Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Two Lane Photography?

I spent 15 years as a field service tech. The company I worked for promised our clients an on-site response to  their problems within 24 hours - 7 days a week; 50 States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There were 58 of us to provide that level of service.

I covered a 625,000 square mile territory; the eastern two-thirds of the State of North Carolina, and provided backup for the technicians in Georgia, western North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

Needless to say, I stayed on the road a lot. Averaged 1500 miles a week just getting there.

And a lot of "there" wasn't on the interstate. Nor could you use the national highway network to get from point A to point B. Not unless you wanted to add a whole lot more miles and a lot more hours on the road. So, I became very familiar with two lane county roads and state highways - the ones that could get me where my customer was located without adding another hundred miles to the trip.

I went in all kinds of weather, every season, year in and year out. And I began to see the light, the sometimes limitless vistas and the natural beauty of the landscape as I passed through it. I've had a camera of one sort or another since I was 8 years old, but along the way the journey I was making inspired me to move my photography up a notch. I started carrying a 35mm SLR camera along with me and stopped occasionally to photograph what moved me.

And still managed to make good time.

HDR image - Pentax K20D, Sigma EX30mmf/1.4DC ISO 800 @ f/8 +1.3 -0.3 -1.3

Sometimes, the quickest route took me down this road.

This is the Blue Ridge Parkway, somewhere between Roaring Gap in North Carolina and Fancy Gap in Virginia. If you want a location more specific than that, you'll have to go find it for yourself. It's right after sunset. I love this time of year. There's something special about autumn light in the Blue Ridge.

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