The Gas Station

The Gas Station

One day last week, I woke up in at 4:30am- wide awake and no chance of falling back asleep.  After spending a fair amount of time flat on my back on the back deck watching for meteors, I decided to mount the lights on the bike and take a break-of-dawn bike ride.  The clouds had started rolling in, this shot is a building that my grandfather owned in the 60s.

 

Russell Mural

Russell Mural

On a recent bike ride, I photographed the mural at Russell again.  This mural advertised suits and overcoats for as low as $24.00.  The Russell bridge was the first in the area and I suppose the automobile traffic to the merchants of Ironton Ohio provided competition to the ones in Ashland.  The point of this wall sized advertisement must have been an attempt to divert some of these lost customers to Ashland, which now is about a 15 minute drive.

 

Baggage

Baggage

old railroad depot
Catlettsburg, Kentucky

This town has also preserved its old railroad depot.  This shot was one of the test photos from the fisheye lens that had the flaw in the element. Exif might say 50mm but it was the 8mm Samyang fisheye with a bit of a crop in post edit.

 

 

RU Building detail

RU Building detail

Russell, Kentucky

Here’s another shot from the weekend photo challenge at the Russell Depot park.  The RU Cabin (evidently the usual name for it) is a small square two story building.  It once housed men and equipment that controlled the flow of trains into the rail yards.  One member of our photo group shared memories of his grandfather working in the cabin, his job was running switches on the top floor to control the train and tracks.  Now all of that is done remotely from Florida and the building is a museum, though not open to the public.

 

Church at Maysville

Church at Maysville

I found this image I shot maybe 5 years ago, it might have been posted here before.  It reminded me how photographers often dwell on f-stops and such and artists never mention their brand of brushes.  The camera used here is the Iphone 4.  That statement is a good example.  That’s your grin for this Saturday.

 

 

Section F in the snowstorm

Section F in the snowstorm

Flatwoods, Kentucky

(This is post #3 of 3 for the day, compliments of the snow storm)   You would not want to be a resident of Section F.  It’s in our local cemetery.  They were digging a grave and setting up for a funeral today, of all times.  But thinking more about it, I think it would be a beautiful time for a funeral, if there ever was one.   With this shot, I was reminded of the funeral I attended with my parents a few years ago, held at a mountain church that I used to attend when I was only a toddler.  It was an interesting funeral, the church had split up as churches do (they are made up of people, after all) however the deceased had requested her funeral be preached by preachers who were on both sides of the opposing split.  They came together in good spirit for the funeral and it was a good one, if (once again) one can say there ever was a good one.

At the cemetery, the grave had just been dug and this was odd to me because our local cemetery was much more ship-shape than this one, I can never remember seeing grave diggers at any of our local funerals.  But it ended up really nice, because mountain folks are a special breed.  During this funeral, all the gravediggers removed their hats and came up to the service to participate.  It just seemed fitting.

Still, today, I did not envy their job.

“If you stop and think, a funeral is
one of the natural things in the
world.  I enjoy it very much….
especially in the summer.”

Unidentified gravedigger
Lexington Herald Leader 8/24/1998

 

Church window, Huntington West Virginia

Church window, Huntington West Virginia

Huntington, West Virginia

I recently enjoyed this short PBS Video segment on the photographer Ken Van Sickle of New York City.  Mr. Van Sickle is an older gentleman and apparently enjoys photographing in the same genre as I do, just shooting what you find interesting and trying to find the best way to present what you see in an equally interesting way to others.  His images are much more artistic though, he has had quite an eye, working for 6 decades on his photography.

The comments to the article are very interesting themselves, some invoking and debating a quote by Thomas Merton, whom you will recognize if from nothing more than my occasional discussion of him (providing you are a long time reader here).  Mr. Wallis made a comment that we can all agree upon, that the educational requirements for being a photographer have declined considerably during our lifetimes, assuming you are my age, give or take.  Our local camera club had a long standing requirement, lasting for decades (about 30 years at least) that once you reached the level of a an accomplished photographer, then you had to process and print your own images yourselves.  That was, of course, back in the black and white film and fiber based paper days.  Still, not a bad requirement.

 If the camera club, or any group, required their members to shoot RAW, use no automatic plugins or "artistic" apps, and then print themselves in order to reach whatever level deemed "an accomplished photographer", then how many would reach that level?  

 Still, I have never enjoyed images as much as I have during the past several years.  The argument can be made that it is the image that decides, not the process at all.

 

 

tables and chairs

tables and chairs

A few images keep cropping up from the photo trip to Athens Ohio last fall, here is a toned black and white that I’ve liked for awhile though it’s one of those images that really is about nothing and so I’m torn about showing it.  Anyhow, here it is.

Speaks about nothing, except it appears like a place I’d like to sit for the morning and enjoy coffee while reading.  Seinfeld has an online series that recently began a new season, I might have mentioned it before but the title is Comedians in Cars getting Coffee.  Now there we have a title with three subjects that most everyone likes.  It’s a simple series, Seinfeld goes and picks up someone with a level of famous and they then drive to a coffee shop in an interesting vintage or exotic car while having a free ranging conversation about nothing.  In one episode, someone (I think it might have been Julia Dreyfus but I’m not certain) says to Jerry that he finally succeeded, finally a show totally about nothing.

I have enjoyed it though.   Here is the link.

We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t
get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves
all these problems in one delightful little cup
Jerry Seinfeld
(from an NPR interview)

 

Indian at the Arcade

Indian at the Arcade

I slept too long and that tossed to the wind the entire schedule for the first of the week.  Then the deep freeze started and I waited today for the temp to hit the 20s and finally took off with the bike to Greenbo for some exercise and hopefully photos.  When I arrived there, I saw lots of hunter orange and then remembered, yes, it is the two day gun season at the park.  Not wanting to be a target for the 90 hunters, I returned home to do some chores only to find the tools evidently have been hopelessly mislaid. How has your week gone so far?   Out for a bite to eat and made a quick stop at the Arcade where I made another snap of one of my favorite subjects.

“It seems the best way to get myself to do things is to decide
not to.  To thrash the famous John Lennon quote to shreds, my
life in the end will amount to everything I’ve done while putting
off all the things I ought to have done.”

The Online Photographer, 1/4/2016