Buena Vista is nestled up against the western edge of the Blue Ridge. On a morning last February with unusually cold temperatures, there's haze and fog in the mountains as the sun peeks over the ridge and begins to cast light on the buildings.
Late afternoon the next day there's soft, cool light in the town, with a warm glow on the hills.
Exploring around the south end of nearby Torrington. I've done a lot of shooting here but somehow never got around to looking around this part of the town. There's older residential streets merging into industrial outskirts with a lot of potential material for pictures. Ten days ago the light still had a strong look of winter, not spring.
Residential flag displays hit an enormous crescendo in the late months of 2001. Along with ever bigger flags there was a profusion of little flags on short sticks. The wave gradually subsided to the point that it's noteworthy once again to find the small flags on porches and in front yards.
It's strange to see some trailers put out to pasture at the south end of Naugatuck with the Pilot Pen logo. It's a Florida company. Bic Pen (a French company) had its American corporate headquarters in Connecticut—I did some commercial assignments for them a lifetime or so ago. The town's big industry historically was Uniroyal—ever heard of Naugahyde?
Here we go, wandering through back alleys again. Window reflections cast on shadowed walls are always interesting. Here, in the shot below, reflected light passes through the bottom of a fire escape to make a somewhat mysterious shadow within the reflection.
These two frames are adjacent in the browser, #146-147. The one below is the first of five variations I tried. First thought, best thought. The one above is the last of five frames. Keep at it until you get it right. The only good rule is to have no rules.
The battle between taggers and the railroad has been going on forever at this trestle overpass at the north end of town. The line still operates, connecting Naugatuck Valley towns with Metro North at Stamford or Bridgeport, then on down to Grand Central. The train schedule clusters around the two rush hours so I guess people use it for commutation.
NYC bicycles tend to be a bit strange. Old beaters with the paint worn off by heavy lock chains, or fancy mountain or crossover models, or the converted fixed-grear track bikes favored by messengers. This one's a pretty normal road bike: standard drop bars, downtube shifters, cleat pedals. It wouldn't look out of place on a century tour out in the countryside.
This old, out of operation, diner is about the size and shape of an actual dining car, and clad with white painted metal sheeting. However, it appears to have been built from scratch in the manner of a diner, not really a converted railroad car.
This is the entry to a movie theater lobby. When I photographed it a dozen or so years ago (#14 in this gallery) it was a church. Since then the church moved out and it looks as though it was operated as a theater again, but is back out of action again.
This lock and chain hangs from one of the gates at Fuessenich Park in Torrington. There's an iron gate, and a security bar that could reinforce the gate, but it doesn't look as though they get much use. Markus and James recently went lock-hunting after seeing this post here. Yesterday, returning to my car, which I'd left at the park while out walking about looking for Easter-ish things to photograph, I decided to add this one to the collection.
A lot of my photography is centered on specific projects. Even when I'm simply out looking around for something interesting in an unfamiliar place, subjects or pictures will often fall into a grouping or theme. Sometimes the resonance between the pictures doesn't emerge until I'm editing the take later on, as with this little series of "The Greens."
The odd shade of green got my attention. Then the memorial cross, almost certainly for an accident victim on US Rt. 60, the narrow twisting secondary road between Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs. The gravel surface of the turnout, where a bunch of derelict semi-trailers were parked, was probably from a local quarry since this isn't far from Bluestone State Park. Finally I saw that the billboard was for Greenbriar Valley Medical center—so the green color is probably a "signature" PMS spec mandated for all corporate communications.
Hinton is situated on hills overlooking the New River, and the houses are packed closely together on the available land. Porches of all descriptions are a common feature, and lots of color is used around the town. A rainy February morning was a good time to explore. It's not just the drizzle and fog, water is a real theme. According to the stats, the town has an area of 3.03 square miles, and .81 is covered with water. On a satellite map, the river is wider than the built-up area of town along its east bank.
How many different bits of advertising can be tucked into the small space of a half-basement level storefront? DRY CLEANERS—Alterations & Repairs—LAUNDROMAT—plus posters and flyers for other businesses or services on the wall next to the door. In a world of high-tech LED lighting and displays and backlit computer screen posters and electronic billboards, it's nice to see some old fashioned neon brightening up the late afternoon.
(This made-for-the-web, sRGB JPEG file reads better if you click on it to get a bigger version with a black surround.)