West Coast Memories

I’ve been going through old photos. Like most photographers, I have so many on my hard drives that have never been edited. This is from a trip to San Diego (Mission Bay?) about ten years ago. Our son was living there and was still single- how things have changed!

More on Main Street

This is downtown Manchester, Kansas- Main Street. Although there are some small farms and homes within walking distance of these old buildings, the tiny downtown is becoming a ghost town. My husband remembers the building on the left as a hardware store and the telephone company on the right. Out of the frame is what remains of a building his grandfather owned- all that is left is the crumpled metal awning lying amidst the rubble.

My husband’s grandparents died in 1982, and I had only driven through the town once since then. In searching for photos of what Manchester used to look like, I came across a wonderful website- https://www.lostamericana.com/

The website is run by photojournalist Vincent Johnson who is documenting the abandoning of rural America. There is a photo of Manchester’s Main Street on the home page- taken maybe ten years ago. The buildings in my photo can be seen as well as Lonnie’s grandfather’s building next door. You can explore Vincent’s excellent photographs of America’s abandoned towns state by state on the website. My genealogist heart loves this project, although it makes me sad.

Kansas Memories

We have just returned from Kansas, where we took some time to visit the remains of the very small farm community where my husband’s grandparents lived and his father was raised. My husband’s family drove to this little town every week for Sunday dinner, and Lonnie spent weeks there during summer vacations. He knew almost every inch of town- and most of its inhabitants.

The grandparents both passed away in the early 1980’s, and since then much of the town has seen a terrible decline. The last time we drove by, we noted that their front porch was sagging and was coming away from the house. This time, we saw that the old farmhouse had burned to the ground, and only the garage remained. The downtown buildings are either gone or falling apart. Yet, in some parts of town you can see that people are still living- like on this road where there seems to be enough traffic to warrant a lopsided stop sign.

Sunset X 2

Above is a diptych I created for my photo group- two images of sunset over Kachemak Bay, Alaska. The assignment was to choose two favorite images from 2021. Sunset over water at 11:30pm was an unforgettable sight as we celebrated our 50th anniversary last July!

Classic View

I can’t believe I didn’t post this right away after our Alaska trip. This is Denali- viewed from a gas station in Eagle River. We actually saw it on two consecutive days in the middle of our trip. We had never managed to see it without cloud cover on our 5 previous trips, so we were delighted with this view!

Vintage

Vintage Alaska

I enjoyed a presentation by Hazel Meredith last night at our camera club, so I used some of her techniques in Topaz Studio 2 to edit this rural scene shot in Alaska last summer.

Moody Morning

Moody Morning

Sunlight broke through the fog and rain clouds, illuminating some of the waters of Kachemak Bay as cars and trucks began heading out the Homer Spit last summer. After a day and a half of rain, the sun was a welcome sight!

Seldovia

Our cabin at Between Beaches was about ten miles from Seldovia, so we took the local taxi over there to have lunch on the boardwalk. The taxi driver let us out by the bridge so I could photograph the iconic houses on stilts. I was disappointed to see no water- the tide was out. But when we returned after our lunch, the tide was coming back in, so I was able to take a few shots.

Golden Path

Golden Path

The highlight of each day of our stay in the Alaska cabin was sunset. The days were long, but around 11 pm, the sun would start its descent. We sat outside watching the gulls and eagles making their last fishing forays- such a peaceful way to end the day.

Photography note- The sky was not this dark (it’s Alaska in the summer!). I chose to underexpose in order to keep the shape of the sun- an artistic choice.

Still Waters

Still Waters

We were only at our cabin on the MacDonald Spit for two nights, but I photographed this particular boat on more than one occasion as it floated on the still, dark waters of Kasitsna Bay. I think I was drawn not only to the boat itself but to its reflection. What a beautiful place!

Mirrored Flight

Mirrored Flight

This was taken during our stay at Between Beaches on the MacDonald Spit on Kachemak Bay in Alaska. We had beaches in front of and behind our cabin- Kachemak Bay in front, Kasitsna Bay behind. Watching the gulls fly low over the dark waters of Kasitsna Bay in the mornings and evenings gave me a perfect opportunity to practice intentional camera movement techniques to create impressionistic images.

I was happy to hear at my camera club’s online meeting last night that this image won second place in this month’s Open Subject competition. It’s always nice to hear when other people like your art.