Random Photo & Thoughts

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are now living downtown.  Our dog, Katie, is an older lady of 13 years.  She stays indoors with us and we walk her about a block and a half a few times a day so she can fertilizer the vacant lot (turned city park) down the street.

As mentioned, she is older, so her pace is not exactly swift and like most mature beings she prefers to take her time and not be rushed as she sniffs out the ideal spot to make her contribution to soil enrichment.

The other day while patiently waiting for her to determine the epicenter for her next event I noticed the evidence of a former doorway in the building adjacent to the park.  I wondered about what had been there in the past, what use or contribution to society the building may have served in a past life.  I noticed the contrast of the old facade next to a wooden post that now served as a power distribution point for park events.  I decided to pull out my phone for a bit of #iPhoneography.

img_0099 If you look closely, you can still make out the oak timbers that framed the opening.

Have a great day…perhaps I will notice more on a future outing with Katie.

Mike

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

Sunday Snap 02.24.19 Featured Image

Visiting my favorite coffee shop…

One of my more savory guilty pleasures is visiting Talia Espresso on a Saturday afternoon.  It’s a family-owned coffee shop in my hometown, serving a nice variety of coffee drinks and baked treats. 

My family and I like to visit on the weekends, it’s a beautiful shop in a historic building downtown.  The walls are lined with bookcases filled with books and art.  The books are provided for customers and the art is by local artist and many of the pieces are available for purchase. 

We visited yesterday, while there I enjoyed a vanilla latte and a cinnamon coffee cake, I also snapped this photo with my phone.

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

I started Sunday Snap a few weeks ago as a way to ensure that I maintained a balance between drawings and photography.  My weekly schedule is usually full and that limits my time to get out with a camera and shoot.  I wanted a way to create regular photography content between “real” outings with my camera.  Now, I’m thinking about using Sunday Snap as a way to share more about my life outside of this blog. 

I would love to hear your feedback.  Comments are welcome.

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

Sunday Snap 02.17.19 Featured Image

For this Sunday Snap, I traveled back to 2015…

This photo was taken back in September of 2015 when I was just becoming interested in photography.  I shot this image with a Canon PowerShot SX400 IS which is a point and shoot camera.  I originally purchased this camera to document hiking trips.  That is what spurred my interest in photography.  I still have this camera and enjoy using it on occasion.

The camera lacks the ability to manually set aperture or shutter speed, it doesn’t even have a proper viewfinder, just a screen.  But, I like it none the less!

The subject of today’s snap is an abandoned building about one mile from my home.  It fronts on the same highway that I travel each day during my daily commute.  I wish I knew the history of this building but unfortunately, I don’t.  To me, it has the look of an old country store.  I can imagine a single family running the store on the ground level while living on the second floor above.

Abandoned buildings like this always make me wonder what happened.

How did this building fall into ruins?

Who is the owner?

Why has it been left to be consumed and reclaimed by nature?

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

“Ruins are more beautiful than adorned castles, for ruins are the cathedrals of time.” – Ben Caesar

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Kid in a Candy Shop

About a year ago our little town was fortunate enough to have an adventurous couple move in and open a candy shop in one of the historical buildings downtown.  The shop is comfortable and charming.  They not only sale candy but also feature handmade goods from local artisans.

We like to visit the shop every couple of weeks to fill up on the wonderful sweets that are offered there.  We were visiting the shop a few weeks ago and I decided to snap off a few photos of the brightly colored candies.

View these photos at your own risk…you may leave this page with a sudden craving for something sweet.

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For the Love of Apples

Every year, since my childhood, on the first Saturday of October.  My hometown closes the streets and makes preparations for the biggest day of the year…The Apple Festival.

The Apple Festival is a single day festival that features crafts, artisans, food, music, fun & games.  The typically quiet streets come alive with spectators, performers, and the tempting scents of a variety of good eats.

Lately, I have been very interested in street photography.  However, I have the same fear as many aspiring street photographers…and that is…the fear of someone being upset over having their photo taken.  But, in a festival setting…it just feels safer.  The streets are so crowded and people are so distracted that know one really notices, or cares, if a stranger is pointing a camera at them.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I certainly didn’t wade into the crowd just clicking away and pointing my camera at every interesting person I saw.  In reality, I was still cautious and selective about where or who I pointed my camera at.

Many times I either flat out missed opportunities or simply hesitated and the moment was gone.  But, the more I pressed the shutter release the more confident I felt and the more fun I had.

Below are few images from that outing.  Honestly, I realize that they’re a bit amateurish, but, I wouldn’t expect anything better based on my experience.  I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the act of attempting street photography.  I plan to try again soon.

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A couple of food vendors trying to keep up with customer demands.

 

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Yes, The Apple Festival really draws a crowd, as seen here, a couple of imperial storm troopers managed to make the journey.

 

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This ladies tattoo caught my eye.  It was obviously done by a very talented artist.  I had to get a photo.

 

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I’m not sure what to say about this one.  I was actually photographing the van.  It was part of a vendor’s booth setup.  Plus, I just like Volkswagon vans.

 

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These guys were breaking it down old school.  The most interesting of the three was the guy in the black hat playing the spoons.

 

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This guy should win to award for the most enthusiastic.  Prior to taking this photo he was attempting to lead the crowd in a spirited singing of America the Beautiful.  I don’t know what the gentleman on the left said to him but, judging by his expression, it must have been amusing.

As always, thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoyed them.

– Mike L.

Abandoned & Lonely

There’s something about this image that I find intriguing.  To me, it speaks of loneliness and abandonment.

The bars on the window indicate that perhaps, at sometime in the past, this building held items that were precious to someone.  The building and it’s contents where important and worth protecting.

Now…only shards of glass and tattered drapes remain.  Important to no one, simply forgotten and neglected.

Security

This image was shot during the same outing as my On the hunt for reflections… post.

As always, thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoy them.

– Mike L.

 

Pursuing Textures…

This past week’s challenge was texture.  So on Sunday afternoon I grabbed my camera with the intention of seeking out textures.

When you pay attention it’s amazing how much diversity there is in common day objects.  Materials that we are around each day…all of them with their unique texture or pattern.

All of the photos below where shot in and around the community commons area in Wilkesboro using my Canon 24mm, 2.8 lens.  It can focus well at a very short distance and it is the best lens I have for capturing close-up images.

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Brick with blistering paint on the wall of the Wilkes Heritage Museum.  This building was originally constructed in 1902 as the Wilkes County Courthouse.
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Fallen Pin Oak leaves at the Community Commons.
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More Pin Oak leaves.  I also liked the different colors and textures of the paved surface
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This image may be more pattern that texture but…these stacks of chairs caught my eye and I couldn’t resist photographing them.
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Fire Pit…I was not only drawn to the texture of the rocks but also the stark contrast between the rough dark rocks and the smooth bright stainless steel.
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One more image from this outing.  I just had to get a photo of these berries.

 

As always, thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoyed them.

– Mike L.

Downtown Photo Walk

This morning the weather was overcast with periods of misty rain.  I was hoping to actually shoot during the wet morning conditions but by the time I could get out and shoot the mist had stopped and everything was dry.   The overcast skies remained and and I went downtown to see if I could spot anything interesting.

Now, I live in a small town.  A very quiet small town…so, there isn’t much going on during an overcast Sunday afternoon.  I did mange to find a few things to shoot.  The following images arn’t the most dramatic of photos but they do represent my surroundings on this day.

IMG_3113I felt much safer once I realized the local pink flamingo brigade was watching over me.

IMG_3109This vacant shop provided some inspiring words…If you look closely you can see the photographer’s reflection in the door.

IMG_3075I’m not sure what this guy was doing…best to just move along and let him be.

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This was the best image of the day.  It’s a poster in the window of the local comic book store.  I like the double exposure effect that you get from the streets reflection in the window.

That’s it for today.  If you would like to see more images from my walk follow me on Instagram at mike_lovette

A Trip to the Antique Shop

Key City (3 of 3)

On Christmas Eve we visited one of the local antique shops just to browse the items and enjoy some time out and about as a family.  To me, it’s always interesting to browse through any kind of antique or vintage items.  I think (particularly in the U.S.) we put too much value on new and shiny and in the process we fail to see the value of older goods.  I think each blemish, be it a scratch or well-worn area, tells a story and should be appreciated for the service or use that a particular item has provided.  Many times these items have many years of service remaining and can become a cherished possession.

I carried my camera with me as we walked through the store.  I was hoping to discover some unique items or photo compositions.  I did manage to get a few shots that I thought may be worth sharing.

Click on any of the photos below to see a higher resolution version.

Key City (1 of 3)Key City (2 of 3)Key City (3 of 3)If you enjoyed this post, please visit the links below to see some of my other works.  Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Ascend

Ascend (2 of 4)

The theme for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Ascend.  My plan was to walk around town and photograph objects that ascended in some fashion.  Living in a small town my subjects are a bit limited but I managed to find a few things that fit the theme.

Click on any of the photos below to see a higher resolution version.

Ascend (1 of 4)

Ascend (2 of 5)

Ascend (3 of 4)

Ascend (4 of 4)

If you enjoyed this post, please visit the links below to see some of my other works.  Thanks.

Downtown Photo Exploration

Electrical Meters Cluster

A few nights ago I met up with a good friend and fellow photographer to do a bit of urban exploration in our small downtown environment.  We are limited to just a few blocks of buildings and alleys.  I considered the night to be a successful outing.  I think we will only get better with time as we learn to recognize opportunities.   This was more of a test run than anything else.  In the past couple of weeks I have ventured out with my wife a time of two to shoot predetermined areas.  This was the first time to meet up with a fellow photographer to just wander around and see what we could find.  I came away with some decent shots and some that are less than impressive.  But, all in all, it was a good learning experience.  I look forward to more outings, more exploration, and hopefully more “post worthy” photos.

Ghost walker in a downtown alley
Can you see the ghost walker?
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Rear view of a downtown building with elevated iron walkway
Electrical Meters Cluster
A cluster of electrical meters in a downtown alley.
Graffiti Door
Graffiti next to the entrance to an abandoned downtown building
Dark and narrow downtown alley
Shot of a dark and narrow downtown alley.
Moon with alley walls
Shot of the moon framed with the walls of a downtown alley.

Night Photography – An Illuminating Presence

Night Photography Light Trails Automotive Garage

The photos below are of a custom “Hot Rod” shop in my hometown.  At one time this building was actually the local Dodge Dealership.  The Dodge dealer moved to a modern facility many years ago.  Now, this is the home of Miller Brothers Hot Rod Barn.  They are a custom automotive shop and always have something interesting sitting in the showroom.

I drove past their garage recently and couldn’t help but take notice of the building.  It was late at night and the interior of the building was completely illuminated.  This set it apart from the other buildings in this small downtown environment.  I didn’t have my camera with me so I drove home and then returned with camera gear in hand.

The brightly illuminated showroom and shop space were in sharp contrast with the building exterior which I thought would give the photos an interesting look.  The exposure on these could be better, but, I am still learning.  I was lucky enough to have a small amount of traffic to add interest to the photos by leaving light trails across the long exposure images.

Click on any of the images below for a larger version

Night Photography Light Trails Automotive Garage
A photo of the showroom at night with light trails in the foreground.
Night photography auto garage with light trails
I like the light trails in the foreground and the large illuminated windows of the garage in the background.  If you look closely you will notice the classic car to the right of the showroom.
Night photography auto garage
Black and white photo of a custom automotive shop

Night Photography – A Deserted Downtown Alley

Downtown Alley At Night. Black and White Long Exposure Photo

This image was captured on the same night as my Main at Dusk photo.  It is another long exposure photo.  This time the subject is an alley downtown.  I like the strong contrast of this image and the texture created by the brick walls.

Downtown Alley At Night. Black and White Long Exposure Photo
Black and white photo of a downtown alley. This is a long exposure photo taken at night.