Fall in Roanoke

Along for the Ride

I’m getting back around to working on some photos from earlier this fall.  In no particular order, just whatever my attention span allows me to concentrate on!

Hotel Roanoke and Railroad Tracks
Corned Beef & Company

I had mentioned in a previous post that Kathy & I had decided to spend our fall weekends differently than we have the past few years.  Rather than chasing color up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway (something we enjoy but have grown a little weary of) we spent a weekend in Florida at a jazz festival, a weekend in Roanoke, VA visiting friends, and a weekend in which I took photos at a recreated pioneer village and photographed some kids.  That was a different fall for us, indeed.


Kathy & I have had an attachment to Roanoke since spending a single night there very early in our marriage.  I don’t even remember for sure what we did, where we stayed or where we ate, but we’ve always had good memories of our short time there, and have wanted to go back and spend some time.  This year we got to go to Roanoke twice.  Of course it was made easier because we have good friends there.  We go to see Steven and Cheryl, and just like us, they enjoy wandering around town, taking random photographs, shopping and eating.  What a deal!


We’ve found a nice historic hotel right in the downtown area that is walking distance to just about everywhere.  We can literally park the car and enjoy the weekend without having to drive.  Although this visit we did spend a little time exploring the countryside, visiting a winery and one of Steven & Cheryl’s favorite restaurants, which is now also one of our favorite restaurants!

Bright yellow leaves of Ginko Biloba trees celebrate fall in downtown Roanoke, Virginia

One of my objections to the constant driving we have done in previous years is that I get tired of driving.  And I get really tired of traffic.  Kathy drives sometimes, but my creativity seems to suffer when I view the scenery from a moving vehicle, regardless of who is driving.  And the addition of crowds just makes it harder.

Missing shutters

The other thing with fall is that it’s often very hard to find really interesting scenes.  Fall color gives the impression of being interesting because everything is a different color, but in actuality it is much harder to make an interesting photograph in the fall because of the color.  Much of what we see in the fall is just as boring as it is in the summer, it’s just a different color.  My opinion, anyway.

Open and Shut

Fall happens everywhere, not just in the mountains.  And it’s not just colored leaves that make up fall.  The air is crisp and cool, the light is warm and contrasty, and a lot of interesting things happen in the fall, such as festivals, concerts and farmer’s markets.  So my goal was to find and photograph fall in different places.  I think it was a successful approach, and in many ways I think am happier with the results than I’ve been from those in previous years.

Shadow and block

2 thoughts on “Fall in Roanoke”

  1. Tom, I certainly can’t argue with you approach to Fall this year, especially avoiding those fall seeking crowds, and this series of Roanoke photos are lovely — some hinting fall and other screaming it. 🙂

    I don’t know I’d agree fall colors make it more difficult to take interesting photos but it does change the playing field making it different.

    That single, almost perfect, Maple leaf on the white car keeps catching my eye…the subtle shadows help make it.

    1. Hi Earl, and thanks. It was definitely a different approach to fall this year, and one we are likely to continue in the years ahead. There’s a lot to be said for routine and habit, but it’s also refreshing to try something new, and I’m glad we did.

      I guess my comment about color could have been a little clearer. I was thinking that we tend to be seduced by the colors to the point that we can be easily distracted by them, sometimes paying less attention to the other qualities that made a photo a good one for us.

      That leaf on the car didn’t stay around long, so I was glad to have caught it when I did. The one on the paper box was literally there only long enough to get the shot. The frame before and the one after don’t have him in there!

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