Friday, February 7, 2014

Street Scenes Photo Challenge

I had great plans to go to downtown Staunton, Virginia for this challenge. Staunton is about 45 minutes away, and is a photographer's dream in many ways. It's filled with beautiful architecture from a bygone era, making for a myriad of photo opportunities. The weather, however, had different ideas! Frigid temperatures and merciless winds made tramping around city streets, camera in my shivering hands, not so enticing. I did make one attempt in our little county seat of Monterey, and dug into my archives for some photos a little closer to home. I might do my own street photography challenge during the summer months when I'm not shaking in my boots and can hold the camera still enough to get a decent shot!

Monterey is a tiny town of less than 300 people, probably. Don't let the sunny day fool you: it was about 12 degrees! I braved the cold long enough to get a few shots, none of which were what I had in mind. These are the best of a ho-hum group of photos.

This photo was taken looking east; that's Jack Mountain in the background. When I first moved to Monterey a little over 30 years ago, I rented an apartment above this store in the foreground. Its official name is "H & H Cash Store," but most everyone calls it "Jack's." No matter that Jack, who ran the store for many years, has been dead a long time and his son, Mike, is now the proprietor. As far as I know, no one calls it "Mike's" store.

Just down the street from the photo above is this woodworking shop. David, the master craftsman here, is the husband of Julia, my friend and fellow school librarian for 20 years or so. I thought the paper snowflakes in the windows created some visual interest. I bet daughters Grace and Mary Winters had something to do with putting them there!

Next door to the woodworking shop is the oldest building in town. It's a log cabin, dating back to Highland County's formation in 1847. You can see the wooden posts of the front porch above. Below is the side door to the cabin, which now houses a second hand store that benefits our local humane society. Too bad I didn't have this one for the September challenge on windows and doors!

I poked around in my archives for these next two photos. This is the closest grocery store to my house, It's about five miles away, in the village of McDowell, whose claim to fame is a Civil War battle in May of 1862, when Stonewall Jackson turned the Yankees away and declared that, "God has blessed our arms with victory at McDowell today." This photo was taken when the sunshine matched the air temperature!

 These last two were taken during the winter of 2010 when the snow was measured in feet more often than inches. That's the road in front of my house, which until a year and a half ago, was a dirt road.

There you have my humble attempts at street photography. I hope I have more opportunities to practice this photographic genre. It's a fascinating one, with endless possibilities. Check out the fantastic offerings from all the participants at:

Thanks to Donna for organizing it each month!


  1. Hi Nancy
    I loved all of your photos and I've learnt a lot more about Monterey - thank you!
    As soon as I saw Stonewall Grocery - Stonewall Jackson popped into my head - then I read your commentary!!
    It seems that name is known the world over.
    I especially love your last two photos - typical country lane street scenes and very much a part of where you live!

  2. I love the summer shots with the long shadows but the tractor and dog picture is classic!

  3. I very much like your last photo of the man walking the snowy road. It makes me wonder who he is and where he's going.

  4. These are terrific examples of street scenes that represent small-town Americana. Love those old storefronts like that, and it makes me want to go in and explore. The little grocery store is just precious. when we are on a trip and see a place like that, we pull right in to check it out and always buy a soda or snack. We can't resist the charm, especially since they feature all kinds of local notices on the glass windows.

    I adore the snowy street scenes you shared in the last two. The last one is my favorite! Beautiful composition and simplicity at its best.

  5. These are really great street scenes, Nancy. I enjoyed the small town feel of the first ones. The old building (Jack's store) has a beautiful front to it. I love that it's still around and not been modernized. The carpenter shop is great too. So much character. Small towns are really wonderful to see. And you can't beat rural roads for a street scape either. Pamela

  6. Wonderful! Everything from the small town main street to the snowy road. I appreciated the red door very much, too. I am always looking for color. I am intrigued that you enjoyed this challenge so well that you will keep up with it. I think I'll be letting street scenes go. ☺

  7. I LOVE your small town street scenes since they remind me so much of my small town and my very favorite is the last snowy country lane. Absolutely beautiful! I also loved seeing our family name of Dowell in your post what a surprise!

  8. Love the all but my favorite is the last one...Gorgeous shot!!!

  9. Jack would be proud the store is still known by his name.
    A nice sunlit red door and I like the wintry road scenes, especially the last one.

  10. I don't know about you but I am OVER the cold temperatures! We're supposed to get some snow tomorrow (I actually love snow!). Beautiful pictures of a Mayberryesque, Andy Griffith, town. Red doors are always a winner.


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