The Deltaville Maritime Museum, including its many exhibits and some restored wooden boats, was destroyed by fire Wednesday night. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but local officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze, which firefighters battled for hours. Very hot and dry conditions along with substantial fuel provided by wooden boats and the frame building likely contributed to the fire, which started under a shed behind the museum and quickly spread to the adjacent building. The museum was holding its annual boat building week, and participants were building small wooden skiffs in the yard behind the museum. Sources say the fire started in the evening after everyone had left for the day.
This is a very difficult and sad time for the community, which has had its share of recent hardship, including a tornado that devastated the town last year. Museum officials say other museum-related activities will continue, including its monthly Farmers Markets and Grooving in the Park concert series. They also have committed to rebuilding the museum with fundraising support from the community.
I thought the photo I selected for this story was fitting because I snapped this shot of flowers just outside the museum during a Farmer’s Market last year. They symbolize the hope and promise of a new museum that will blossom in the future.
Specs: Nikon D7000, 105 mm, F/10, 1/320, ISO 200
© R C Norman Photography
Lines, shadow, texture, color. These are some of the elements that the eye notices, either intentionally or not, when we look at a photograph. When we have an obvious subject, like people or a landscape, these characteristics meld with the overall image while our brains interpret the story or action of the subject. With a less conspicuous or more abstract subject, such as this close-up of a tree, we rely more on these fundamental photographic qualities to please the eye. But there is a story. There always is. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., my kids and I spent a day touring monuments, museums and checking out the Folklife Festival on the Mall. It was a day of walking, sight-seeing, and more walking. On the stretch of land between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, there is a small cluster of old trees that offers a welcome patch of shade. My daughter had run ahead and was already perched up on one of the bent trunks of a tree by the time we arrived. Here we rested. After taking some photos of her on the tree, I noticed the cracks in the lower trunk where the bark had worn away and the wood beneath was smooth like a hand-rubbed piece of furniture. The wood’s warm color was accentuated by the soft light filtering through the canopy of leaves. This well worn tree had been visited and perched on by hundreds, probably thousands, of visitors, just like my daughter, who could not resist the joy of climbing while parents or others with less youthful energy relaxed in its cool shade. This tree is a monument in its own right that has provided amusement and cool refreshment to D.C.-goers for untold years. Its cracks and exposed wood are a tribute to the generation of climbers, and those to come, who find delight in its simple pleasure. I took hundreds of photos that day, but this one stood out because it was unexpected, just like the shade this old tree provided on a hot afternoon in D.C.
Camera Specs: Nikon D7000, 62 mm, F/5.3, 1/250, ISO 100
© R C Norman Photography, June 2012
Here’s a shot I captured with my iPhone of fireworks at the end of Heritage Day in Deltaville, Virginia last weekend. Most folks gather in the local cemetery next to the ball park to watch the display, following the Deltaville Tides baseball game. The fireworks, sponsored by the Deltaville Community Association, are launched behind the town fire department. My family and I have made this a tradition for the past few years, and it was a great way to kick off our vacation this year.
Specs: iPhone 4s
© R C Norman Photography, June 2012