Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Somerset Steam and Gas Pasture Party - Part 3

Orange County, Virginia 

The Next Generation

The average age of the participants at Somerset is probably around 50 or better, so it is nice to see some younger folk show an interest in the old technologies and tools. After all, in the years ahead someone will need to take over the care and preservation of these old machines and techniques, or these tractors and engines will end up in a lifeless museum display.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

38th Annual Somerset Steam and Gas Pasture Party - Part 1

Orange County, Virginia 

The Event

Photographing an event like the Somerset Steam and Gas Pasture Party may be approached in two ways. One way is to isolate the historic artifacts from the surrounding modern event in an attempt to avoid anachronisms in the picture, like a modern pickup truck next to a 19th century steam tractor. Or one might take a broader view by placing the historic artifacts in the context of the 2014 event. This year I have tried to do some of both.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Third Sunday - September 2014

 Orange County, Virginia

Somerset Christian Church - circa 1850

An unaltered example of a mid-nineteenth century country church, Somerset Christian Church still serves the small community of Somerset in rural Orange County. The Italianate architectural influences set this church apart from the more common Gothic and Greek Revival style that characterized the majority of rural churches during this period. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Somerset 2014

Orange County, Virginia 

Last weekend I attended the 38th Annual Somerset Steam and Gas Pasture Party. Next week I will be posting lots of pictures from the event which features working 19th century steam tractors as well as early gasoline tractors, antique steam and gas engines and pumps, and old cars and trucks.

Also, stop by on Sunday for a Third Sunday post featuring the nearby Somerset Christian Church which was built in the 1850s.

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Berlin Wall

Charlottesville, Virginia 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Earlier this year, four panels from the wall were installed on the grounds of the University of Virginia where they will be on display for  more than a year. The sections of the wall are on on the UVa grounds adjacent to the Alderman Library, where my wife took these pictures with her camera phone. The accompanying sign reads:

"In 1990, Robert Hefner, sensing the long-term magnitude of human change and historical enormity of the people of East and West Germany tearing down the Berlin Wall, sent a representative to Berlin to negotiate for a substantial section of the Wall. He believed a portion of the wall would be an icon of the 'power of personal freedom.' Hefner secured four complete panels of the Wall, measuring sixteen feet in length and twelve feet tall, containing two murals by the graffiti artist Dennis Kaun. Painted on the West German side are two kings: a brightly colored, joyful king, representing freedom, and a largely colorless, blindfolded king, oblivious to the needs and wishes of the people. The East German side remains dull gray cement. Hefner believes these two sides, the colorful, lively West German side and the gray East German side, artistically represent the character of freedom and enslavement.

"As Hefner says, these pieces of the Wall are a great monument to the 'power of personal freedom.' When Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, he went to Berlin in 1987 and demanded, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall," yet neither Reagan nor Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, the world's most powerful leaders, could make that happen. Instead, it was the people, exercising their free will and 'power of personal freedom,' which could and did tear down the wall and usher in a period of momentous human change with political implications still with us today.

"West German graffiti artist Dennis Kaun created his Pop Art murals on the west side of the Berlin Wall using spray paint instead of brushes. Working quickly and under the cover of the night, as it was illegal to paint on the Wall, he and an assistant took six hours over two sessions to create the murals he entitled 'Kings of Freedom." Over a period of years, Dennis Kaun became known for the unique art he created on the Berlin Wall."

The East German side of the Berlin Wall.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Greene County, Virginia 

Apparently this photo didn't do much for me in 2007 and the file sat forgotten until now. That happens: our perceptions and taste change over the years and that makes looking at old photos with "fresh eyes" worthwhile.

Hope you have enjoyed looking back through some of my old files this week. I encourage you to take a look at some of your older work—there might be some hidden gems waiting to be rediscovered.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Red arrow

Louisa County, Virginia

Sometimes when I look at a scene I know that there is a picture there somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it. I looked at this building for a long time and in the end this is the only frame I shot. There was a better composition, but I never found it. I like the red arrow though.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Worn seat

Greene County, Virginia

Back in 2008 I was unable to get a satisfactory black and white conversion of this photo of the cab of a large back-hoe. But when I came across it again last week, the original color version caught my eye and I realized that whatever merit this photo might have is in the worn colors.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red bottle

Greene County, Virginia 

Many photographers feel that it is a sin to crop. They pride themselves on getting it right in the camera. Anything else is somehow "cheating."

I made several shots of this red bottle in the afternoon sun but I was not happy with any of them. Returning to these photos six years later with "fresh eyes" I realized it wasn't so important to see the entire bottle and by cropping the bottle I was also able to eliminate a lot of extraneous and distracting woodwork. Sometimes I think of cropping as finding the picture within the picture, and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mineral Depot

Louisa County, Virginia 

From time to time it is interesting and instructive to review old files and negatives. This week we will be revisiting some pictures taken in the winter and early spring of 2008.

A black and white version of this picture appeared on Photography In Place in April 2011. (See here). The photo above is from the original color file.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Still life in rain

Greene County, Virginia 

Summer is not my favorite time for photography. The light is often harsh and there is just too much green. A couple of days ago during a late summer shower I found this "still life" outside on our deck in the soft light and rain. Sometimes it pays to get a little wet.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

 Visit Photography In Place Print Gallery to purchase a framed print of this picture. Individual prints and note cards are also available.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Pennsylvania - 1973

While looking through some of my old negatives the other day I found a few pictures that were taken somewhere in Pennsylvania around 1973. These pictures have not seen the light of day for forty years (perhaps with good reason) but I decided to post a couple of them this week.

Unfortunately my memory completely fails me as to the circumstances surrounding these shots. One of the advantages of digital photography is that a good deal of information gets recorded in the file from the camera. On the other hand, I wonder how many digital files will still exist (and be readable) forty years from now.

Monday, September 1, 2014