I’m publishing a series for compositions as a follow up to my summer Camp North End post. This set of compositions where never processed until recently. For the best viewing experience, click to see a high resolution version. Hope you enjoy.
This old vernacular farmhouse, built in 1877, was quite common in the rural southern Appalachian Mountains. It’s close to the Watauga River, and near the locally famous Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, and is among the few remaining homes from this era.
As early as the late 18th century, settlers moved westward into the southern Appalachian Mountains acquiring fertile farmland along its rivers and tributaries. Simple log homes and farm structures, eventually gave way to larger hewn log structures later covered with basic weatherboard.
By the last quarter of the 19th century, increased farm production and the availability of mechanical sawn, turned and molded woodwork, had enabled successful farmers the means to build framed farmhouses similar to this one.
These homes were known for their straightforward, functional appearance, with a “T” or “L” floor plan, 1 ½ stories, and a gable roof. Porch brackets are often the only ornamentation. This house, and one in my previous post, features a two-story gable fronted porch centered on the front elevation and protecting entrances on each story.
I was unable to confirm who last lived in this house, but saw references suggesting it may have been someone from the Mast family. I should have asked when I stopped by the Mast General Store during this visit for a pair of wool hiking socks and ice cold bottle of root beer!
To really appreciate these compositions, click to view a high resolution version. Everyone please stay grounded and safe during the holiday season.
This post features more backroad vignettes and landscapes from recent visits to Ashe County, North Carolina. First up is an old outhouse behind the Phipps General Store near Lansing. As the sign and door cuts suggest, this appears to have been a unisex outhouse. Folklorist would say the moon cut indicated “for females” and the star cut meant “for males”. While the horseshoe generally was used for good luck, I’m not sure of it’s use in this context.
The remaining captures are from various corners of the county obtained by just driving around exploring the county backroads. Sometimes those backroads change from asphalt to hard packed gravel, and back.
Thank you for visiting. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.
While visiting my younger sister and brother-in-law’s cabin in Ashe County, I was introduced to this picturesque little hollow, or holler as pronounced by folks in the Appalachian Mountains, along Buffalo Creek on Hwy 88. The holler was north of West Jefferson, and right below Warrensville. Later in October, I passed by to scout the sun position to determine the best time of day to photograph.
Luckily, there was an older gentleman carrying items in and out of the lower right shed. I walked across the bridge over Buffalo Creek up the hill to introduce myself and asked permission to take pictures on his property. He said yes, and introduced himself as Fred Stike.
I mentioned there were local artists which made paintings of his property. Fred acknowledged his property’s appreciation in the local art community and went on to explain he was born in the lower house and now lived solely on the property by himself. He noted local folk referred to his home as Stike’s Holler, and his sister had previously lived in the house further up on the right, but had moved to a home nearby on Buffalo Creek.
Later in the week, I returned in the morning with my camera, but Fred was either not up or not at home. I wish I had an opportunity to take his portrait. The hill leading up to the barn on the top left and sinking shed on the top right was a bit steeper than it appeared at the base. The stream in the center of the property had a slow trickle of water. I found it fascinating how the structures were built into the hillside.
While photographing the barn and sinking shed at the top of the hill, I could feel the ground was quite soft. Perhaps the rocky soil has over time allowed dirt to wash through causing the shed’s foundation to sink on the uphill side. I took a moment to image what this small mountain farm was like when Fred was a young boy.
I plan to drop some of these photos off the next time I visit Ashe Country and perhaps capture an outdoor portrait of Fred. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving to all especially all my good friends on WordPress! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to experience a high resolution version.
While visiting my sister and brother-in-law’s mountain cabin retreat near West Jefferson, North Carolina, we pulled out his classic 69 Bronco for a photoshoot. I used Alien Skin’s Exposure software to emulate Agfa APX 100 for the monochrome images, and 70’s vintage Kodachrome for the color images.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.
More beach and landscapes from Hilton Head Island. This series is the first deep dive into my new Nikon z7ii and Nikkor Z 28 – 70mm f2.8 lens. Thus far I have been impressed by the extended dynamic range, low noise and detail as compared to my D720. With the extra resolution, I’m retraining myself to not crop in as close. Not only does it provide more composition opportunities in post, but this also allows squeezing out a little more depth of field when desired.
If you’re viewing on a monitor, you can really appreciate the output of the Z7ii by clicking on an image to see a high resolution version. Thank you for taking time to visit, and please stay safe. The end of the pandemic is in sight!
Last week my wife and I joined some friends for several days on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This was my first visit to the island. I expected a commercially overdeveloped landscape, like many other popular beach destinations in North & South Carolina. To my surprise, local ordinances have subdued commercialization and preserved much of the island’s natural beauty.
When visiting a new location, I always take an interest in understanding the local history, culture and biodiversity. As my youngest son attends the University of South Carolina, I knew the SC was known as the Palmetto State. Before my trip, I would have identified the two trees below as two separate species. They are actually both Palmettos (Sabal Palm) trees. Palmettos loose their weaved “boot” barking once they mature.
The numerous stately live oaks, imbued with Spanish moss and reconstruction ferns, contribute to the island’s natural charm. The weather was overcast most of the week, but I’ve found such weather quite an opportunity for photography.
Thank you for visiting and please stay safe! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.