Virginia

27 Jun

One More Ride On the Merry-Go-Round.

By Silver Blue

carousel

The former carousel from Buckroe Beach Amusement Park, Hampton, VA. Restored and now housed in downtown Hampton, VA, just outside the Virginia Air and Space Museum. One of only a handful of remaining with hand carved wooden carousel horses and chariots.

For slightly more information, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckroe_Beach,_Hampton,_Virginia

Silver Blue, who remembers when the carousel WAS at Buckroe Beach….

 

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12 Apr

On wind and waves…

By Silver Blue

This photo was taken at the base of a bridge in Tappahannock, VA, in the summer of 2012. I call it “On wind and waves…” because the birds seem equally at home on either.

onwindandwaves(C) 2012 F. John Barker III/Silver Blue Photography

Silver Blue, who loves the wind AND the waves…

 

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10 Apr

The Monument in Hampton, VA

By Silver Blue

I’ll leave you to form your own opinions: http://weblogs.dailypress.com/news/local/hamptonmatters/2011/01/lawrence_nobles_hampton_statue.html

dthm

Silver Blue, who knows far too well how history is rewritten, glossing over the bad parts.

 

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08 Apr

The smell of salt in the air….

By Silver Blue

…and the cry of the gull on the wing.

boats

 

Taken on the Hampton Waterfront. “The Lure of the Water” – (C) 2013 F. John Barker III/Silver Blue Photography

Silver Blue, who thinks there are few things prettier than the habour lights…..

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08 Apr

A bird’s eye view…

By Silver Blue

Yesterday offered me the opportunity to do something I’d spoken of for quite some time, but never had the opportunity to do. Go to the top of the parking deck beside our building and get pictures of our building, then reverse position and capture the football stadium.

It looks to different from above!

The problem I had was finding time to be able to get to the top and photo — Before they changed the parking patterns, it was hard to find a space in the upper levels that would have allowed access. A Saturday afternoon, however, spelled no such problems.


It’s really interesting because from ground level, you can’t see ANY of the black construction on the roof:

This photo was taken April 29, 2003 — before they built the parking deck, before the moved the building sign from south to north, and when we obviously had a malfunctioning front door, which seems to be stuck open.

Switching sides of the parking deck:

S. B. Ballard Stadium at Foreman Field. Home to Monarch Football.

There’s talk of expanding the stadium by taking out the bleachers on the far end. (On the near end are luxury suites and club house boxes).

Feel the Roar. BE the Roar.

Come alive and show that Monarch Pride!  Still, love the glow of the afternoon sun from atop the deck. These were taken just before the banquet I photographed last night, and last night’s blog photos were taken after that event. Strangely enough, even with continually raising my camera to my eye, I wasn’t “seeing” a lot of photos to be taken. There were 298 taken in the 3+ hour banquet, and those are being provided to the client, but I only managed 13 shots before and 9 shots after…it wasn’t one of my more “creative” days.

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/al-lb.mp3]

Silver Blue, who has been down for the count most of the day, but don’t count me out just yet.

 

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31 Mar

Playing Dress-Up

By Silver Blue

Journey back with me to my high school years. (Photographic permissions from Max/Ward Delmar/Lifetouch Photography has been obtained prior.)

My Junior Year was marked by taking two different girls to two different proms. Here I am with Christie Ann Bolton, taking her to her Carollton Junior Prom. (N.B. – This photo has been modified to correct the position of the shirt. Unfortunately, the photographer was not professional enough to alert me that the “ruffles” were folded over and the shirt was way out of position, nor would he allow me to hold the walking stick to display the handle (see below).)

I had my hair “spot permed” in my Junior year, to achieve the pompadour effect. I had a top hat that had been purchased for the outfit, but on the ferry ride from Portsmouth to Norfolk, the wind whipped it off my head and into the bay. I still joke about a “best dressed fish” in the bay. (I like my hair best in this photograph.)

My own Junior Prom photograph (a week later), where I took Eleya Celeste Finch to our (Hampton High School) Prom. Eleya is wearing a cameo choker belonging to my mother. My walking stick handle actually is the lid to the “Mr. K” cologne made by Mary Kay. (I might add, a MUCH more professional photographer took this shot.)

My Senior Prom photo (note the cane handle again!), with Tammy McCabe, a freshman who had wanted to go to the prom, but didn’t know any Seniors. I didn’t have a date, so she accompanied me. (Side note: I owned the tuxedo for the Junior Proms I attended, but this gray tux with tails was rented – as was the walking stick, which we whittled down to accept the cane topper, re-gluing the plastic stick cover in place before returning it!) I was able to realize a silly dream I had by having the limo Tammy and I were in go through the McDonald’s drive-thru on Aberdeen Road in Hampton, VA and ordering a small Diet Coke.

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/tt-sbr.mp3]

Silver Blue…. who remembers the rose after the rain, and agrees…something beautiful remains.

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29 Mar

Life from a couple different angles

By Silver Blue

Always be on the lookout for shape, colour, form, and angle. Photos can come from some of the most unexpected areas

Two such options came to be while waiting for the Grand Illumination in downtown Norfolk, VA:

It’s all in how you “see”. If you open your eyes, what does the world around you look like?

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/sbem.mp3]

Silver Blue, who keeps looking for that elusive “Eden”….

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23 Mar

Sing with me!

By Silver Blue

 

Enter to learn, leave to serve.

This is the motto by which we shall live.

Maroon and gold, our banner high we raise…

Wythe School, Our School, we proudly sing your praise.

Yes, I still remember the school song from my final elementary school, Wythe Elementary, where I attended from 1980-1981.

The school, built in an Art Deco Style, opened in 1936 as the George Wythe Junior High School. In 1950, the new George Wythe Junior High opened on Gloucester Street, and the old building became the Wythe Elementary School. (The original Wythe Elementary School had been built in 1909 and was demolished; the site was repurposed by the Wythe Recreation Association as the Wythe Neighbourhood Membership Swimming Pool.)

Wythe Elementary closed in 2010, and for the first time in over a century, the City of Hampton was left without a school named after Founding Father, George Wythe.

The building went through numerous renovations over the years; on the second floor is an auditorium that used to have a balcony you could sit in (and access) from the 3rd floor. Due to structural damage, however, the balcony was removed prior to 1980. On the first floor was the cafeteria, and entrance to the fallout shelter (yes, there were fallout shelter signs on the building when I went there. I didn’t poke around the property (besides, my allergies were getting the best of me.)

There exists a photo of the school (when it was built as a Junior High) with it’s original windows…:

(Courtesy of the Library of Virginia). (The old elementary school can be seen at the left of the photograph)

The school was about 4 blocks from where we lived, so I could walk, or ride my bike to school.

Pardon the distortion from the stitching of the panoramic shot — this is actually 7 photos stitched into one photograph, as I could not get back far enough to photograph the entire building (due to houses being behind me.)

We were known as the “Wythe Owls”, after the large owls that are over each entrance. (This is the left owl.)

Our school song came from the granite engravings over each door.

Here’s the right owl. I hope that whatever becomes of the building, that they put the owls in a museum, along with at least one of the “Enter To Learn/Leave To Serve” granite signs.

There is talk of making the former school into an adult education center. But as you can see, time is beginning to cause deterioration. Hopefully the city will be able to restore the schools exterior/facade into what we students had been proud of for years.

In 2002 (22 years after I attended the school), the students commemorated 9/11 with the planting of a tree. The granite block (engraved with an owl) says “Growing out of our hopes and wishes for America. The children of Wythe Elementary School, September 11, 2002.”

This is the tree that was planted, a decade ago, and the stone marker.

Coming home, I found St. Francis of Assisi hiding in the azaleas.

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/btsa.mp3]

(Okay, so the song is more fitting for High School, but hey… how many times is there something actually from Grease 2 that is fitting??)

Silver Blue, who now is off to scrub the pollen from my eyes!

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16 Mar

Where the HDR fascination started…

By Silver Blue

I was in Ghent, Norfolk, VA, and had shot a good number of photos of the Naro Theater and … back in those days, the only option I knew of was the somewhat primitive Photoshop option.

A different look (not necessarily better, but different) is now available by clicking three buttons.

The lower is garish, while the top appears lost in a fog. The difference is that the top photo took (when I rendered it, back in 2007) about 15 minutes of heavy computing power. The lower one took about 8 seconds.

Sometimes, however, just a proper exposure for neon can make all the difference. This one has no HDR effects applied at all, and it’s the one I prefer most:

 

Silver Blue…. who tries to capture what lights up his world.

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