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July 8, 2015

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

It's the anniversary of this website, 11 years completed now.  There are a few earlier years still not restored to the archives but I'll get to it eventually.  But first, about today's image.   As you know, we have been subjected to storms and rain nearly every day.  The trails at Greenbo, however, have a reputation for drying fairly quickly, so I took the window of opportunity to ride the bike before the latest storms hit.  Had a great ride, about 7 miles with the first half being darker and sort of spooky, lots of spiders, whereas the last half was on the ridgetop and more uplifting.  Having hiked this park since a teenager and worked there for a few years, it always feels like home and lots of fun.  Here is a picture I made of my father, shot 35 years ago with my Pentax film camera not far from today's photograph.  hard to believe that he was then younger than I am now.

So, I don't for a minute take for granted the health and ability of biking these trails without too many aches and pains.

I started this blog in 2004, not intending to go this long.  The original idea was to develop a visual daily journal with a community of family and friends as viewers, to foster discussions through comments.  That was the days before Facebook and the days before endless spam comments (that has forced my comment section to be closed off, permanently perhaps).   Didn't turn out exactly as originally planned but perhaps better in other ways that I had not anticipated.  I've met really nice folks along the way and made long lasting friendships because of these pages.  Even more than that, the photography has given me a reason to look at the surroundings in another way and to be forced to pay attention when I wouldn't have otherwise.   For a fellow who is full of many regrets, I am glad I have spent the time in doing this blog as the payback was well worth it.

So, a few links to shots that we can talk about:

This photo of Mark Pennington who introduced me to Hickie's Hamburgers, who stood beside me for many shots that were featured on this blog several years ago, and who was a true friend that I hope everyone can find once in their life.  I entered this shot into a contest and emailed him for permission since he was a prominent subject in it.  His reply was positive on the condition that we go to Hickie's Hamburgers one more time.  Mark had become sick, and sadly he wasn't able to get that one last visit.  Lesson is to take lots of shots of family and friends.

This shot was taken in Lexington, Kentucky in an area that I loved to take photowalks.  The whole entire block was later demolished and sat as a vacant field for years.  Now it sits as a hole in the ground.  Whatever gets built here will never give up the nice and interesting photos that the historic storefronts did. Lesson is to take shots of the modern day surroundings, include the cars and the fashion even if it doesn't look interesting now.  It will eventually though.

This photo is labelled as a motel bathroom in Abdington Virginia.  We used to travel on a lot of road trips, I could have sworn this one was a historic hotel in West Virginia though.  To me, it is a Stephen Shore type of photograph.  Shore published one of my favorite books of photographs taken while traveling around the country.  Lesson is to find those you admire and adapt their style to your vision, but never copy.  Shore is still active, posting even on Instagram.  Here is a google search of his photographs.  Everyone is trained to shoot photos of pretty hills and waterfalls, but interesting scenes are all around you.  It would not be wrong to shoot something you find interesting even if it happens to be a bathroom wall.

I once attended a lecture where I heard the point that many good photographs include geometric relationships: angles or repeating shapes, things of that nature.  I believe that makes it a bit more interesting, here are a few examples:  This line of photographs found on the wall at a museum in Morehead, Kentucky, with the one of Charley Kinney being most prominent.   This shot of a back of a sunflower made through netting at the arboretum in Lexington, Kentucky.  That particular garden is now a grassy area, sadly.  This shot of the overhead window cleaner at the Opry hotel in Nashville.  I had noticed everyone looking up for some reason.

And finally, some of the best shots happen when things go wrong such as this storm that threatened to ruin an evening at Disney but made for a great photograph that told the story. Sometimes a quick snap yields fascinating relationships in the background.

Thanks for viewing.  (comments still disabled, sorry)