The primary purpose of our recent road trip was to meet up with our friends Jim & Lisa in Lewisburg, West Virginia. We had each visited Lewisburg previously, although not together. And because it is roughly halfway between our home in NC and Jim & Lisa’s in PA, it was a good place to get together for a few days. We had a blast wandering the shops of the town, and we visited the Smooth Ambler distillery. Kathy & I are distillery veterans, so we needed to show Jim & Lisa the finer points. 😉
Surprisingly, although I carried my camera around just about everywhere, I took very few photos with it. I actually took more photos with my phone, because it was simpler to hand off to someone and to share. We were just having too much fun to pay attention to photos!
It’s not exactly an obsession, but one of the things I look for when we travel (other than lighthouses and covered bridges) is train stations. They are generally very easy to spot, as their architecture tends to be quite unique. They are usually, but not always, located next to railroad tracks. Sometimes they are still active passenger depots, but more often than not have been converted to offices, civic centers or meeting halls. I’ve seen some that are police stations, city halls and even restaurants. Most heartbreaking for me is when I see one in disrepair. It takes a lot of money to keep these places up, but they are an important part of history and I love to see them being used and maintained.
Kathy & I spent this past weekend in Charleston, West Virginia. Why Charleston? We met up with friends from Ohio with whom we are planning a vacation this summer, and it is roughly half-way for both of us. It was a planning weekend for us, easier than trying to talk on the phone, or Skype, or send e-mails back and forth. A friend of Kathy’s remarked that “only we would take a vacation to plan a vacation.” Well, duh! 🙂
It wasn’t really a photography weekend, but I did take a camera. I almost always have at least one camera with me, and although I didn’t carry it to dinner, when we went out for breakfast or lunch, or just for a stretch, I took it along just in case I saw something interesting. I don’t think I came back with any prize-winning shots, but it was good exercise.
I’ll eventually get around to writing more about it, but I’ve been on sort of a “one camera, one lens” kick the last couple of months. I bought one of the Canon 50mm 1.4 lenses a few months ago, and I don’t think I’ve taken it off my camera! I just love the simplicity of the single focal length, and have really enjoyed the discipline of having to work a little bit to refine a composition, rather than just twist the zoom ring. It really makes me think about what I am shooting and what I’m trying to show. At first I was afraid the 50 would be a little wide, but I’ve gotten used to it.
I think I could have represented Charleston in a more favorable light had I gone a few weeks later, but things were still pretty brown there. The trees were just starting to show some buds and the grass – what little we could see downtown – was still pretty brown. And the whole place had that “could stand a good rainstorm” look that cities get when the snow has just finished melting. Not that they’ve had a lot of snow, but that was sort of the look it reminded me of.
In just a little over a week, Earl and Paul & I are going to go shoot some birds at the Carolina Raptor Center. I suppose I’ll have to take the 50 off for that, but I’ll probably put it back on as soon as I’m done!