I picked up a new camera this week. I’ve owned a Fujifilm X100T before, but I sold it to purchase an X-T20. I still love the X-T20, but I missed the compact feel of the X100 series, and it’s quiet leaf shutter. I haven’t shot a lot this last year, but I need to get back to my favorite hobby.
I had this idea recently to just get in the car and drive out into the country to photograph old farm equipment and abandoned buildings. So I jumped in the car and headed out Highway 14 determined to turn at the first rural road I found. That ended up being the first rural road off of an intersection a few miles in, and I happened to find an old log cabin ??
After pulling over to make some photos, I realized how long I’d been away from a camera. Minus the short trip to St. Louis, Missouri in June, I don’t think I’ve really held a camera much. After everybody shut down and then reopened with “masks while outside” policies, I let all my museum / zoo / gallery memberships expire. If all goes well and the morons running this town don’t lock us down into oblivion again, I’ll renew my memberships. The policies of my favorite venues are starting to relax.
The long drive gave me time to really consider is keeping me away from photography. I really enjoy photography in a group setting, and the last year has shown me that solo photography was not appealing. Some of the best photography I’ve made has been out with friends on photo walks. With the lockdowns, I had focused my attention on buying guitars and watches, while letting the cameras and film sit on their shelves. I spent a good 6 months living vicariously through other photographers.
I also realized how difficult it can be to just get in a car and drive until something worth photographing pops up. I originally had planned to go down to Midtown or Downtown, but changed my mind. Memphis is an interesting place, but I’ve lived here almost my entire life and I just have no desire to photograph anything else in this city. Well, except my kids, and downtown, and the Dixon gardens, and the Zoo…
My driving got me all the way to Arlington. That’s a whole 6 miles from my house. My route was almost 70 miles as I kept detouring down old roads trying to get lost. All I really found though was that the further into rural Shelby/Tipton county I would drive, the bigger the secluded mansions got. Finding old farm buildings in the backroads of Shelby County is harder than I thought. I did find the Arlington Historical Depot Square. No pictures, but it reminded me of the homes in Findlay, Ohio near the Marathon headquarters. Small pre-war homes all repainted in pastels by the yuppies. Very “Midtown Memphis” except the yard signs pointed to more conservative homeowners.
For all the annoyances of trying to find abandoned buildings and vehicles, I was glad I took the trip. It was a couple hours of searching, learning my X100T again, and enjoying the art of photography. I am rusty, though, and so were most of the photos.