Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Once upon a time someone had a business and it was giving pony rides. At some point this was no longer so and the trailor was set aside in a front yard. Who knows if this was put to rest before or long after the fine old house in the background was deteriorating. All I knew is that this was a rather peculiar and therefore fun juxtaposition of ideas and shapes and colors. Hope you find it a bit of a kick too. There it was...just waiting to be a part of my country photos.
Friday, August 6, 2010
This is my favorite photo of my most favorite cat. She got sick a little over three years ago and went into a diabetic coma. It was horrible. I was told to let her go because she was in such bad shape. I didn't. I couldn't. And she lived for two full years before she took a walk into the cornfield (I surmise) and didn't return. She spent two full years taking great command over our entire household in so many ways. Not least of which was the fact that she required insulin shots each morning and each evening.
She had personality and was real ham. She was soft and became very tiny...just a bag of bones...and then she'd fatten up. She had a purr that would rival a motorboat's and I miss her. This is the photo that seems to mean the most to me and I hope you can find her in this too.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This setting was something I came across while doing an project for a builder who wanted his home documented. Having spent a couple of hours photographing details of the interior and exterior and putting the home completely in context for a variety of uses, I was on my way home. And here was this most gentle, but beautiful scene. Lyrical. Simple. Soft and hard. Nature punctuated with a bit of color. It was a total surprise and one I savored.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I'd never thought about what this site was to be specifically. In general I thought it would be to showcase my photography. Then I realized that there are other things that can be brought to people than my photography (although it will come through things that I've photographed). That said, here is a photo of an artist's work I saw at the Wide River Gallery in Colonial Beach yesterday. They are stark, straight forward and quite wonderful. What was even more interesting was the poetry that went with them. Connie Canby, the owner/proprietor of Wide River pointed the poetry out to me. I'm not a big poetry person...it isn't what really reaches me, but when it does, it really does. This was a special treat.
I found the whole gallery is really humming with things to look at and at reasonable prices. There is jewelry, special ceramic pieces, and pottery and some woodworked bowls, all of which are worth a look, as well as the two featured artists. A very worthwhile destination, if you are in that part of the world....oh, and across the street (diagonally) a Thai restaurant!!
Friday, July 30, 2010
In the summer I find it far more challenging to take photos. The light seems to be so flat. The colors seem to be rather intense and so there is little in the subtle world that I tend to enjoy to photograph that reveals itself. Then again it may be that I'm just not getting up early enough in the morning, or I'm not driving later in the evening.
One day this week I was up at before the crack of dawn and on my walk took my camera with the hopes that there would be something to shoot. The cloud formations looked promising and so over to the little bridge by Cat Point Creek I went.
There was a man in his canoe out there fishing. He had that whole world to himself. The sun started to come up, but before it was fully present I took a series of shots. Last evening I sent this both to my sister and to a good friend. What I called it was "gorgeous," and that seems fitting. Not that my photo is the gorgeous thing but that the world was gorgeous at this moment.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Earlier this year I had the responsibility for documenting the flower arrangements associated with a home tour. This was something I thoroughly enjoyed and in the course of the time spent, learned quite a bit. With my camera and available light I did the best that I could and some of the results were really quite acceptable...perhaps a bit better. Here is one that I was pleased with because of the nice light and the composition.
Labels: Flowers, historic home, Interior space Northern Neck photography historic home Kathryn Murray
Saturday, July 24, 2010
It's funny how you can drive past something day after day and never see any character in it. It just sits there and doesn't have much to say. You just race by and it is another mile in the road, that is all. Then sometimes it is totally different; transformed by the weather or the light or the time of year...the season and what is present just for a brief time.
This photo falls into that category. I've driven by there hundreds of times and never been interested to stop. Then this one moment arrived and it was a moment to savor. I hope you enjoy it too.
As another interpretation of this beautiful scene, my sister Bonnie Murray has done a painting as well which you can see by selecting the link.
Friday, July 23, 2010
This was the image I promised to put up after the poison ivy barn. Unfortunately, when I wake up in the middle of the night and decide to do something, sometimes I don't remember my promises. That's the reason for the shipwrecked boat....house in between the two images. Although I think that is a pretty neat building to get a glimpse of.
This is the barn that I had been photographing for years and that my husband said was going to fall. He was right. Within 24 hours of his prediction it was down on the ground...and what a loss. Well we can remember it in this form which is pretty unbelievable.
My sister Bonnie, who is a professional artist, often does paintings or prints using my photos as inspiration. This was one photo that caught her eye and she did a monoprint of it. You can see this piece by selecting this link...or I'm going to try to make this work with the link software. http://www.etsy.com/listing/39855269/windswept-barn-1-hand-pulled-monotype-of
For the last few months I've been working on a very interesting project doing desktop publishing for a group putting together an historic guide of the Northern Neck. This guide includes the four counties here as well as King George and Essex county. (I am hopeful that this will be available for purchase by the end of the year, or worst case, early in 2011.)
They were having difficulty in getting a couple of photos and I volunteered to get two of the ones needed to comlete the set which includes more than 400 total. This is one of the ones I volunteered for. The reason it was hard to shoot is that it can't be accessed by land anymore and it is very difficult to shoot from land. Naturally I enlisted a friend I have developed who is a fisherman and off we went.
This house, which obviously is abandoned, was put together with parts of a ship that was shipwrecked in the area. Note the portholes....not your most common architectural attribute. Just a little quirky and fun.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This barn is no longer standing. I took photos of it over the years and found that at this point it was just about gone. Totally covered with poison ivy and leaning precipitously, it lasted only a couple more weeks. Now, where it stood, there isn't even a pile of rubble. It has all been carted off.
This isn't the first time that a barn I felt strongly about disappeared. I think the first time I really kicked myself over taking (or not taking) a photo was of that beautiful barn off to your right as you drove across Broaddus Flats toward Richmond. That was years ago that it stood out there in the field, and it is long gone. I never stopped. I always thought there'd be another day, and there wasn't. I missed the opportunity.
Another barn that I loved and lost was one here at Naylors. I photographed it for years and one day after a very strong wind storm my husband said, it's going to go-- it's defying gravity. So I went down the road and over the little bridge at Cat Point and I photographed it--not that I believed him really. So the next day as I was driving home, he called me on my cellphone and said, don't drive off the road. Your barn is gone, and it was. Tomorrow I'll post that one. Both the poison ivy barn and the Naylors barn truly defied gravity even if just for a few brief moments.
Monday, July 19, 2010
When it works out I help friends of mine with flowers to take to the various farmers markets. In a way it is a rather overwhelming job. They have the flowers picked by the workers and when I arrive there are buckets and buckets full of them. You might think oh, what an idyllic sort of job...there's a bit more to it than that.
A series of ball jars are put up on top of a makeshift table. Maybe a dozen of them are put out to work at once. Once filled with water and strategically located, then it is a rush to fill them as quickly as possible. This means placing taller pieces in first and then filler and then nice big flowers like zinnias and rudbekia to give the bright colors of summer. An occasional sunflower might be a hit. Anyway, it is demanding to do set after set of a dozen arrangements and when I'm finished, I'm usually pretty exhausted. But it is a labor of love for this is the real thing...real flowers, going to real people who might not have that bit of country color otherwise. A joy truly, but one that takes some effort.
This image was taken a couple of years ago and has the early morning feel to it. Unlike the days we have now there is the sense of moisture and a future harvest. This morning as I walked at 6 a.m. the weather was such that there was just enough cool air coming off of the Rappahannock River to counter the already heating up day based on the rays of the sun.
This period of heat has just been too much. My nextdoor neighbor, who returned from Florida, is not exactly appreciating the heat. It is the kind of heat where you really don't want to work outdoors for very long.
Anyway, the photo is very green and truly alive with the small bird flying off. A brief moment of perfect morning with its coolness and colors and quiet.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This was one of those moments when I was working taking photos of the "real target" which was the historic home and the little outbuilding had a lot to say for itself. Fairly early in the morning with the light peaking from behind it, it had its own history and was just worth a few extra moments.
The photo was selected from among those I offered to House and Home for their issue in March/April that included a great article on outbuildings. They did a great layout for the whole article.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Over the years I've become increasingly interested in the architecture in this area. It may be the grand or the humble, but mostly the humble. Little buildings on the side of the road have intrigued me and many of them have met their demise much to my chagrin. Nonetheless I've photographed for years and years and have a reasonable record of many that no longer grace our side roads.
In addition to these buildings I also enjoy taking photos of interiors. This is useful for real estate, but in a way it is just a continuation of all that I have done professionally. When I worked in Manahattan in the late 1970s and 1980s I worked in architect and design-related fields and so there was regular analysis of what worked and didn't work for a space and often these ideas come to mind when I'm photographing a space. For that reason I wanted to put up a handful of interiors along the way with my photography, for they are important too, to my work.
This shot is at a home that I had listed for a dear friend who did the most wonderful things with her interiors. Every detail was just gorgeous to behold and going through the house and taking vignettes provided me with so many opportunities to collect beautiful images it was amazing.
Riding along the various back roads while doing my work in real estate, I often find a little gem somewhere out in the fields. This barn with its two colored roof and the bit of another building off to the left, just made the most beautiful set of forms, along with the shadow of the tree. I guess I always see these both as realistic kinds of shots and also as blurry pastels that could become a harmony of shapes and colors. Sometimes I wish I had the kind of time that would make them into pastels, and yes, I know that Photoshop could do that for me in an instant...but I don't like that effect at all.
Friday, July 16, 2010
It must be that because of all the heat I am drawn to the colder images. It may be that you prefer the heat to the cold, but I can warm up and sometimes I can't cool down.
This little fence is right near my home and I caught the shot early in the day when there was just the right amount of light and moisture in the air. A very simple moment with a very simple image that feels like the essence of a beautiful winter morning.
Take a look at the painting that my sister, Bonnie Murray, did based on the photograph.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This shot was taken during one of the many snows over the 2009/2010 winter. Driving along Menokin Road something caught my eye. And as often happens I pull over and back up, and I'm a bit embarassed to say, but I rolled down my window and took three shots.
When I met the people from House and Home Magazine regarding the photos I'd taken for the 2010 Richmond County Historic Garden Week tour, they asked if I'd taken photos of outbuildings. Well that is a real passion of mine, so of course I told them yes.
They took a good number of my photos and they were the mainstay of the article in their March/April edition. This photo was the one on the title page and in my mind...it looked just great. There is so much going on in such a simple scene. The two buildings with white on black, the bit of magnolia tree. The form of the little white building. It sure caught my eye.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Recently I’ve updated my Mosaic Globe account and almost completely filled my five pages. Within the galleries there is a range of photography that I hope fairly well represents my interests. I’ve gotten a bit of feedback from friends requesting I place an explanation or elaboration with the photos. For that reason I’m taking many of those images and mounting them here, day by day, telling the story--if any--about that image. Here is the first in a series, I hope.
Driving home from the Kinsale area in the late afternoon I was struck by the raking light running across the little Elba Schoolhouse off in the field. Often I drive right by these kind of photo opportunities and kick myself later for missing the opportunity. This was not one of those times. The American flag was flying across the porch and this was the first time I’d ever seen it. Of course we were just a week or so beyond 9/11 and so there were many shows of American support and pride. This one, though, was so powerful and simple it really made me pause. Even without the story of the timing of this photo I find its stark simple lines and the wonderful age of the schoolhouse are quite an image.
Friday, February 5, 2010
One of these days I'll perhaps get beyond the day-to-day here and go back to some photos I really have felt strongly about. But for the moment, this is some documentation of the last few days and the weather and what it's felt like to be here. The first photo is of a road in Westmoreland County. We managed to fishtale a bit up a large hill and this was in four wheel drive. After that we had these nice little rolling hills to contend with. The flecks are from snow on the windhshield.
So later in the day (and this was this past Sunday) I took a similar photo of the picnic table out on the deck with a bit of sunshine on it.
There also was a gorgeous photo opportunity early in the day as the moon was fading and the sun was coming up. Here's a boathouse with the moon setting in the west.
And finally there are the piers the next morning as it was foggy and misty because of all the humidity in the air. Slightly eerie and beautiful.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Here are a couple of images that don't all fit together. The first two are of this morning and my walk quite early before the sun was fully up. I kind of liked the relationships in the first photo of the cinderblock house and the truck and snow and the crab and ....well you'll see.
A little later on the dogs were ready to go off over the little Catpoint Creek bridge in quest of I don't know what, and we turned around and went home. Pretty spectacular ice on the road, but it started to melt later in the day.
We drove around and found that the main roads were in pretty good shape which bode well for Monday, whereas a lot of the back roads looked like they were going to be snow or ice covered for quite some time. When we took the regular way back, which I had seen was plowed this morning, we realized that although it was plowed there was room only for one vehicle and so we kept our fingers crossed. It happened though that in 4 miles we met with not a single vehicle. Still, neither of us will go out that way in the morning.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Given that the snow has allowed me the time and ability to final start on this site, I will place three photos that recognize how beautiful it can be with snow on the ground. The photo in the upper left, that of our front yard, shows that we got perhaps 12 inches of snow today since the table has snow piled high.
Every day I either travel the Northern Neck, or walk the neighborhood and there is always something to look at and consider. There aren't always photo opportunities, but surprisingly even the most mundane scene can have a special moment which is exemplified by the little side road we live on, shown above when the sun was just coming up and there were layers of light being suffused through bits of fog. The mundane became beautiful.
The other shot is out over the Rappahannock river looking toward Tappahannock and the bridge. Kind of a traditional view with the pinks of the morning light, but nothing to complain about for a day-to-day scene.
Photographing on the Northern Neck is challenging. Often it is beautiful in a soft, sort of amorphous kind of way. You wonder where you can find the grit, the juxtaposition, the meat of this place. And sometimes it just appears. Some of these photos will be simply for information, some of them will hopefully be interesting or stimulating and some of them will be an illustration of how beautiful this world can be when you least expect it. We'll see how well I do.