Saturday, March 21, 2009

Round Robin Photo Challenge: The Old Place

The latest Round Robin Photo Challenge is The Old Place.
Show us someplace that's been around a long time, preferably 50 years or more. It can be an interior or exterior or both. The spooky Victorian mansion on the corner is fair game, or the abandoned amusement park. Or go for someplace that's really been around a long time, such as Stonehenge, a canyon or a mountain range.
This is the John Ross House, located in my hometown, Rossville, Georgia.

The John Ross House

Although only one-eighth Cherokee, John Ross was the first elected chief of the Cherokees and fought vigorously against their removal on the Trail of Tears. The home was built along the Old Federal Road by his maternal grandfather John McDonald in 1797. In 1962 it was dismantled and rebuilt a couple of hundred yards away from its original location in this small park.

John Ross left with the Cherokees and the house became the property of a Reverend Scales. Thomas G. McFarland bought the house in 1835 and lived there with his family when the Civil War began. General Gordon Granger used the house as his headquarters before the Battle of Chickamauga. General George Thomas used it as his headquarters after the battle.

Update: In comments Carly wants to get a bit closer. Okay...

John Ross House

John Ross House

Once upon a time there was no fence, and you could walk all around the house as much as you wanted. They kept the house locked except for rare times when it was opened for tours, but you could walk through the middle and all around it. It's been a long time since I've seen it open. I'm going to have to find out who is responsible for that and when it's going to be open again.

One little tidbit about the house: It has what they call a spirit room, a room with no windows and doors. Also, while dismantling it to move it down the road, they discovered a passage that didn't seem to go anywhere. I have a theory that in those days, living on the frontier and never knowing when you might be threatened, that it might have been a good idea to have a room that no one but you knew how to get into. But it's just a theory.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ellipsis Photo Shoot: Black & White Photography

Over at Ellipsis, Carly has the weekly photo shoot. This week the topic is B&W...
Ok everybody, grab your camera, fire up your imagination, and show me some BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY. The subject matter is completely up to you. Do something a little Silly, Fascinating, Spooky, Gothic, or Artsy Noir... it's completely up to you! Just make it BLACK & WHITE.

Extra Credit: Write a little about what it was like to for you to take a BLACK & WHITE photo as opposed to color.

I had intended to do more. I especially wanted to take some photos using my camera's B&W setting, but a rainy, cool weekend kept me close to home, so I've cheated a bit and applied a B&W effect to an existing color photo.

Posted by Picasa

I didn't cheat much because the original photo didn't have much color, just a few hints of blue amongst the gray clouds.

This photo shows a weather change in the Chattanooga area. It's a beautiful, blue-skied, sunny day when suddenly a line of clouds comes pouring over Lookout Mountain and the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bloggers Community Photo Challenge: Birdhouses

This is my first-ever entry in the Bloggers Community Photo Challenge. The current topic is "Birdhouses."

A local metro Chattanooga tourist attraction, Rock City, used to advertise almost exclusively by painting "See Rock City" and other slogans on barns throughout the South. Somewhere along the line, they introduced the Rock City birdhouse to spread the word.

The photo below was taken on Lookout Mountain near the upper station for the Incline Railroad, just a couple of miles or so from Rock City. The neighborhood of St. Elmo is seen in the background, down below in the valley.

Rock City Birdhouse

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ellipsis Photo Shoot: Hit Me with Your Best Shot

Over at Ellipsis, Carly has the weekly photo shoot...
Ok, now it is your time to shine! We photographers might tackle a lot of subjects, but we all have one type of photography that is our very favorite. Landscapes, Still Life, Night photography, Portraits, Pet photography, Seascapes, Sunsets, Macro photography... it's all good. For this assignment you are welcome to look in your archives and post your best photo, or you can set the scene sometime within this week, and show off the type of photography you feel you excel at. If you do go with a shot from your archive, try to make it one you haven't posted before, I am really interested in seeing something new if possible. HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT!

Extra Credit: Write a little about your personal style as a photographer. Why do you like a particular subject? What is the most challenging aspect of photography for you?

Hmmm! After being without a camera for so long, I don't think I qualify as a "photographer" yet. And I'm far from having a "style." But I like to take photos of the natural beauty around Chattanooga. So put me down for "landscapes."

Carly wants our best shot, but something we've never posted before. A couple of weeks ago, I took a jaunt to the top of Lookout Mountain to Point Park. It was a hot, hazy day -- more appropriate for late spring or early summer than February -- leaving this photo looking washed out. But there's something about it I like...

A View from Point Park

I probably could have "fixed" it with Photoshop, but I prefer not to mess with it. I like to leave photos "as is" as much as possible. I've taken better photos with my new camera, but I've posted them before -- a sunset and Napoleons. The latter was taken during this same jaunt to Point Park.

Working with a new DSLR, the most challenging aspect is trying to figure out all the different settings to use to make the photo look right -- ISO, exposure, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, flash mode, etc., etc., etc. I'm still trying to sort it all out. I can usually take a better picture by just using a point-and-shoot mode than I can by trying to adjust everything. Hopefully that will change as time goes by.