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Glenowen Farm Round Hill Virginia

Northern Virginia was locked in a week of bitter temperatures, followed by a day of rapid warming. This warming trend sent warm air over frozen ground and produced oceans of heavy thick white air. Distance multiplied by this natural opaque filtering can produce photographs of amazing beauty.

A recent foggy weekend morning in Loudoun County was a perfect time to seek out these serene settings mixed with meandering Loudoun tree farmtree lines and farm features. The Blue Ridge Mountains consistently produces these types of environments when the light is right. The fog led me to Glen Owen Farm located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge in Round Hill. Spanning hundreds of acres, this Century Farm, not only raises cattle but also wheat, barley soy and corn.

The flowing tree lines appear as earthy seams that playfully hold the ridge together. Now leaveless, these barren bones help to create a patched jacket look dotted with cows and veins of snow. The layers of trees blend as each successive rise fades with distance.

Adjacent to this place is a Christmas tree farm, also pictured here. I’ve also photographed this location many times over the years. Whole sections of trees grow and shrink upon comparison of pictures taken over time. Fog can lend itself well to trees arranged in rows. The contrast between nature on its own time, and the human element, can create a metaphor of man and nature.

Loudoun farm photographyI’ll often drop what I’m doing in the name of photography and fog. This alluring mixture has often yielded moody photos that beg for attention.

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Landscapes on canvas at Atoka Properties

The new Atoka Properties office in Purcellville, Virgina now features four large Loudoun Landscape photographs printed on stretched canvas. Each measuring five feet in width, the newly hung photos nearly fill the wall space in this recently opened real estate office. These photographs will be on display permanently for all to enjoy. The office is located on 21st Street in Purcellville should you want to view them yourself.

photos

Atoka Properties is a division of Middleburg Real Estate.

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Legacy Barn

An expansive historic barn rests next to a slow moving creek in central Loudoun County, Virginia. The unique brown stain covering the boards of the barn seem to "hum" in the ambient glow of the setting sun. Similar effects have been seen on weathered red boards of other barns, but this particular hue seems to react with the sun in a more dramatic way. Adding to the late, long rays of the run were the swaying tops of long field grass. Topped with perfect-day clouds, it was hard to leave this spot.

Today, this barn is mainly used to store landscaping and agricultural equipment for the plantation. In its day, it was likely used to store grains and hay. With a large second floor "vault", several years worth of field fruit could have been stored for future use, and sale. Lately I've come to know that seed barns were used here in Loudoun County like today's modern banks. Farmers could store their seeds and use them as capital.

 

Between the barn and the creek stands a large Osage-orange tree. The amazing and unusual fruit from this tree could be seen in various places around the plantation this day. The fruit are lime green in color (in fall), are covered with oblong raised bumps (drupes) and average 5" in diameter. I've since learned the wood from this tree was used by American Indians to make bows.

Being a Loudoun County Landscape Photographer surely is not difficult with scenes like this. While barns such as this one are disappearing, they are still in abundance if you know where to look. Oatlands Plantation is unique in that the working complex remains much like it did a hundred years ago. While the central plantation does not farm today, the buildings and roads remain in tact.

This national historic site is working hard to uncover untold stories of its past. There is currently an archeological dig underway to examine foundations long lost under existing buildings. This weekend the site was exposed for visitors to peer into the past; a five foot hole under another barn.

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Closing Shot in Loudoun Magazine

You can find one of my recent photos in the Summer issue of Loudoun Magazine. The Closing Shot page features "Landing Goose" in full page print. This photo was taken at my friend's property. Joey invited me to explore her Mt. Gilead home and snap landscape imagery that may appeal to me.

After an hour of exploring the property, I heard geese flying overhead. In my usual reaction to such noises, I snatched the camera from the tripod and began searching the skies. I saw two geese coming in for a landing, at the pond next to where I was standing. Having only a few seconds to capture the moment, I frantically began shooting these large birds that were practically falling out of the sky.

The photograph below only depicts one of the two, obviously. Choosing this photo, over dual-geese shots, won out due to composition, clarity and impact. As I've written in previous posts, having the camera ready for anything eventually pays of.

I'd like to thank Loudoun Magazine for their interest in my work.

 

 

Update: The magazine link above now features an online version of the most recent issue.

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Meet the Artist event

On Saturday, June 18, I will be speaking at Loudoun County's Cascades Library during their Meet the Artist event. I will be showing examples of my landscape photography and discussing the stories behind them. The event begins at 2 pm.

Follow this library link to learn more: engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=6457&EventID=88099.

Much of my work not only focuses on Loudoun's natural beauty, but also its historic places, farms and hiking trails. Loudoun offers a rich history dating back to the early 1700's. George Washington is credited with surveying early Loudoun and is responsible for mapping out natural boarders and landmarks. He is also known to have owned various places of businesses here in Loudoun following his initial explorations.

Another angle to my work focuses on preservation. Over the last eight years, I've captured vistas, barns and farms. Many of the places depicted in my photos no longer exist. They have either been replaced with neighborhoods or simply torn down for safety reasons. Some of the images shown during my discussion will focus on these places.

As always, I welcome audience interaction as part of my discussion. I hope to learn something myself from those who attend. No reservations required, just show up. I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks!

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