When I first began photography, that is taking pictures of things other than family and events, I went with a friend who was also into photography, to get some pointers. I remember he told me on one of our outings that he liked to shoot doors, which at the time I thought was a little strange, but the more I thought about it the more I realized having a definite object would at least help me learn composition. So in 2007 right after I bought my first digital camera I was coming home from visiting my friend and I came upon a multi colored barn and pulled over to take a picture of it. That is when I decided to shoot barns.
Soon every where I went I was snapping images of barns. I live in rural Virginia so there was no shortage. My youngest was learning to drive and part of our outings always involved looking for barns and having him pull over so I could get out to shoot. There is typically no better behaved teenager than the one you have behind the wheel of your car out joyriding with you. In retrospect those were really our last moments when it was truly just the two of us and I had his full attention.
But I digress…
Shooting barns morphed into other things; landscapes, clouds, fields of flowers, and then in 2011, when dating the “H” man I discovered my love of bridges.
I started this blog at about the same time, not really knowing anything about blogging, but I knew I wanted to share my pictures and write. The original concept was to share pictures and tell the story about how they came to be, hence the name of the blog The Day After. That never really happened and before I knew it I was swept into a world of challenges. This was a great time as I gained ideas, insights, and of course “friendships” from other bloggers. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was leading my own challenge Thursday Lingering Look at Windows.
I took pictures of windows everywhere I went. By this time it was mostly outings with my girl friends. They would even stop and say “There’s a good window, Dawn” things like that. It made for great fun and I did it for several years but as anyone who has ever hosted a challenge knows, it can be time consuming and little by little I moved away from it. But not before getting lots of window pictures!
Many of my friends said I should create a calendar with my images so in 2013 I made one of barns and gave a few out. The next year I put together images from my county and created my first Shenandoah County Calendar. These sold better each year until they didn’t and I printed my last one in 2017. In the mean time, I got some great shots of the county I live in.
Many of those county images were of local churches, so that became a whole thing. So much so that in 2014 when a local theater was putting on Jesus Christ Superstar they asked me to be the artist in residence and create a gallery of county churches.
I also came to love black and white photography and at about the same time deserted homes and property. I followed the facebook page Abandoned in Virginia and posted a few of my images, like this one.
A man who, at the time, owned a magazine called Shenandoah Living messaged me about submitting some black and white images of abandoned places near me. I did, and was published for the first time in 2016.
Later in 2017, I wrote an article about our county bridges, complete with pictures for Shenandoah Living Magazine. And then later that same year my church gallery was printed in another edition.
Autumn is my favorite season and you can find me out whenever I get the chance in during the season trying to capture its glorious colors. I also host a challenge, The Festival of Leaves in autumn and encourage my fellow bloggers to join in. It is definitely one of my favorite times of the year and I find hosting a seasonal challenge much less time consuming. I’ve enjoyed it so much that in the spring I now host The Spring Festival.