Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the tag “cows”

Voices of the Land

I’ve been away from my blog for several months as I completed a project for the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy.  Called “Voices of the Land,” it is a mini-documentary of the last working dairy farm in Greene County, Virginia.  Photographs of the farm, both from a distance and from within, provide viewers with an opportunity to see how a dairy operates and to experience the beauty of the land that supports the dairy operation.  Originally the project was designed to be twelve aesthetic photographs, but with the title “Voices of the Land” I felt that there needed to be accompanying audio recordings by the brothers who own the farm. Interviews with the brothers revealed their love of the farm and the animals, and their great memories as children of growing up in an environment where hard work was the norm.  Milking cows cannot be done “when you feel like it.”  It is done twice a day on a regular schedule.  As children, the brothers went to work at dawn, then went to school (where sometimes they fell asleep at their desks), and in the afternoon, they returned to the farm to work past sunset.  If there was time and energy left, schoolwork was completed.  Commitment is the operative word of a dairy farmer.

As the project took shape, a slideshow emerged.  Using the (now) thirteen original photographs as the foundation, the voices of the farmers were added, then supplemental photographs completed the story.  The final product was a 25-minute slideshow with a history of the farm and descriptions of how the farm operates, as told by the brothers who have lived on the farm for over sixty years.  An additional feature of the project are QR codes that accompany each of the thirteen printed and displayed photographs, which allows access to a short clip by using a QR reader on a smart phone.  Below is the first image in the slideshow, and the QR code which accompanies it.  In this clip you will hear the history of Fairview Farm as told by one of the brothers.  Prints of ten of the images and copies of the DVD are available for purchase via the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy website:  www.blueridgefoothillsconservancy.org.

Fog over Fairview Farm qrcode.photo10

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A Little Getaway

My husband and I went on a little vacation this week to the beautiful mountains of Bath County, Virginia.   We stayed at Fort Lewis Lodge, an out of the way place that surpassed all expectations for beauty, peace, and gourmet meals.  There are 3200 acres on this property, which has hiking trails, fishing, and swimming spots along the Cowpasture River, or the more sedate pavilion with comfy seating to look out over the valley or to watch the cows grazing.  Rooms are available in a lodge, in a silo, or in log cabins scattered nearby. There is also a Riverside Manor House a mile or so down the road.  In the view from the overlook, you can see red barns in the distance.  Those are across the road from the Manor House, and the best fishing is nearby.  What most people tell you about Fort Lewis Lodge is the amazing food you are served at breakfast and dinner. Caryl is a gourmet cook and her food is the highlight of the day. Anyone who wants to reserve a space at the lodge better think well ahead.  Most people are repeat lodgers, and some have been going there for twenty years.  What a wonderful mid-week retreat we had.By the River

A one-mile hike takes you to this view of the farm with lodging in the foreground.

We sat by a cozy fire after dinner. The air was cool, and the fire was perfect.

We sat by a cozy fire after dinner. The air was cool, and the fire was perfect.

Sunrise behind the Silo Beside the Cowpasture River Silo

Floyd Virginia

One of the things I truly enjoy about photography is the opportunity to learn something new.  Last week I attended a workshop on Color in the little town of Floyd, VA.  Floyd is about 25 miles north of my hometown and is a small town I have known for years.  My family used to purchase vehicles at the Turman-Yeatts Dodge dealership there.  One Christmas Eve my father decided to take the family through Floyd on the way to my grandmother’s home in Appomattox.  To my mother’s great horror, he bought a new car right on the spot.  They had to move all of the Christmas presents, including the ones Santa had planned to put out in Appomattox, to the new car without the children noticing.  They were successful.

But, I digress.  In my teen years, Floyd had a reputation for Friday night music jams at the country store.  Musicians met to play bluegrass, and townspeople took advantage of the opportunity to listen. That evolved over the years to a full-fledged music event every Friday night at the Floyd Country Store.  The store moves display cases and racks out of the way, puts up seating around a dance floor and charges a whopping $4 admission.  Out on the street, musicians gather in well-designed cubbies to jam as they did in the old days.  Even the Floyd Barbershop has musicians and an audience.

The workshop I attended was all about color.  Floyd was the perfect location, because in addition to musicians, the town is now a Mecca for artists, and many of the stores have colorful displays of fabric, paintings and other wonderful objects. One day our assignment was to choose a color and to shoot an essay about that color.  I chose RED.  On my quest to find red, I happened into the local Chocolate Shop, and when I opened the door I knew I had hit the jackpot.  The floors and walls were painted bright red, and many of the display items were also red.  What a find! And, of course, I bought chocolate.

These images are of the countryside outside of Floyd.  Rolling hills, barns, cows and fog greeted us at sunrise.  Put Floyd VA on your bucket list.  It’s a beautiful, friendly, and fun place to visit, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is very near for more exploration.Floyd 1 Floyd 5 Floyd 4 Floyd 3 Floyd 2

Dairy Farm Adventure

For a few days I will be getting images at a dairy farm near my home.  Today was the first day inside the milking parlor, outside with the calves and watching the pigeons fly over the beautiful silos.  The cows weren’t quite sure what to think of me standing there with a camera, and one even snorted at me when I shot a portrait of her.  After the milking the cows congregated in the mud to relax and get cooled off.                                          Watch for more to come.

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