Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wide River Gallery, a slightly different take

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 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

An extraordinary morning moment, just this week

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

Historic home tour flower arrangement

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.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Misty morning farmhouse with barley in foreground

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

Falling Down Barn 24 hours before Demise

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 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.

House built from a ship

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

Poison ivy barn

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

A touch of summer flowers

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.

Corn at dawn

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

Outbuilding at Milden, historic home

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

Architecture, historic home, decor, interior design

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.

Two tone barn roof with raking tree shadows

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

Icy fence

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

Outbuildings in the snow

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 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

Elba Schoolhouse and 9/11

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.