A Perfect Day In The Gorge

Have you ever been asked about what your perfect for looks like? Some people describe the perfect day as winning the lottery and having the check delivered by their favorite celebrity. Who of course arrives on the back of a magical unicorn that you get to keep. While that’s an “interesting” vision and would make for an awesome day it’s not quite for me. I was never really awestruck by fame and rumor has it that unicorns are high maintenance. Lottery winnings might be nice though. But my perfect day would have to involve the freedom to roam the hills of Appalachia. I think I would like nothing more than to pick a trail along the river and slowly amble my way downstream while exploring all the little nooks and crannies that are seldom seen. I have even fantasized about packing up a fleet of canoes documenting all the rivers and streams in West Virginia. Perhaps even find some pre-columbian ruins and photograph mysterious petroglyphs before the elements obscure them forever. Or perhaps find a rare flower that has never been seen before. These were the dreams of my childhood. Not that fame and fortune were a bad thing but it was a lifestyle of simplicity and the wonder of discovery that I found attractive. And, while I may never really be the first person to stumble upon a grand discovery there is the very real possibility of seeing something that’s new to me. And that’s still awesome.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Perfect November Day In The Gorge ” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

The New Day

The cab of the big blue truck is full of the aroma of fresh brewed coffee as I break through morning mists at the foot of the mountain. As I pass through the little town of Gauley Bridge the sun is just peeking over the mountains. As the light brings life back to the valley the old railroad bridge really catches my eye. The truck comes to rest near the tracks and I get into position for tonight’s feature image.

While taking in the view from the tracks I began to think about how each morning is a fresh start. We have only the arch of the shadows in which to dream and build on those dreams. When the shadows overtake the streets and pathways the opportunity is lost once more in the mountain mists. And, while some of those opportunities pass with shadows others will rise up with the sun on the next morning. The archs only travel in one direction. If we try to pull them back we miss the next cycle. Nobody would stand out on the edge of the their world facing the West waiting for the Sun to come back? However, if we go to the place where the Sun rises we can catch the new day and take advantage of the renewal that comes with it.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

Ring this bell for Facebook

Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page

Visit My Website

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The New Day” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using theContact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

Taking The Long Way

If I concentrate on it I can remember a time before Interstate Highways in my area. Every road was the scenic route and every road was the long way home. Oftentimes the road was a single lane and when you met someone coming from the other direction each would have to move one wheel off of the pavement so that there was enough room to pass. Most of the time people would idle in the middle of the road and have a conversation with their windows down. I can remember being late for appointments because two people sat in the middle of the road for several minutes with traffic backed up behind them on either side. Sometimes it lead to an internal conflict of protocol. Is it more rude to block the road or to interrupt the conversation?

Thankfully we now have social media and there’s no need to block traffic for a status update. In the 70s a car was usually large enough to seat 6 adults in relative comfort and quiet drives though the country was a good way to relax.

A slow drive through the mountains was rewarded with grand views of the valley below. If the road was remote enough you could spot wildlife on the edge of the forest. Time was more generous then and the slower pace allowed for one to experience life instead of spend it. We tend to think of an open road as a symbol of freedom but I have to wonder if we miss the point when we’re just reaching the next destination as quickly as possible.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Crossroads In The Gorge” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contactinformation. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

Sample Portraits

Challenges

Tonight as I tried to decide what image I wanted to post I kept coming back to the series that I call “The Water Walkers”. They make it look so easy. I’ve never been able to stand up straight on a skateboard and I’m pretty sure that a paddle board would fly right out from under me as well. But as I look at the people riding them out in front of Kanawha Falls I have to admit that it seems like fun. As humans we seem to be driven to challenge ourselves. There’s a certain thrill to overcoming an obstacle and we have that sense of accomplishment. The challenge doesn’t have to be physical. It can be anything you choose. If you’re a foodie it might be the moment that you perfect that special dish. Whatever the challenge the important thing is that you keep rising to challenge until you overcome.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. You’re also invited to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of my Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Water Walker 2”. While this image isn’t for sale I do want to remind you that I am available for portrait sessions by appointment. To inquire a portrait session either message me on Facebook or use the Contact Form on my website.

Community Efforts

There’s a reason why the Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State is one of the most photographed spots in West Virginia. No matter what time of year it is the old Mill never fails to please. I was to meet a very special client here a few days ago for portraits and I knew that I had to make the effort to be there early and capture a few shots for my blog. We’re very close to the Peak Color weeks of Fall. The landscape of Appalachia swims in warm colors. The rustic construction of the mill fits perfectly into the mountains. The texture of the cut stone and rough oak beams and planks are artfully assembled using techniques that are centuries old. Every stone tells a story about how gentle taps with a hammer and chisel free the blocks from the stone quarry. How they are shaped by the same hands who lovingly tap away. I was blessed to have met a man at art show a couple of weeks ago who told me about how his father cut some of the oak that was used to make the chute that carries the water which turns the wheel to grind the flour. As I look at the mill and imagine how in the days before store bought bread how many hands were needed to feed a community. Hands that worked the stone. Hands that cut the lumber. Hands that built the wheel. Hands that put it all together. Hands that grew the grain. Hands that milled the flour and hands that baked the bread. It’s very fitting that these same hands would come together to break that bread on special occasions. Even in the old days nobody had all the skills needed to thrive on their own. Places like the mill were community effort and a community is an extension of family.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I would also like to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of my Welcome Page on my website.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Glade Creek Grist Mill in Fall 1”. The feature image is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

5X7- $10.00

8X10- $15.00

( may require some cropping )

A Day Hike In Fall ( with a nutty encounter)

One by one colors fall from the sky. There’s a rainbow in the wind. The forest takes on a different scent and the sounds change as well. For a moment I paused to take in the change and feel the bite of the oncoming cold weather. There’s a loud thump behind me. Cautiously I turned to face whatever beast stalks me. Emptiness. Only the falling leaves and the bare trunks of the trees. Perhaps it was just a branch that had pruned itself in the breeze. A few more steps down the pathway and this time I definitely hear the dry leaves crunch behind me and move to one side. I stepped behind a large yellow poplar as the crunch moves closer. I peek out from my hiding place and then I see the noisiest creature in the woods. A grey squirrel comes bouncing towards me. How a one pound bushy tailed tree rat manages make more noise than a Sasquatch in a dance off is beyond me. But they do. When I step back out the squirrel realizes that his prankster antics are over and in one last leap he disappeared up his own tree. Amused by the fluffy little rascal as he moved from branch to branch I smile and thank God for the beautiful fall day and the warm thermos of coffee back at my big blue truck. It time to leave the squirrel to finish stashing away his winter supplies.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media.

Please consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the Feature Image you can use the message button on Facebook or The Contact Form on my website. I just need to know what size so I can reply with a quote. 😊

Tonight’s Feature Image is from Beartown State Park in West Virginia. Titled “Spilled Colors”

The 38th Annual Arts And Crafts Show Hosted by Edgewood Presbyterian Church Wrap Up.

First and foremost I want to publicly thank everyone who worked so hard to put this show together. It’s folks like you who make it easier to connect the public with artists and crafters. This was the second time I have been a participant and I’ve been blessed by all the good friends that I’ve made at the shows.

To my readers… I would absolutely love to take you on a photo tour of the show. However, the other artists and independent businesses work very hard to create unique products and services sold at these shows.

Photography inside these events is strictly prohibited to prevent their designs from being duplicated.

When you pour your heart and soul into the creation process it’s devastating to have someone come in and take away your uniqueness without compensation. We all have a limited amount of life’s energy in this world. When an artist creates he/she imparts a portion of the spirit into the piece. Therefore, unjust duplication of the work is a theft of the soul. This is the reason why I only have pictures of my own booth. And why I have done my best to protect the work of my fellow artists and crafters.

The day begins with an early morning drive through rain and fog. The big blue truck was loaded the previous day with prints and products to be sold and displayed. I have podcasts and music loaded into my Amazon Kindle to keep me company during the trek across Sewell Mountain.

The straight stretches on our roads are a bit of a rare thing. Above is a section of route 60 heading into Lavista West Virginia. The stretch here has always felt picturesque to me.

Above is a section of Route 60 on Sewell Mountain is a little more typical for our roads. Not far from this spot is the place where in 1988 I spent several hours stranded in two feet of snow with a dead car battery. There was no mobile phones in those days and the signal from my citizens band radio was too weak to be of any help. I was eventually rescued by another driver with a set of jumper cables. Today’s trip however was without any trouble at all and it’s an absolutely beautiful drive during the peak color of Fall. (In just a few short weeks)

About two hours after I left l finally arrived at the fairgrounds. The amount of straps might seem to be a bit excessive at first but trip to get here is like a rollercoaster. Loading and unloading the big blue truck in the rain is just a fact of life. You may be looking at the jumbled parts and wondering what the heck all that junk is. Well, the 4×4 beam is the heavy base for my display. It has holes drilled into it that the EMT conduit slips into and it provides a counterbalance for the wire frame. The wire frame provides a place where I can hang the pictures for the public to see as they walk through.

Setting up is the hardest part of doing a show. But once you get the hang of it the work goes quickly.

Magnets and Keyfobs are always a good supplement to wall hangings. It gives me a low cost option for those who fall in love with an image but don’t have the wall space or the budget for larger prints.

My wife’s books nearly sold out! From left to right they are… Her nonfiction book about her 12 year long but victorious battle with depression, her Christian Western romance trilogy that follows the main character from age 18 to age 90, and the daily devotional book that we wrote together. (The devotional features my photos as well). If you like to read please visit Angela Dempsey books on Amazon.

Above are some more of the magnets.

The largest draw into my booth was the Wading Willows. I sold out of the smaller prints of this one.

Another big hit for this particular show was theMt. Olivet United Methodist Church on Droop Mountain. Built in 1880 the log cabin style church served as a gathering place for 137 years. Sadly, the river of time dictates that nothing is permanent on this earth and in October of 2017 the logs had finally sucome to rot and termites. The building was removed by the Barnwood Builders TV show. I have heard varying reports about the outcome of the building but I understand that the congregation now has a new building on the same lot.

Overall, the show was a wonderful experience. I have made new friends including a very special woodworker in his 90s. His work was absolutely exquisite and his daughter “Mary” was one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met at one of the shows. I truly enjoyed meeting people in crowd and sharing the stories behind each photo.

If you have these shows where you live then please consider coming out to one and buy from a person who truly cares about the product they make by hand. If you’re local to West Virginia these shows pop up all over in the Spring and Fall which are perfect for buying holiday gifts for your loved ones.

I have a few smaller shows that I might try to get into and as I do I’ll try to share the experience as a bonus post.

For now the show is over and it’s time to load up the big blue truck and head home. The quiet road is covered with the velvet darkness and soft purple glow of fading day calls me home.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. You’re also invited to follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.