Posts Tagged ‘north carolina’

Southern Pride & The Confederate Flag

If you live in the Southern United States, you know the Confederate flag. What does the flag symbolize for you? In my 25+ years of life in this region I’ve been privy to some insightful and often time explicit debates about the flag. Does it symbolize Southern pride? Racism? Slavery? Segregation? Heritage? Independence? White supremacy? I’ll leave the debate to the “debaters.”  I am simply a photographer.

I stumbled upon this “scene” while cruising though the foothills of North Carolina. Beautiful country in places. The landscapes are often breathtaking and every so often, you’ll see something that makes you realize how vastly different people really are. This place was off the road a few hundred feet or so. I’d originally stopped to shoot the landscape before me, however when I walked around the old building, I found this (above image). Not exactly a place I’d like to get stuck (no disrespect to the descendants of Confederate or Union soldiers). The cultural shift from city to country is striking. No time machine is needed to experience it. Just get in your car and drive…

The actual door is below. Click on it for a larger image. Anyone know who the gentleman is in the photograph on the door itself?

FACT: Did you know that during World War II some U.S. military units with Southern nicknames, or made up largely of Southerners, made the Confederate flag their unofficial emblem? I did not. Thanks Wikipedia.

click for larger image

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Written on March 6th, 2011. 0 Comments

Power of Suggestion

If someone suggested you “shut your mouth,” what might you think? Would you take offense? Most might. After the initial shock of the suggestion began to wear off, you could possibly turn inside and begin to process it… (assuming you were a person to welcome criticism, evaluation, and change). Just a thought…

The Power of Suggestion is indeed a powerful thing. It can be used to educate, segregate, manipulate, initiate, and more. I’d be willing to “suggest” that the Egyptian revolution we have been witness to over the past days was due in part to the power of suggestion. Are you thinking about it now?

Suggestion is a form of  subliminal motivation that can be brought to fruition through the ability to comprehend, assess, and act…

That said, I’d like to thank Chris for suggesting I check out the “leaning barn” in Union County, North Carolina. I had not intended on shooting on this particular day but the little photographer voice in the back of my head would not let me rest. So, I gathered the gear, packed the car, and headed out. Enjoying the details of a rural landscape, I drove around for several hours and finally stopped to take above shot.  (Purchase Print)

The barn residents were not pleased by my presence and scurried around on the straw laden ground every time I moved.

The barn’s interior was worn, strewn with old farming equipment, hay stacks, plastic bottles (RECYCLE PLEASE!), and a few metal containers. The walls leaned inward on one side and outward on the other. There was something very “Alice in Wonderland-like” about the entire experience, minus the LSD. All in all, a very “worth-it” trip that would never have happened had it not been for the “Power of Suggestion.”

Barn Residents in a Panic (Photo: Kelly J. Owen)

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Written on February 12th, 2011. 0 Comments

Simply Living or Living Simply?

Driving along a two lane road in the North Carolina foothills, a clothesline and its constituents caught my eye. The clothes seemed to come to life in the breeze. It was as if they were waving to their own paparazzi. I reached the nearest intersection and turned around for another look. Indeed, they were alive! While composing the shot, this is what came to mind…

If you live in a metropolitan area of the world, make a point to GET OUT OF IT every once in a while. Spending time in “the country” can serve not only as way to clear our minds, but as an opportunity to re-adjust our perspectives.

Here’s what I mean…

If by chance a mobile home (or other form of low-income housing) were parked in front of this clothesline, you might think, “wow, they have it so rough they can’t even afford a dryer.” One might say the residents are “making do,” “getting by,” or “simply living.” It would appear to be a really tough way of life…

But what if the home in front of the clothesline were the home of your dreams? How might your perspective change? The clothesline might take on an entirely different meaning. Maybe you would see it as a way of “getting back in touch with nature,” “going GREEN,” “sustainability,” or “living simply.”

Adjust your assumptions and you’ll gain new, and often enlightening perspectives.

I then took this shot…

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Written on January 22nd, 2011. 1 Comment

North Carolina High Country

Sunset from Blowing Rock (Photo: Kelly J. Owen)

This past weekend I ventured out of the city, through the foothills, and up into the rustic, wild, serene beauty of the North Carolina High Country. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just between Boone and Blowing Rock, offered up amazing panoramas of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The absolute quiet I found myself surrounded by was a welcome rest for my ears and mind. I miss the silence… (View More…)

Interesting fact… Did you know the Appalachian Mountains were formed as a result of the tectonic plate Africa sits on colliding with the one North America is on? Crazy to imagine the numbers of years between then and now. Happy it happened.

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Written on November 14th, 2010. 2 Comments


A lock still holds fast the fear of theft once held so dear by its owner…
NoDa Neighborhood
Charlotte, North Carolina

I decided to head up to the “Arts District” in Charlotte and tool around in the neighborhood. The area itself contains a lot of old, dilapidated warehouses, factories, and homes. Many of them have been boarded up, providing no access unless you’re with company. Though I would have loved to have crawled into a few of them, I was alone, and therefore leaned on the concept of “self-preservation.” During some of my “exterior” observations I found a run-down shed with mold and fungus growing all over it. AMAZING COLOR!

While shooting this I realized there was a very active beehive 18 inches from my lens. Slow, methodical motion was necessary to avoid detection. The buzz in my right ear was definitely intimidating and at moments I thought to run… I managed to stick through it, capture what I thought best portrayed the moment, and make-off without a sting…

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Written on November 1st, 2010. 1 Comment

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