Welcome to the archives of prevoius Image for the Asking selections.

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Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:26

A Reflection for the Sake of Time

The remains of the Ramsey-Chandler Barn in the Madison County township of Revere, known far and wide as Sodom Laurel, once belonged a Roman Catholic Mission that served the isolated mountain community for many years. Today it belongs to Terry Vanderman, who retired to the seclusion of Revere from the bustle of Cincinnati and hopes to restore and preserve this beautiful example of a log stock barn adapted to the curing of burley tobacco. The lattice-work ventilation of this structure is an excellent sampling of one of several types of construction that provided for the aerification of burley as an intermediate step on the way to market.

A focal length of 28mm, in the upper middle of wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, leading along the edge of a small pond to the structure just beyond. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 0.4 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall very slightly-darker-than-medium exposure.

There is so much wonderful history wrapped up within the walls of the barns of Revere. The Appalachian Barn Alliance is working, almost desperately, to preserve this heritage. This work deserves all the support that we can give; nothing less than the memories of our collective past are at stake.

 

Saturday, 07 September 2019 21:30

I Went to the Mountains to a Place With No Name

For most visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park the first overlook consciously encountered on the Tennessee side of Newfound Gap is Morton Overlook, the Smokies quintessential sunset location. However there is actually another viewpoint between Morton and Newfound that does offer a limited, but quite beautiful view into the valley of Walker Camp Prong far below. There is no signage to indicate a name, and I have never seen a map that was labelled with a title for this small stopover on the way up and down Mount Ambler. This spring, before the greenbrier could become too overpowering, I decided to stop and play with the light that was dancing through the clouds to bathe the ridges in highlight and shadow.

Eschewing the idea of composing through the opening in the trees with a long telephoto lens, I opted to use a focal length of 28mm, definitely in wide-angleland, to include the old firs and foreground briers as a frame. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/5th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.

This non-descript and unnamed bit of Smokies geography is just a small example of the world of non-iconic locations that offer endless opportunities for the creation of everyday beauty in a place that is anything but non-iconic.

Friday, 30 August 2019 13:05

Still Life with Barnloft

Over the past seven years Bonnie and I have had the great privilege of visiting well over a hundred of the beautiful Appalachian barns of Madison County, North Carolina. Most of them, we have come to know intimately for their charm, beauty, and history, on the outside, as well as the inside. Of all of them, the loft of the Henry Peek barn is perhaps the most intriguing. It is a tobacco tradition history center and a still life photographer's dream. It would be easy, literally, to spend hours here going through the flotsam and debris of a hundred years of a particular type of farming that was the heart of the Madison County economy for a very long time.

A focal length of 32mm, technically wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted to reveal just part of the tools and implements on hand. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and an ISO of 400 allowed for a shutter speed of 25.0 seconds and an overall medium exposure. The absolute stillness allowed for the shutter to remain open for that long without motion blur; and, standing by my tripod, I was without movement or breath.

The barns of Madison County are sources of beauty and repositories of a vanished tradition that has much to share with us about who we are as people and as a community.

Friday, 29 June 2018 23:05

Relativity and Mostly Solid Rock

In all of the years I/we have been visiting Acadia, we had somehow never managed to find our way over to Schoodic Peninsula, a separate unit of the Park on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay, due East of Great Head about an hour away from Southwest Harbor by car, and actually part of the mainland. It is a geologist's Eden, a massive slope of pink granite, fractured by interval intrusions of black diabase - an igneous rock similar to basalt - which weather differentially and encourage fountains of spray to erupt from the creviced rock.

Schoodic is such a convoluted landscape that I wanted to play a bit with perspective.. The rise in the granite (mid-ground) above the shelf is only about 15", but by placing the camera even with the top of the step-up and being lower down on the shelf, the step up was rendered as a much more looming presence. A focal length of 24mm, solid wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. Some of the balsam fir trees along the apex of the point top out around 50'.

I feel certain that our first visit to Schoodic will somehow not be our last.

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