Category Archives: Architecture

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.

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Nighttime photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

What conjures more imagery in an urban environment than a brightly lit theater at night? Notes Of Light Photography would like to submit these photos of the beautiful Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga for the weekly theme of street life.

Although the Tivoli Theater resides not only on a prominent spot on Broad Street but also in the hearts of generations of Chattanoogans, the scene depicted is easily recognizable from our own memories and could be from any city we imagine.

These shots were taken at 4/10 of a second at f7.1 for the image with the blurred car, and 1/50 of a second at f2.0 for the image with the pedestrians.

Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Street photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

A Look Inside

On Peachtree Street in Atlanta, right in busy midtown, is a beautiful church set among the high rises, restaurants, and stores.  Traffic is nonstop along the street as people rush to their work places, appointments, dates, or the latest show at the nearby famous Fox Theater.

Most never stop and take the time to realize the beauty inside the stone building or what they are missing. Truly it is a magnificent space from many points of view. The sanctuary is full of a multitude of carvings and stained glass, and symbology fills the visual field. And one of the largest pipe organs in the southeast calls the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer home.

I volunteered during a day of service to help clean the church, and took several pictures that day to share with those who may never have seen some of the treasure inside. Even as a longtime member, I haven’t discovered everything there is to find. Here is just a small sampling…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Hello everyone, I’m entering my first photo challenge with this post on the theme abandoned.

Just this past weekend I discovered an old house that has seen better days, and I chose four shots that show the place in detail. All were taken in color and then converted to monochrome in post-processing.

Finding, seeing, and photographing old houses is one of my favorite hobbies so I’m excited that Notes Of Light gets to take part in this photography challenge, especially as it is my first one here on WordPress.

Historic Shiloh Methodist Church

Last weekend I spent two cold pre-dawn hours shooting the historic Shiloh Methodist Church in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. This church has survived as a congregation as early as the 1700’s and this building, shown in the photographs, was built in 1825. This is a pioneer church of upstate South Carolina.

Multi-generation families in the area tell that a Revolutionary War skirmish was fought along a nearby creek and that the dead were buried here, but it is unknown whether the church existed at that point in time.  Directly behind the church building is a large and old graveyard; simple standing stones do mark the resting spot of a couple dozen unknowns. In the dark of early morning it is a quiet and solitary place except for the arc of stars, slight stony silhouettes along the ground, and white-board church. White-board that’s a shade of grey with almost no light.

Camera set on tripod, I began shooting with a 30 second exposure.