Thursday, November 04, 2010

elkmont, continued

More shots of the Wonderland outbuildings and the remains of the main building. As is my usual style, I walked around snapping photos without really checking to see the results (most of my photography years it wasn't even POSSIBLE to check the results and I have never really gotten in the habit of doing so now that it is) and mainly pointing and shooting to capture the same scene my naked eyes were drawn to. I mostly used a 50mm lens back then and now always start that way before utilizing the zoom feature on my little camera.

When we got home and I had a chance to look at the photos, I was absolutely thrilled with this particular set. Although I wish I'd been able to get the entire building before it was demolished, getting these photos captures the essence of the place for me and I know I'll use them in the future when I want to visit the Wonderland, either for my own interest or for book research.

These photos are the kind that I would have lingered over in the darkroom had I taken them 25 years ago and done the processing myself. I know that first one with the broken window panes would have been incredible to watch in the developing tray, as it came into form on the paper. I miss that aspect of photography - what made it magic for me - the alchemical process in action.

I guess I should say that none of these photos have been photo-shopped in any way. I don't crop or change the color. I will rotate as needed but that's it. And although I can shift them easily into black and white, I rarely do - I miss using my Nikon with Tri-X film that I knew well enough to be able to push it, distress it, and experiment with it having some idea of what I would get in the end. I love grainy, contrasty black and white shots, and I just don't know how to get that with a digital camera.

One of these days I'm going to get all my Paris photos online - I have no idea what that will mean technically and how long it will take, but it will be a fun and lengthy project that will keep me busy for awhile!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Great photos. It seems the fireplaces always are left standing, to attest to the fact that at one time it warmed many a chilly evening. Love the first shot of the windows, they almost look like stained glass with different colors reflecting in the panes.

billie said...

I know - the fireplaces are generally the heart of a room, so when I see them I really feel a sense of life - how many people stood before that fireplace when it was being used? What were they thinking as they gazed into the fire? A lot of energy left around those bricks.

Greta said...

Can't you just imagine family members and friends standing with their backs to a fireplace?

The photos are wonderful, Billie. You wear so many hats so effectively: therapist, horsewoman, parent, photographer, writer. What have I missed?

billie said...

Greta, overachiever and crazy woman come to mind. :)

ponymaid said...

Billie, I know two donkeys who would have explored every nook and cranny of the old place. What stories must be embedded in the remaining bricks and mortar. I hope you weren't too sad when you saw the main building was gone.

billie said...

Sheaffer, one of those donkeys just called out to you, saying "hello, dear friend!"

If traveling with donkeys in this day and age didn't require putting them in trailers, I would have Rafer Johnson with me at all times. He keeps me grounded.

On a completely different note, you will be pleased to hear that Redford is a champion hoof soaker now. I was expecting wildness and he simply put both front hooves in and stood there like a king.

It still astounds me that people think donkeys are stubborn or difficult. Says more about the people involved than the donkeys, I say!

Enchanted Forrest said...

What wonderful, evocative photos! The one with the broken window pane is especially stunning.

I know just what you mean about the latent energy of the place. It so intriguing how the happy energy of a place lingers so long after all the people have gone. I think of it as "ghost energy" and always feel it at my favorite park, Horseshoe Farm, that was once a working horse farm. I once had the opportunity to hear the farm's former owner speak about it and her words brought some of those happy ghosts to life.

I hope to visit Elkmont sometime and I'm glad they are working to restore it.
Lulu storefront:

billie said...

Thank you, Sue. That particular photo I think is one of my all-time favorites. I see it as a potential book cover, actually, but is one I will live with for a long time without getting tired of it.

Matthew said...

I love seeing the colors reflected in the window glass. Beautiful!

billie said...

Matthew, that's a favorite part of the photo for me.