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 05.26.19

Sunday Snap 05.26.19 Featured Image

Backyard Visitors…

This morning I hosted a trio of visitors in my backyard.  I noticed them as I was pouring my coffee.  I grabbed my camera and snuck out the front door, carefully making my way towards the backyard.  I didn’t want to startle my unexpected visitors.

I shot these photos at a distance, the deer were standing at the edge of the woods in a heavily shaded area.  I was standing in bright sunlight.  The bulk of the shots were too blurry to post.  I did manage to steady my camera enough to get at least one decent shot.  As I stated before I was standing a good distance from them.  This photo was shot with my Canon 75-300 “kit” lens so the image quality isn’t the best.

Sunday Snap 05.26.19

Thanks for viewing, I hope everyone has a creative & wonderful day. – Mike

Bonus photo…

This photo is blurry but, there is something about the composition that appeals to me, so I thought I would share it with you guys.

Sunday Snap 05.26.19 Bonus Image

 

Seeking Solitude in Nature

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

There was a break in the weather.  A crack in winter’s grasp, spring has begun to gain a foothold, It was time to get out into nature for an afternoon.

Last Sunday afternoon I took a few hours for myself.   I took a 40-minute drive to Stone Mountain State Park to seek some healing solitude in nature.  My intentions where modest, simply to take a short walk to Wolf Rock & Cedar Rock and then back to the parking lot.  I chose this route hoping to avoid crowded overlooks within the park.  For the most part, I was successful.  I only met a handfull of other nature seekers on the trail.

Along the trail, I was also keeping my eyes open for photo opportunities.  The only camera I carried was my iPhone.  The idea was to travel light and have a device that I could slip out of my pocket easily to capture a quick snap while walking the trail.


The first composition that caught my eye were these fallen trees.  I liked the mix of old and new,  a life cycle within the forest.  The two mature trees that were more than likely blown over now serve to enrich the forest soil for the younger saplings and vegetation that will take hold.

Photo Mar 10, 4 20 14 PM


Not much farther up the trail, I noticed lichen growing on this tree along with this stringy vegetation.  I’m not sure if it is a species of moss or something else all together.

Photo Mar 10, 4 20 47 PM


I paused to take this photo of the trail bed, with it’s winter covering of leaves.

Photo Mar 10, 4 33 26 PM


Now, nearing Wolf Rock, I noticed the moss growing on a low hanging tree branch as I ducked to pass below it.

Photo Mar 10, 4 44 36 PM


My primary destination, Wolf Rock.  Before walking out onto the rock, I paused to shoot this puddle with it’s reflecting light.  Wolf Rock is a large gently sloping rock outcropping that can easily be walked over most of it’s surface.  I was hoping to have it all for myself, but, I initially had to share it with one other gentleman.  so, I’m not complaining.  I found a nice spot and sat for a while.  I listened to the wind blow through the trees and mountains, I watched the clouds pass by overhead, I observed a few soaring birgs, and I sat, still & quiet, just soaking it in, letting the experience of nature wash over me.  I would have stayed longer if I could have.

Photo Mar 10, 4 47 02 PM

Thanks for reading my words and viewing my photos,  I hope you have a great day. – Mike

 

 

Winter’s Chill

Ice Storm Featured Image

This past weekend brought some icy weather to my neck of the woods.  So I ventured out with my camera to see if I could find any interesting shots.

The images in this post were all taken in my backyard, no more than 100′ from my house.  It just shows that if you really look at the opportunities that have been provided for you, you can find inspiration and beauty.

All of the images in this post where shot using a Canon EOS Rebel T5 with a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens.

The images below are linked to a larger version.  Just click on the image for more detail.

Ice Storm Comp 02

Ice Storm Comp 01

Ice Storm Comp 04

Ice Storm Comp 03

Ice Storm Comp 05

Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed this post.

Mike L.

A Stroll Down Gateway Walk

A couple of weeks ago we spent a couple of days in historic Charleston, SC.  For those who aren’t familiar with Charleston it is a charming coastal city located in the southeastern United States.  Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England.

The Unitarian Church in Charleston, built in 1772, is the second oldest church in downtown Charleston.  The church has a unique cemetery, the walking paths are well maintained but vegetation within the grave sites is allowed to grow naturally, creating a fascinating and extremely peaceful environment.

Below are a few photos from our visit to the church cemetery.

IMG_3566

IMG_3561

IMG_3551

IMG_3545

IMG_3553

Thank you for viewing my photos.  I hope you liked them.

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.

IMG_3273

IMG_3275

IMG_3274

Autumn Sunset

I love Autumn, it’s my favorite season.  I like the cool brisk mornings, watching the leaves fall from the trees, seeing the frost laying on the grass and roof tops.  Autumn can also produce some really vibrant sunsets as well.  I shot this one from my backyard yesterday evening with my iPhone.  I just thought I would share it with you guys.

Photo Nov 06, 5 34 30 PM

Have a great night!

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.

IMG_3220
A couple of food vendors trying to keep up with customer demands.

 

IMG_3210
Yes, The Apple Festival really draws a crowd, as seen here, a couple of imperial storm troopers managed to make the journey.

 

IMG_3205
This ladies tattoo caught my eye.  It was obviously done by a very talented artist.  I had to get a photo.

 

IMG_3204
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.

 

IMG_3212
These guys were breaking it down old school.  The most interesting of the three was the guy in the black hat playing the spoons.

 

IMG_3218
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.

Taking a closer look…it’s all in the details

This past week’s challenge was all about the details.  So with that in mind, I wanted to photograph somewhat everyday items but in a way that highlighted the finer details.

I had originally planned to photograph details in the built environment, such as, architectural details, mechanical details, etc.  However, the weather was not cooperating and so I ended up scavenging items around the house that I thought may be interesting to photograph.

For this challenge I used a simple lightbox with a black background and a single source of light.

IMG_3299
I have always been fascinated by pine combs.  To me, they are always a welcome sign of Autumn and cooler weather.  I find their structure intriguing, I have photographed and even drawn them before.

 

IMG_3289
This camera actually belonged to my parents.  I stumbled across it a few years ago and it’s currently displayed on a shelf in my study.  It’s no longer functional but makes for an interesting photo.

 

IMG_3321
I thought this small oil lamp would also be an interesting subject, especially when lit.

 

IMG_3308
I couldn’t resist a classic Zippo lighter.

 

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.

IMG_3243
Brick with blistering paint on the wall of the Wilkes Heritage Museum.  This building was originally constructed in 1902 as the Wilkes County Courthouse.
IMG_3249
Fallen Pin Oak leaves at the Community Commons.
IMG_3251
More Pin Oak leaves.  I also liked the different colors and textures of the paved surface
IMG_3260
This image may be more pattern that texture but…these stacks of chairs caught my eye and I couldn’t resist photographing them.
IMG_3263
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.
IMG_3244
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.

On the hunt for reflections…

I took another trip downtown this past weekend to see if I could find something interesting to point my camera lens at.  I was on the hunt for reflections.

Reflections was the theme for this past weeks photo challenge.

I had high hopes of finding “photographic gold”.  Capturing a wonderful moment and coming home with a masterpiece recorded on my SD card.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.  I walked the familiar streets and alleys but no gold was to be found.

The weather was mostly cloudy, so there wasn’t much opportunity to play with light or shadows.  But, I made the best of it and still enjoyed my time on the hunt!

I did manage to capture a few reflections.

IMG_3155
I came across this old window.  I noticed the wavy glass, old brick, and the reflection of the sky.
IMG_3160
I managed to capture the reflection of our library (and my brother) in this storefront window.
IMG_3196
I shot this in a narrow alley.  I liked the contrast of the dirty alley and the green tree beyond.
IMG_3131
I couldn’t resist walking past the comic book store for one more shot.

I shot many more photos during this walk.  I plan to post them in a few days…So, please visit again soon.

Thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoyed them. – Mike L.