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Thursday, July 2, 2009


Let's switch to a color image that was made back in 1981. I call this Hghland Barn and Fence, and this image was captured in NW Highland County Virginia. This is one of many 2 1/4 images that make up the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley Collection.

When making images of this sort, the lighting has to be absolutely perfect and that means taking a chance and making a long round trip of a hundred or two-hundred miles based on a good weather forecast. I had already scouted this site out and captured several images during the dead of winter. My plan was to go back later and capture the same image in color with a touch of fall on the maple trees.

I was living in the Shenandoah Valley at the time so I was up before sunrise and arrived on site at the perfect time. The clouds were moving fast and that gave me the opportunity to wait for some interesting light patterns.

What I did not realize was that I was not the only person to arrive at that same site. After climbing through an old rusty barbed wire fence with my pants still intact I was surprised to see none other than David Harvey, ace photographer for National Geographic, standing on that same hill with another artist from Richmond. I knew David so I gave him a wave and went about my business.

It's funny how things often turn out in the end, but my photograph shown here made the front cover of a National Geographic book titled Valleys, from the Shenandoah to the Rio Grande. The inside title page featured the same image you see here but with a thick covering of snow. This is one of those stories that photographers often re-tell when there is a group of other image makers standing around sharing some of their favorite tales.

During this past winter (2009) I scanned all that were left of my 2 1/4 collection and they are now on a disc. After all these years, the transparencies were all in excellent condition. Fortunately, with digital, I was able to take out most of dust that had been imbedded in the imulsion since day one.


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