Slow Down, Stop and Shoot
On Christmas Eve I drove down to my mom’s house in the Blue Ridge mountains. Anyone that has ever been in the car with me or for that matter on the phone with me while I am driving knows how much I hate driving and make it my goal to get to my destination as quick as possible with as few stops as possible.
On this particular day for my drive though, I knew my mom was out and wasn’t going to be back by the time that I would normally arrive. I decided I would get off the interstate, take some backroads with my camera and try to capture some interesting images.
I love taking photos and am always trying to discover new and different places to shoot. This was an opportunity to see something new and slow down and take some photos.
It wasn't all fun and games, I was still on the interstate for roughly 4.5 hours before I was able to get off and begin the backroad adventure. I promise you by this point my patience was already shot and I was ready to arrive at my destination and get out of the car.
As I got off the interstate and began traveling the back country roads of Virginia, I discovered some beautiful countryside, large farms and old rickety barns. The sites were beautiful and just reminded me that sometimes we need to slow down and enjoy what is around us. I made my way down the small two-laned road until I was able to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, my ultimate destination for a slow drive and beautiful sites.
This particular day, Christmas Eve, there was none on the parkway. I was able to slowly make my way through the meandering roads while stopping and shooting the beautiful countryside. As I came around one particular curve in the road I saw a doe prance across the road directly in front of my car. As I slowed down to look at the deer that just crossed in front of me, I noticed four more on the other side of the road. I pulled my car off to the side of the road and was able to switch my lens to my 100-300mm and capture a young doe that just froze on the side of the road allowing me to take his photo. It turned out to be an amazing picture.
As I continued down the road I saw several beautiful overlooks that showed the beauty of the Appalachian mountains. I took my time stopped and many of them and captured some beautiful vista shots.
A bit further down the road I came across an old mill called Mabry Mill. Now I must be honest, when I first saw it I knew it was beautiful but it was very cold and I was anxious to get to my destination. I blew past this beautiful landmark in my haste to get to my location. As soon as I passed it I knew I had made a mistake and turned back to go see what great images I could capture. I am very glad that I did, this mill is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken and would have been completely missed if I continued to rush down the road and not taken a little bit of time to enjoy.
I am not completely sure that I will always take the time needed to enjoy what’s around and hopefully capture these images. But I will always look back at a couple of these photos and realize that slowing down, stopping and taking some shots can be great and well worth the extra time.