IN THE FIELD: Documenting the Past

Sometimes I step back from my role as the creative photographer and step forward as the archival photographer.

I love to discover a local scenic allowing me to capture a beautiful photograph. But I also love to document those locations before they no longer exist.

Preserving the past is important to me, not only for our present, but also for our future generations.

  1. November 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

    The other day I took several pictures of a graffiti that was covered up by an advertising screen yesterday. It made me smile to see that empty white screen, because I knew that I did my part in documenting some street art šŸ™‚ I like preserving fleeting urban moments like this sometimes.

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Verena, It is good that you photographed the street art…it will probably never be seen again in except in someone’s memory and in your photo documentation.

  2. November 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    really like this, i love pictures of old rural buildings..

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks Loren, we certainly have our fair share of old buildings around here.

  3. November 11, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Great shot, David. I like the perspective you used. It has an “old timey” quality about it. šŸ™‚

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Bob, I guess it worked considering the buildings are from the mid 1700’s, plus it was an overcast rainy day which added to the mood.

    • November 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      “Old timey” is a great way to describe this shot!

  4. November 11, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I agree, David. Important to document the past. Love how you took a straight on approach to this photo, it emphasizes the wonderful lines and diagonals. Great composition with the fence also. Great image, David.

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks Katie, I was dodging raindrops that day. I have several versions with the fence being more visible but the composition didn’t work as well.

  5. November 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

    You are killing me with all of these scenic shots! Yes, it is important to record history.

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      Ok ok I will do something different in the next posts…actually I have some neat shots in store. I like recording the past…they have a tendency around here to tear old buildings down before anyone can do anything about it and put up drug stores or strip malls.

  6. Steve
    November 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Amen to that David! I think one of our roles as photographers, pro or amateur, is to record the things that won’t last forever. Portraits capture a smile or look, scenics a place or time. This is a wonderful shot that will keep this place ‘alive’ for a long long time. Cheers!

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Steve, my sentiments exactly. I really do enjoy documenting the past. I didn’t get back to the town where we used to live in time to photograph the old lumber mill/yard. They tore it down and now it is just an empty gravel lot. I can only imagine what the plans are. It was such an interesting group of weathered structures built around the turn of the century.
      Thanks for such a great comment!

  7. November 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    These old buildings have such great character!

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      They sure do Fergie! And there are so many of them around here I could be busy for a long time!

  8. November 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Lovely image. It is good to record things as well as enjoying the aesthetic side. I have enjoyed recording events in the rural calendar since Spring and also how the weather affects the growing season generally – as well as enjoying the beauty of what I photograph.

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Meanderer, I like to visit different locations at various times of the year to document the changes too!

  9. November 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I agree with Katie, the angle of the shot is unusual and works very well to accentuate the geometric nature of the angles and lines.

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks Mufidah, I have several more photos of this historic furnace to share some of which I am going to re-shoot due to the light that day.

  10. November 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    David, I LOVE the clean, peaceful purity of this shot. It really tugs at my heart. I think I was born in the wrong time and place.

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Lee, you would love visiting here…it is so quiet except for the sounds of the birds…ahhh the simple life sounds good doesn’t it?

  11. November 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    David, you are right..some things have an appeal only because they are rare…these are or will become soon so u are doing the right thing by keeping memories !

    other than documenting i still think it has some interesting elements – the windows, walls and texture of the walls.the placement of windows are weird (either too low or too high).Are these houses that people live in ?

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Abu, I agree with what you said about things being rare…and you would go nuts here with all the textures, patterns, shadows etc. It really is a cool place. The building with the red window coverings is actually an old barn for horses and livestock from the late 1700’s and the smaller building was an old office for the iron furnace that is behind me where I was shooting.

  12. November 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    To say so beautiful won’t be enough for this photograph. Fascinated me. I stayed watching for a while… There are so many points that fascinated… First of all, the age of these buildings… How beautifully it has been kept alive… Another point is, their amazing architectural style… How beautiful and how impressive with its simplicity! And another point is your composition, the perspective of this photograph. They all make everything great and amazing. Really I am impressed so much. I wish to make its painting(oil painting), in the future. If you let me, of course. This photograph hits me in many ways… Thank you dear David, you are really doing great job, I admire so much. Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you Nia, there are so many old places around here it is hard to choose which ones to photograph next. Sure you may go ahead and paint to your hearts content! Thank you for such kind words Nia.

      • November 15, 2011 at 4:14 am

        You are welcome and Thank you, when I start to make an oil painting with this photograph I will share with you. Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  13. November 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

    That’s a great find and also a great shot!

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Montucky, these “great finds” are all over the place here in eastern Pa…it makes it hard to choose where to go next. Guess I should make up a list and just start at the top and work my way through!

  14. November 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I still have some castle photos from Scotland waiting to be blogged, might show up during the next week. Love your shot, do miss some more information about the buildings though…

    • November 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Anne, I can’t wait to see your castle photos…I would love to explore an old castle. Now for more info…the past three photos have been from a historic iron furnace that was in operation from 1771 to 1883. They made various things from iron that was mined in the area…primarily stoves for heating and cooking along with pots and skillets. In this post, the building with the red doors is an old livestock barn and the smaller building was the office for the furnace. There are numerous other buildings on the site…tenant housing, store, charcoal barn, Iron Master’s mansion, the furnace for making the iron etc. In the other posts were the buildings for housing the charcoal (wagon)and the blast furnace (wood roof,stone and tile) and water wheel for powering the air pumps to feed the furnace. It’s a cool place!!!

  15. November 14, 2011 at 2:03 am


  16. Kristina
    November 14, 2011 at 6:20 am

    This is a great idea! Beautiful picture! Very deep colours! šŸ™‚

    • November 14, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Kristina, since it was an overcast rainy day the colors are so much richer. In fact , it started to rain just after I took this shot!

  17. Nandini
    November 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I love the green here. Beautiful place to be. šŸ™‚

  18. November 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Yes it is so peaceful there surrounded by the forest.

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