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Friday, December 12, 2014

A Time To Be Born & A Time To Die

Summarizing today's post: Reflecting for a moment on the seasons of life, the importance of photography, & a few tips for taking photos of aging structures.

photography, firetower
shot at 50mm, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/400th of a second
Driving past the old firetower in Winterville, NC a few weeks ago, I decided to stop and take a few photographs of the old decaying structure. 

Placed in service many years ago, the old beat up tower just stands there, blocked off to keep the public from venturing too close. To keep it company, about 25 yards away, stands massive tree...decaying as well. Appropriate, I thought.

I love taking photos of old structures--barns, buildings, and old houses. They seem to tell a silent story without anyone there. Once a vibrant part of the community full of life, now they are forgotten. Sad...and worth a moment of your time.

The best time to capture images of structures such as these is in the late afternoon, about an hour before sunset. You need to do nothing special, the sun low on the horizon will be all the special effect that you need. Position yourself so that the sun is at your back, or over to the side slightly. Then click away. You'll be surprised at what you can produce. 

I feel that I am paying respect to an old abandoned house when I pause and bother to take a photo of it. So many just drive right past it (including me 99% of the time) without even a glance. Just think of all the time and energy put into building it 100+ years ago. Now the creation is returning to earth gradually to join it's creator.

In Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, the good Lord gives us some powerful words. There is a time and place for everything. Seasons of life. "A time to be born, and a time to die" ring in my mind. They were read by our pastor during my grandfather's funeral just last week.

Grandaddy "Rudy" Thompson followed my grandmother to heaven only 3 months after she passed (see here). We all loved them dearly and miss them terribly. Words cannot express my emotions, so I'm not going to try. But I know they are in a much better place, free from pain and with God. And we will see them again real soon.

Going thru my recent photos, I thought of Grandaddy when I found the photograph of the old abandoned firetower. They are alike in the sense that they are both at the end of their lives ("...a time to die"), but totally unalike in the way the old tower has been left to decay all alone.

I am so glad for our mom and dad, aunt (my dad's sister) and uncle, and the core group of caregivers who were there with him during Grandaddy's last days. He was nothing close to "abandoned", and I thank God for giving these family members (and yes, we consider the caregivers as family) the heart to be so close to him. He, along with our grandmother, where given the respect and love they deserved at the end of their lives.

Give notice to the aging buildings and decaying structures on the roadside as you drive past them today. Keep your eyes open, and camera with you of course. Taking a photo of them might give you a new appreciation.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend,



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