Friday, August 30, 2013


Potomac River

There are few photographic clichés as timeworn as a gull sitting on a piling, but there is something irresistible about it just the same. When I woke up I saw these gulls enjoying the early morning calm before beginning their raucous day. It's not my fault they were sitting on a piling.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading Photography In Place.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Potomac River - August 25, 2013

The sailboat Persephone makes her way up the Potomac River last Sunday evening. Sailboats this size are not a common sight on the Potomac, and boats with a junk rig (also known as Chinese lugsail) are even more unusual.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wild grass

Greene County, Virginia 

This photo was taken with the new Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS MACRO lens that I have been working with over the past couple of weeks. My "testing" of this lens consists of simply taking pictures and examining the results. There are plenty of places on the internet that test and report on lenses in great technical detail with resolution figures and MTF charts and such, but I am mostly interested in how the pictures look. This photo is a good example of what I consider to be very pleasing rendering of out of focus areas. This is the first lens made by Sigma that I have owned, and so far I am quite happy.

The wild grass pictured here is very common in this area, but I have not been able to identify it. It might be Purpletop (Tridens flavus) but I am not sure. Anyone know what this is called?

Thanks for reading Photography In Place. Have a great weekend.

Update: A couple of readers have informed me that this is Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August on the lake

Greene County, Virginia

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a new Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS MACRO lens. This lens is part of the new Sigma lens lineup that was announced last September and became available in Pentax mount earlier this year. The photo above was taken on my first outing with the new lens. I will have more pictures to show, and more to say about this lens in the coming days.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bude Railroad

Bude, Mississippi (Mississippi Department of Archives and History) 

Although the Homichitto Lumber Company brought Bude into existence in 1913, the railroad was a necessary ingredient in the town's success and the railroad plays a key role in sustaining the town into the 21st century. This postcard view of the Mississippi Central Depot in the early years of the 20th century is a stark contrast to the 2013 view of the town, but the railroad still runs through Bude, and the depot still stands as a reminder of better days

The semaphore signal visible in the old postcard is still standing. The arms are broken off, but not too many of these are still around.

Former Illinois Central Gulf caboose 9452, built in 1970, was used as the yard office in Gloster, Mississippi for the Gloster Southern Railroad. It was moved to Bude in 2011 to be used as the yard office for the Natchez Railway, which provides service between Natchez and Brookhaven, passing through Bude and interchanging with the Canadian National in Brookhaven. The caboose still wears its Gloster Southern paint scheme.

The day I visited Bude last April (2013) this pristine GP38-2 was tied down just west of the Bude Depot. Built in 1971, this locomotive is now owned by Grenada Railway, out of Grenada, Mississippi.

An old freight wagon waits in the shadow of the empty depot.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The town of Bude

Franklin County, Mississippi 

After the Homichitto Lumber Company (see here) closed down in 1936, the town of Bude was deprived of its primary source of employment and prosperity. Towns sprang up and disappeared throughout the southern timber belt in the wake of logging over vast tracts of cypress and southern yellow pine.

Bude fared better than many former sawmill towns. (Click here to read about a Mississippi town, much like Bude, except that today a small highway sign is the only visible remains of a once prosperous town.) Today there are still a few stores along Bude's main street and the town is neat and well maintained. American Railcar Industries operates a repair facility in Bude.

A Post Office, drug store and this hardware store line Bude's Main Street.

Abandoned Ford dealership on Main Street 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Homochitto Lumber Company

Mississippi Central Depot - Bude, Mississippi - April 2013

Founded in February, 1912 the Homochitto Lumber Company bought up vast tracts of timber in Franklin, Amite and Adams counties and selected a mill site in Franklin county. The town of Bude grew up around the new mill, which employed 800 people when it opened in 1913.  The town continued to grow attracting many businesses and stores, including a Ford dealership, a theater, and bowling alley. In 1936, the timber was cut out, the sawmill closed and Bude began its long decline.

The historic photos below are used with the kind permission of Mississippi Rails, a website devoted to the history of railroads in Mississippi. Many additional period photographs and a detailed history of Bude and the sawmill are available on their Homochitto Lumber Company page.

A passenger train arrives at the Mississippi Central depot in Bude. The building to the left of the depot is the Homochitto Lumber Company's office.

The mill, the depot and the town of Bude from the air in 1920

Stop by Photography In Place on Wednesday for some more photographs of Bude, taken 100 years after the sawmill began operation in 1913.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Railroad spikes

Bude, Mississippi

One afternoon while I was in Mississippi this spring, I visited the small town of Bude which is about halfway between Brookhaven and Natchez. Bude was once a bustling railroad town built around a large sawmill. Today there is not much left but a sleepy main street and the old train depot but the town survives. Next week we will look at some photographs from my visit to this out of the way Mississippi town.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013


Greene County, Virginia

It's high summer here in central Virginia. The County Fair is over and the newspaper is filling up with back-to-school advertising. Corn flowers are blooming along the back roads. In the fields Goldenrod and Queen Anne's Lace glow in the late afternoon sun. Soon the trees, so lush and green now, will look dusty and worn. The summer haze will begin to lift from the Blue Ridge.

It's high summer here in central Virginia, but all at once, autumn seems possible.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Exchange Hotel Restored

Gordonsville, Virginia 

The Exchange Hotel is the only building still standing in Virginia that was used as a receiving hospital during the Civil War. By the early 1970s, the hotel had fallen on hard times and was near ruin. Historic Gordonsville Inc. acquired the property in 1971 and began restoration. The Exchange Hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

A newspaper clipping dated January 27, 1972, shows the hotel just before restoration.