Small Town Architecture

Architectural Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Architectural Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

Are the Main Streets of small towns the forgotten thoroughfares of our memories? Certainly they are not what they used to be: thriving arteries linking neighbor folk in their daily endeavors. For many years now, populations have chosen sprawl over centralized communities and the suburbs have boomed at the expense of small towns.

Architectural Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Architectural Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

Fortunately I’m beginning to see, in the American South where I live, a return to the towns and lives that were more associated with our grandparents’ than our parents’ generation. While life certainly may be more modern, there is a revitalization going on. Shop windows lining Main Street, facing the local railroad lines are being dressed up again for a new clientele. The structures are being spruced up, repurposed to fit our ideas of desirable economic function.

Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

In my travels, in visits with family and friends, I get to witness some of these changes over time, and document architecture in its various stages of life. Here are some of my latest photographs–portraits of brick, mortar, and wood in small town USA–depicting Main Street at night, an awning of an art-deco styled building, and an abandoned peach shed by the railroad.

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Springtime Portrait Session

Beautiful portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

Springtime in Atlanta is always a great time of year with the variety of flowering plants, and I can’t imagine anywhere else being quite as pretty when they are all in bloom. As I like to incorporate scenery into my portraits I wanted to take advantage of all of the outdoor beauty with a portrait photo session.

This young model was wonderful to work with, looks beautiful, and was even agreeable with getting up early for the morning shoot. While I usually shy away from special effects, I added antiquing which seemed appropriate for this first shot. The second shot was a concept photograph of which we took advantage of our surroundings and streaming light.

Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

The third was the model purely her being herself.  I usually give models minimal instruction if the they are relaxed and natural, which she was.

Portrait photography by Notes of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Portrait photography by Notes of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

The fourth picture we decided to try after we thought we had finished for the day, using a dogwood tree’s blossoms of which Atlanta is famous.

Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

Chattanooga Terminal Station Architecture

If anyone reading this blog has been to Chattanooga and visited the old railroad terminal station then they probably admired the spacious interior and beautiful ceiling. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Beaux-Arts style building was built in 1909, was featured in Glenn Miller’s song “Chattanooga Choo Choo” of 1941, and currently lives on as a tourist destination of antique trains, restaurants, and hotel.

Attracted by the grand visual field, I set up several photographs of the depot’s ceiling and tried to capture interesting elements of the huge area. Complimenting the frame were the curved lines and mix of old school lighting and natural lighting.

If ever in the area, this is an interesting stop for the photographer and tourist alike.

Urban Decay

Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

I’ve been interested in this relatively new field of photography called urban decay. There are many great photographers who seek out abandoned spaces and who specialize in capturing the latter moments of a building’s life before its complete demise. And the better photographs can only be described as “hauntingly beautiful,” a term best suited to this genre.

On recent trip to Tennessee, I found a great spot at an old factory to practice taking a few pictures in this style. As much as any other type of photography good light is essential, but also trying to capture and highlight the decay in an effective way, to evoke aspects such as waste, former glory, loneliness,  imagination, and beauty in an overlooked landscape, is equally important.

Here’s a few of my tries–click on a picture to see it full size–I would love to hear what people think.