My mother lived in a small community on the northwestern edge of Maryland named Smithsburg. *comments removed due to resident objections* She was born there, lived there for all of her formative years, moved away for college and then away-away to Minnesota for 35 years. She and my father moved back several years ago to be closer to family still living in the area, and simply, I guess, because they wanted to.
As I walked my dog around town each morning, I came to realize that Smithsburg is a contradiction. Many of the buildings in the older part of town are well kept, brick two-story Civil War era homes, but between each, a squat semi-modern (40’s era?) wooden house has been built. Many of those houses are, at best, ramshackle. The paint is peeling, something is askew somewhere and there’s usually some piece of indoor furniture out on the lawn. Not ALL of the more modern homes are that way, but in many areas the financial state of the western Maryland area is visible.
Well, I like ramshackle. I like history. I like contradictions. How could I resist? (Plus, I hadn’t done any shooting what-so-ever in a couple weeks so I was itching to photograph something!)
Equipment Carried: Nikon D300, 18-70mm — Equipment Used: Nikon D300, 18-70mm
Here are just some of the photos I took that morning. I know that I haven’t done the town justice, but sometimes it’s hard to get good photos of a tight-knit community – especially at 6AM!
On Friday, I dragged my husband Geoff out to a hill overlooking Smithsburg to get some sunrise shots. My original goal was to show the hills around Smithsburg, as they are quite cool, and a roller-coaster ride if you like driving fast. Unfortunately, to get the shot I was envisioning, I would have had to stand in the middle of a dangerous road at 6AM. An especially dangerous road in a town where many of the residents commute to Washington DC each day (one way = 2 hours). So, I settled for the farms and mountains – but couldn’t decide… color or monochrome? I leave it up to you, faithful reader, to tell me which is better…
Dearest Smithsburg, I know I’ll be back and
perhaps then I’ll have the gumption to explore more…
– Holly Kuchera
(if you’d like a really good sense of what Smithsburg and the surrounding area are like for community – read “Mail Call” from the Hagerstown, MD Herald-Mail newspaper)
- Date: Wednesday, September 1st & Friday, September 3rd, 2010
- Site: Smithsburg, MD
- Time spent at the site: 1 hour + 1 ½ hours
- Images taken: 62 + 140 (several multi-exposure HDRs)
- Possible keepers: 72