain where it was. It did, and I was able to make this photo. Nothing great, but definitely rewarding after all I’d gone through.
Second, I was recently sitting in a chair outside during sunset, waiting for the light to create a good view of clouds to the west. Just as I was ready to go inside after making several “OK” photos, I looked up and saw a Turkey Buzzard quickly sailing by. Thanks to a fast focus I made the shot. Again, not that great of an image, but I sure was happy to make it. During these times of limited travel due to the pandemic, small photographic successes “close to home” mean a lot.
For me, photography is largely about highlighting what I see daily in nature. I realize we have lots of negative aspects in our lives these days that can challenge positive thoughts. However, it’s calming when I find visual examples of the good things in life, which only I was able to see in the moment.
We live nearby Fieldale Virginia, once home to a large textile plant and now just a memory of better economic times. One popular attraction is a fully restored building that was a Shell Gas Station and garage. It’s full of antiques of various sorts … a perfect photo opportunity.
Looking close behind the gas pumps there is an original public telephone booth … inoperable of course because many people stopping by probably couldn’t figure out how to use it.
After three days of unseasonably cool weather and almost continuous rain (over 8 inches) I was able to go out for a walk in wooded areas near my neighborhood. The rays of sunshine filtering their warmth through overhanging leaves brightened my day.
One positive result of being limited in traveling to photo-rich areas is that I’ve discovered how much I can find close to home. Using a 16mm lens on my Fuji with flip LCD I was able to make this composition of a small patch of quarter-inch sized wild flowers in our backyard. The flowers only last a day or two before wilting into the grass.
I especially like this composition that shows the flowers stretching toward a blue-sky horizon.