Monday, January 31, 2011

The Color Of Winter

Farm Morning

This image was created by using a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 100 and was exposed for 1/320 sec. @ f/4.5.

If you look at last weeks Color of Winter photo… Sky Valley… and look down the valley, in the distance you will see a farm and in the midst of the buildings, on the left side, you will see a Silo. Well, this is the farm to which the Silo belongs.

Right after I took the Sky Valley photo, I went down the road a few hundred yards and took this photo. Many times, after taking one photo, because something caught your eye, you will turn around and see something similar that falls into the same thoughts. This is one of those occasions.

If you look at this photo and the Sky Valley photo, the colors and lighting are very much alike but the photos portray to different ideas; one of beauty and the other of hard work. I think you can guess which ones are which… :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weekly Black & White Photography

House Of Stories

This image was created with a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 500 and was exposed for 1/160 sec. @f/4.5.

On Patterson Creek Road, south of Burlington, WV, sits this old home. I don’t know how old it is but I pass it every time I go to Petersburg. On this particular day I just decided to photograph the place as it looks like it won’t be standing for very much longer.

While doing so, I started wondering what if those walls could talk? Can you imagine the stories they could tell, even if they are just about day to day activities. I can sense the possible laughter that reverberated off of those walls. In times of sadness there would be crying; maybe, even, with big sobs and yup-yups…

The sounds of a baby crying for it’s dinner would carry through the house, and the clanging of dishes in the sink would be heard as they were washed. A wooden table, perhaps, would be in the middle of the kitchen with chairs of various sizes and design around it, and an old refrigerator with a box above it where one would put the big chunk of ice for cooling would be sitting over in the far corner.

A big cast iron wood burning stove would be against the outside wall and early in the morning, on one of the flat burners, there would be bacon and eggs frying in a cast iron skillet. And on Sunday's one could smell the aroma of oven baked chicken. In the living room there would be a basset hound lying on the floor over by the fireplace, and a rocking chair would be nearby. There would be a Bible lying on a stand next to that rocking chair and the pages would be worn with age and use.

I know, I know. I may be putting too much into this but, wouldn’t you really like to know what life was like in that house? What were the people like, what did they wear and what were their dreams? How happy were they? It would be interesting to find out how they made their living, and from where did their ancestors come.

This may have been a normal, unassuming, family but they lived, they laughed and cried, and at one time they made this house a home. And last, what happened to them?

Yeah, having questions and seeking answers, and photographing the interior, could really make this building a true House of Stories…

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Color Of Winter

Sky Valley

This image was created with a Point & Shoot Camera. The ISO is 80 and was exposed for 1/800 sec. @f/4.

The other setting that I’ve been using on this camera is called “ Positive Film “ mode. For those of you who might be to young to know about positive film, it is a slide film similar to Kodachrome. However, where Kodachrome had bright saturated colors, this positive film mode tends more to enhance blues, greens and reds very much like Ektachrome, which is considered to be a bit on the cool side. I like this mode and use it quite a lot.

In addition, since Winter has a bluish cast to it, Positive Film mode brings that out quite nicely; as in this photo...

This photo was taken just north of Petersburg, WV. As I topped a ridge, just a few miles outside of town, this was the scene before me. It had been cloudy all morning and now the clouds were just starting to break up. There was a combination of smoke in the valley below along with the early morning steam arising from the South Branch Potomac River.

I only had a moment to grab my camera, point and shoot. The settings were Auto ISO and P for Programmed mode. This gave me the settings above in the first paragraph. If you click on the photo you will see a bigger and better version.

Even in the cool morning hours there is beauty and color to be found in the midst of Winter. It’s out there, and if you just look for it you will find every where… The Color Of Winter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekly Black & White Photography

An American Country Post Office


This image was created with a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 80 and was exposed for 1/250 sec. @ F4.

Upper Tract, WV is a very small community that is located on U.S. 220 between Petersburg and Franklin, WV. It lies at the confluence of Reeds Creek and the South Branch Potomac River.

The history of Upper Tract, WV can be traced back as far as 1756 when Fort Upper Tract, along with the nearby Fort Seybert, was built. Most likely it was a circular enclosure about 90 feet in diameter, with logs about 10’ tall set side by side.

About 1758 Fort Upper Tract was destroyed by a band of French and Indians on April 27. During the destruction, 22 person were killed or captured, including the killing of James Dunlap who commanded the fort.

This photo shows what the U.S. Post Office looks like today. It is beautiful country down through that valley and U.S. Route 220 rides along the river, for the most part, between Petersburg and Franklin. It is well worth the drive just to see country that most people will never experience.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Color Of Winter

North Cumberland – Tuesday Afternoon at 4:30 P.M.

This image was created with a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 100 and was exposed for 1/60 sec. @f/2.8.

One thing I like about the color of Winter is the soft & subdued colors that can occur, especially on days when it is snowing. This is an example of what I mean; created just last week.

In fact, I find here that this is much of what Cumberland may have looked like up to 100 years ago or more. Many of the buildings that you see from this rooftop view are either that old or at least with in 20 years of being that old.

Yeah, this is my world, as seen from my place of employment, and you are welcome to it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekly Black & White Photography

 The Battle of Folcks Mill

This image was created with a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 100 and was exposed for 1/200 sec. @f/5.6.

After burning Chambersburg, PA, two southern cavalry brigades under the command of General John McCausland and Bradley Johnson approached Cumberland to disrupt the B&O Railroad and possibly to burn it as well.

At about 3:00 p.m., in the vicinity of Folcks Mill, the southern cavalry brigades were hit by a surprise attack by a detachment of union forces consisting of the 156th Ohio Regiment under the command of General Benjamin F. Kelly, as well as local townsmen that made up the Potomac Home Brigade Home Militia under the command of Charles Mynn Thruston of Washington Street. In addition, there were three artillery crews of the 1st Illinois Battery L.

Hundreds of townspeople also came out to sit on the surrounding hill sides to watch.

As the union forces opened fire at point blank range, the confederates spread across the valley with many taking cover in and around Folcks Mill, and behind several other buildings that were nearby. The battle raged on for about 5 hours and about 8:00 p.m. the confederates fell back and under the cover of darkness they withdrew from the battlefield and headed south towards Flintstone Creek. They crossed over into WV south of Oldtown, MD.

Cumberland’s one and only battle was over and the town was saved by an outnumbered, and untested, group of union forces, and it all took place on August 1, 1864 just East of town at Folcks Mill.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Weekly Black & White Photography

Christmas Past

This image was created with a Point & Shoot camera. The ISO is 800 and was exposed, handheld, for 1/3 sec. at f/3.2.

In the deep dark recesses of my mind lie many memories. On occasion, something triggers a scene, a moment in time from Christmases past, and many times it is like looking into a mirror image of what my minds sees; like what I see in this mirror that is on the stand with the washbowl basin sitting in the corner of the room.

Christmas past has a tree that is wrapped around with strings of large bright bulbs hung loose on the limbs with shimmering colors of red and green and blue; candles, balls and candy canes hang precariously on the edges of branches. The smell in the house becomes one of pine and overcomes all other scents that has come before. It is a wonderful and magical moment filled with fun and laughter. There is excitement in the air and our hearts are excited with expectations of what we might find under the beautifully lit tree on Christmas morning.

And every time a camera is used, pointing it’s open eye at the bright and colorful tree, it is captured on film that always comes out in black & white. But, if you look close, setting free your imagination and inviting your mind to see, the reds the greens and the blues are there, and only then does the black & white come around to full color once again…