Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Abandoned

 Maverick, Tennessee Highway 100, Marion County

Although I've written several times that I prefer to work on photographic projects, the truth is that many of my favorite photos have been the result of just being out-and-about with a camera. Since 1968, I've carried a camera with me wherever I've gone and have developed the habit of just "noticing things." As Elliott Erwitt, one of the all-time great photographers once said, "Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more. . .All the technique in the world doesn't compensate for the inability to notice."

Every now and then I just take a day, load a camera and a few lenses in my car, and go wherever my whim takes me. On this particular day I was on Cumberland Mountain, prowling the backroads of Marion County, Tennessee, when I saw this abandoned Ford Maverick, a car from the 1960s, parked next to an abandoned trailer. The color tones, the fallen leaves, the partial overcast -- all wrote a sombre symphony of sadness, of abandonment.

I made the picture with my Minolta Autocord twin-lens reflex camera on Fujichrome 100 transparency (slide) film. I love that camera, and would be a better photographer if I used it more often. Unfortunately, film and processing are expensive and digital photography is cheap.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Waiting Her Turn

                                                                              Next!

When we moved to our farm in McLemore Cove in 1987, there was a delapidated old house, built around 1850, on the property, and behind it, an outhouse. It was probably not as old as the house, but had obviously been there a long time

At the time our son Don was married in 1990, we had just finished building a new barn and had not yet put it into use. We spread wood shavings on the dirt floor and used it to host Don's and Kim's rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding. It was a lively occasion, much enjoyed by all. My parents came from Indiana, and Kim's grandparents and great-grandmother came from Texas.

Because of a lack of sanitary facilities, and in keeping with the rustic spirit of the occasion, we moved the old outhouse to a spot near the barn, fitted it with a new seat, toilet paper, disinfecting hand-wipes, and a bucket of quicklime. For most of the guests it was a new experience in genuine country living.

After the party, we left the outhouse in place. A few years later I noticed one of our cows standing near the facility with a bemused expression on her face, as if waiting her turn. Naturally, I made a picture.

They must have used some pretty tough wood to make that little building, because it was still there when we sold the farm 31 years later.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Rednecks are Everywhere

Fun at the village swimming hole.
 

People seem to think rednecks are a Southern phenomenon, but if that were ever true, it no longer is. Rednecks are everywhere. Mostly, they're just ordinary people, with certain cultural identifiers. These folks were having fun with a golden retriever, tossing a ball into the water while he made repeated jumps to retrieve it. It was all great fun for everyone, especially the dog. I photographed them one Sunday afternoon at the village swimming hole at a small town in southwestern New Hampshire.

I was in the area working on a magazine assignment and took the day off to prowl around with some friends, carrying with me my trusty Olympus OM2n camera, the 85mm f2 Zuiko lens (my favorite), and plenty of Fujichrome 100D slide film.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.

 

Monday, May 16, 2022

The View from 85

Sunset over Mobile Bay

This past Saturday, May 14th, was my 85th birthday. I have lived a privileged life.

But maybe not in a way some people would think of as privileged.

I was privileged to be born to poor, but Godly and intelligent parents who taught us to be readers.

When I was eight, my parents bought an old farmhouse in southern Indiana with 170 acres of woods and worn-out land. They paid $1300 for it. We had a few cows, goats, chickens, and a horse, and a mule. In summertime, my brothers and I could go fishing and swimming every day in a creek about a mile away.

I was privileged to attend a one-room school with about 25 children in six grades. We were given a thorough grounding in the basics. For junior high, as we called it then, I attended a school with eight grades in four rooms. I was privileged to move on to a small high school with only about 125 students. I could never have made the basketball team in a larger school, but there I could, and became proficient enough to play four years of small-college ball.

I was privileged, while in college, to meet and marry Barbara Hedgepeth, of Sarasota. When she passed away three years later, she left me with our son Rob.  Two years later I was privileged to marry Louise Devlin, of Miami. She loved us both and took my son as her own. Later, our son Don, was born.

These two women, along with my mother, are the three finest women I've ever known. And our sons are really good men who married fine women and have raised fine families. It's a privilege to be their father, grandfather,and now, great-grandfather.

In my career as a photographer and writer I was privileged to work with some great clients. They sent me to 26 countries on five continents and around much of these United States. Louise and I have also been privileged to travel extensively.

Louise and I were privileged to buy a small farm in McLemore Cove in the northwest Georgia mountains, where for more than 30 years we built a life and a home for our children and grandchildren to come to. Along the way we were privileged to adopt a third son, Shawn, who continues to be a blessing to us.

More recently, as we sold our house and land, we were privileged to begin a life of full-time RV living and travel.

Above all, we have been privileged to know the God of the Universe through his son Jesus Christ.

I'm privileged. And grateful. And ready for the next adventure.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.


 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Gate to Sourwood Lane


This gate, bracketed by two massive old oaks, looks out onto Sourwood Lane. It was the entrance to our little farm in McLemore Cove. Behind me was the site of our first home here, a 12 by 40-foot house trailer where we lived our first four years. They were the happiest years of our lives. 

Now we are once again in a "tiny home," this time on wheels, always looking for our next adventure.

I've always loved this picture, but I've never shown it before.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Chickamauga Creek

Chickamauga Creek, serene and gentle. 
 

Serene and lovely, Chickamauga Creek bordered our small farm in McLemore Cove for about 200 yards before flowing on north past the town of Chickamauga, through Chickamauga Battlefield, and on past Chattanooga until it emptied its waters into the Tennessee rifer just downstream from Chickamauga Dam.

On hot afternoons in our early years on the farm, we used to take low-slung outdoor lounge chairs and sit with our fannies in the water and read. Our children and grandchildren swam here and even our great-grandchildren waded in the gentle current.

                                                            Lydia wading.

But it was not always so. Three or four times in a normal year the creek would overflow its banks and flood my pasture -- so much so that I quit trying to maintain a permanent fence and ran electric fence on slim wires to border the area that usually flooded.

On September 21, 2009, a cloudburst on Lookout Mountain brought the mother of all floods tumbling down the gully beside Daugherty Gap Road and through the Cove, cutting new channels and wiping out everything in its path. The experts say it was a 500-year flood, so I guess I won't worry much about the next one.

                                                            The 500-year flood. 

 

Photographs and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Dance Photography the Hard Way

Marlee dancing. Fuji X-T20, 75-150 f4 Olympus lens with adapter.
 

My granddaughter Marlee has been dancing since she was six, if I'm counting right. She's now 17. I first photographed one of her dance recitals in 2011 and have brought my camera to her performances as often as possible ever since. Since 2017 I've been using the Fuji XC 50-230mm 4.5-6.7 lens, which, although slow, has excellent autofocus and image stabilization. My Fuji X-T20 (a very underrated little camera) and X-H1 do just fine at ISO 6400, so I've been able to make pictures that please Marlee and me, not to mention her mother and grandmother.

Unfortunately, the X-H1 with the 50-230 lens attached recently fell from a chair onto a carpeted floor. The camera suffered no damage, but the flanges of the plastic lens mount broke. I had intended to send it to Fuji for repair, but the realities of a full-time RV traveler's life made that a somewhat complicated option. Meanwhile, Marlee had another dance performance coming up on May 7th.

Renting a lens was not a good option either, also because of our traveling lifestyle. Nor was finding one to borrow. That left me with one possibility: the 75-150 f4 lens for my Olympus OM2n film cameras. Fortunately, I had an adapter to mount the lens on my Fuji bodies. The 75-150 zoom gave an equivalent range of about 112 to 225mm on the Fuji crop-frame bodies, but with manual focus only, no auto-exposure, and no image stabilization.

The stage was dark, with a black background and spotlights on the dancers -- difficult shooting conditions at best. With the lens wide open at f4, I used the focus magnifier to focus on the dancers at what I thought would be an average distance. Because of the black stage and background, I set two stops of minus exposure compensation, prayed, and made a lot of exposures -- your basic pray-and-spray. Not many were acceptably sharp, but a few were. I liked this one best.

Photograph and text copyright 2022, David B.Jenkins.

I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless life gets in the way.

Soli Gloria Deo

For the glory of God alone

My most recent book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, is a 304-page soft-cover with more than 200 color photographs. Published by Countryman Press, it is priced at $22.95. Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from me at (423) 240-2324 or djphoto@vol.com.