Ashe County Vignettes and Landscapes

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.

Phipps General Store Hisn & Hern Outhouse
Phipps General Store Hisn & Hern Outhouse

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.

Shed on E Big Springs Rd Ashe County
Shed on E Big Springs Rd Ashe County
Grassy Creek Abandoned Barn 2 Composition 1
Grassy Creek Abandoned Barn 2 Composition 1
Farm on Bryan Davis Rd, Ashe County Composition 2
Farm on Bryan Davis Rd, Ashe County Composition 2
Abandoned Neaves Home Tin Roof Detail
Abandoned Neaves Home Tin Roof Detail
Abandoned House on Silas Creek Rd
Abandoned House on Silas Creek Rd

Thank you for visiting. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Fall Beauty on the Back Roads of Watauga County

With its high-country artsy shops, dining, and vacation attractions, Boone, NC is the well know seat of Watauga County.  It’s also the home of Appalachian State University.  During my 2021 fall foliage expedition, I was committed to exploring the lesser-known county back roads.

My first stop was this lovely red barn as I started my drive along Meat Camp Rd up to Elks Knob State Park.  From the Elk Knob a parking lot, a 2 mile hike to the 5520 ft. summit offered gorgeous views of the surrounding landscapes.  Grandfather Mountain is in the center left on the horizon line.

Red Barn on Cobb Creek 1
Red Barn on Cobb Creek 1
Elk Knob Southwesterly Landscape 1
Elk Knob Southwesterly Landscape 1

Later I explored Howard’s Creek Rd, over to Hwy 421, and then on to the far western parts of the county near the board with Tennessee.  While exploring, you drive along in anticipation of your next photographic find!

Old Barn on Howard's Creek Rd
Old Barn on Howard’s Creek Rd
Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3
Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3
Old Barn in Georges Gap Composition 1
Old Barn in Georges Gap Composition 1

For the color images in this post, I used Alien Skin’s Exposure 6 to create a blend of slide film emulations. I started with a base emulation of Kodachrome 25 and then blended an emulation of vintage 70’s era Kodachrome. I’m quite fond of the result which slightly narrows yellow tonality range in favor of a bit more orange. It also restrains overly saturated greens. A great look for fall colors!

Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd Detail
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd Detail

Thank you for visiting! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Abandoned Chair Factory and Photography School

On September 8th I attended the 50th anniversary of the Randolph Community College Photography Department in Asheboro, North Carolina. We enjoyed several great seminars, tours of the recently update facilities, vendors and most of all, reconnecting with classmates from the class of 82!

Abandoned Chair Factory - Cyclone Composition
Abandoned Chair Factory – Cyclone Composition

Afterwards, I took a trip downtown with friends for a round of malt beverages. On the way, I passed this abandoned factory and decided to stop by on my way out of town. Despite lengthy research online, I was only able to determine the facility had once been a chair manufacturing plant.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Window
Abandoned Chair Factory – Window

Part of the abandoned plant had been demolished. Perhaps to make room for new construction, or more likely because what remained was unsafe. I cautiously made my way into another section were the roof was falling in. Though I haven’t done a lot of interior urban exploring or “urbex”, I certainly got a sense of the suspense and fear induced adrenaline rush sometimes described by urbex bloggers.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Falling Interior
Abandoned Chair Factory – Falling Interior

I ended up working off and on over a week’s period preparing the images for this post. As you can see, different styling approaches were used. In most cases I experimented with different looks, but was pleased with the final technique chosen for each composition.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Excavator Window
Abandoned Chair Factory – Excavator Window

The black & white images followed my typical monochrome workflow, which includes a Agfa APX 100 b&w film emulation using Alien Skin’s Exposure X3 for a slight contrast boost and addition of realistic old school grain.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Exterior
Abandoned Chair Factory – Exterior

For the sepia compositions, I started with some Lightroom dehaze processing on the sky, and then used Aurora HDR software to extend the tonal range and apply sepia toning with orange highlight and shadow toning. Finally Photoshop was used to mask the sky for some additional curves processing to further punch up clouds and sky contrast.

Abandoned Chair Factory -Truck Interior
Abandoned Chair Factory -Truck Interior

HDR processing was also used to punch up the texture and color contrast in the color photo below. Here, the trick was to not over do it. Now, in several of my architectural shots of Toronto late last year, I heavily pushed the HDR processing, almost to the point of abstraction. For abandoned compositions though, I’ve found a more subtle amount of processing works well to reveal and feature weathered and patina surfaces.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Shop Wall Composition
Abandoned Chair Factory – Shop Wall Composition

Back to Randolph Community College, when I attended as a Commercial Photography student, it was Randolph Tech. I did start my career as a commercial photographer, shooting mostly home furnishing in the furniture capital of the world – High Point, NC. I eventually drifted into multi-media, IT and project management. Now, I enjoy photography as more of a hobby. But hey, that’s a story for another day.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Shop Entrance
Abandoned Chair Factory – Shop Entrance

Thank you for taking time to visit my blog! I would certainly be interested in hearing your feedback on any or all of these compositions. For the best viewing experience, be sure to click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers!

C. S.

Downtown Kershaw Abandoned Building Study

While recently traveling the back roads of the South Carolina Midlands, I took time to explore the downtown area of Kershaw. You can bet older small towns, off the beaten path, will usually have some interesting old or abandoned structures to photograph. Along E Marion St., I found a string of cool abandoned brick buildings to capture.

Kershaw Brick and Mortar Composition 1
Kershaw Brick and Mortar Composition 1
Kershaw Abandoned Building Brick Composition 2
Kershaw Abandoned Building Brick Composition 2
Kershaw Abandoned Building Composition 1
Kershaw Abandoned Building Composition 1
Kershaw Abandoned, Boarded Up Building
Kershaw Abandoned, Boarded Up Building
Kershaw Abandoned Building Composition 2
Kershaw Abandoned Building Composition 2
Kershaw Brick and Mortar Composition 2
Kershaw Brick and Mortar Composition 2
Kershaw Abandoned Building Brick Composition
Kershaw Abandoned Building Brick Composition

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version from my portfolio site. Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog!

Cheers,

C. S.

South Carolina Backroad Abandoned Building

While deliberately seeking out backroads on a return trip from Sumter, South Carolina, I was rewarded by finding this cool, abandoned structure on North Kings Highway (State Highway 261).  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any background info, it does appear to have been some type of manufacturing facility.

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 1
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 1

I shot with both my Nikon 28 – 300mm and my Tamron 15 – 30mm lens.  There was an abundance of cool light, shapes, textures and patterns.

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 6
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 6

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 4
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 4

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 5
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 5

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 3
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 3

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road 7
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road 7

Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 2
Abandoned Building on Dinkins Mill Road Composition 2

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Abandoned: Gold Mine Pawn Shop

I found this abandoned pawn shop building near Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina.  The beautifully weathered paint and metal surfaces really caught my eye.

Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 2
Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 2

Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 3
Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 3

Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 4
Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 4

Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 5
Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 5

Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 1
Gold Mine Pawn Shop Composition 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Abandoned Furniture Factory Abstract

Monochrome and color versions of an abstract from the abandoned Link Taylor Furniture Plant in Lexington, North Carolina,

Abandoned Furniture Plant Abstract Monochrome
Abandoned Furniture Plant Abstract Monochrome

Abandoned Furniture Plant Abstract Color
Abandoned Furniture Plant Abstract Color

Thank you for visiting my blog.  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.