Friday, January 30, 2015

Ice on the rocks

Shenandoah National Park 

Cascades of ice are a common feature along the Skyline Drive in winter. This picture was taken in late November during the first of the cold weather. Now the upper elevations of the Blue Ridge are covered with snow.

Stay warm and have a great weekend. Thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Geese on ice

Greene County, Virginia 

A couple of days ago I walked down to the lake to see what the geese were up to. We have been hearing them in the evening arguing about whatever it is that geese argue about. Maybe they are not arguing, but they honk as loud as they can and all at the same time, like Democrats and Republicans discussing politics on TV. You can't make heads or tales of it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Botanical #25

Common mullein 

Sunday afternoon I went out in the yard to find a mid-winter subject for the Botanicals series. In the bare and brown garden the soft, hairy leaves of a small mullein (Verbascum thapsus) plant stood out. Mullein is a weed and it will be rooted out this spring, but in the middle of January, it is a welcome spot of green.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Greene County, Virginia 

Last week Mike Johnston sparked quite a discussion on The Online Photographer concerning "scenic" photography. (Read it here and here.) Mike says:

"Scenic photography sometimes seems to me to refer to itself more than it does to the actual places photographed. It's almost like the places themselves are no longer experienced for what they are, but are reduced to their status as photo opportunities."

Many questions were raised. What is the distinction between scenic photography (what I call calendar photography), and landscape photography. What information can and should a photo convey? How important is context?  What is the role of beauty, and is beauty alone enough to make a "good" photo?  How about the the emotion of the photographer when the picture was made? Can that feeling be passed on to the viewer?

This past Friday morning I went down to the dam that forms the small lake where I live. I stood on the dam and my eyes followed the recently graded spillway past the trees and into the farm beyond. Went back home and got the camera. The picture is not particularly beautiful in a "scenic" way, and is unlikely to end up on any glossy calendar page. But it is a place familiar to me, a place close to home that I saw with fresh eyes that morning in the pale winter sunlight.

Like most photographers, I attempt my share of "calendar shots," but the photos that please me and keep me wanting to photograph are the ones that capture something that I can't quite articulate, and that perhaps no one else sees.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015