demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Photowalk – Delaplane, Virginia

Earlier this month I signed up for Kelby’s annual photowalk. To be honest I basically signed up at the last hour. The one I signed up for was in Warrenton, VA. I have never driven through and/or stopped in Warrenton so I thought this would be an interesting little town to walk around in. Little town, beautiful weekend and the walk was scheduled to start 10AM. Right there, that didn’t sound like fun. You see, little towns on weekends…well folks wake up and get out around 10AM – cafes for their coffee, walking their pets, and shopping….yeah you get my drift. I decided to get there at least an half hour early to park, walk around a little, etc. I did get there around 9:30AM but folks were wide awake, parking was crazy and busy, busy, busy….I kept moving.

Since I opted out of that headache, I decided to go to Delaplane, VA. 

I drive by Delaplane each time I drive to my home state of West Virginia. I stopped once years ago but I didn’t take the time to walk around. This day was the perfect day to do so. Delaplane is close to a hour from Washington, D.C. It is located close to Sky Meadows State Park and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. It’s a very pretty area.

This part of town has a couple of old buildings right beside each other along the railroad track. The buildings look so fragile that I thought they weren’t used for anything…until I got back home. While I was browsing through my images I saw a sign on a door stated that they were closed for that weekend. Then I looked beyond that and saw a sign letting people know when they’re normally opened. Did some research and and found out a lot if interesting things…not counting the history of the area. 

The two historical buildings are Delaplane Antiques. They have been selling antiques for over 40 years. They are opened on weekends or you can call and set up an appointment. This day it was closed so I will have to go back one day. 

And just a brief history from the plaque: Delaplane was known as Piedmont Station. July 19, 1861 Stonewall Jackson’s brigade of General Joseph E. Johnston’s corps marched to this station from Winchester. They crowded into freight and cattle cars and travelled to the 1st battle of Manassas. The use of a railroad to carry more than ten thousand troops to the Manassas battlefield gave striking demonstration of the arrival of a new era in military transport and contributed significantly to the Confederate victory there. 

So if you’re out with your camera documenting history, and shooting old buildings “just because they look cool”, make sure you take a little time and do some research after you’re done. That building may have some history and  still be opened for business.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-T30, XF35mm F/2 R WR lens, XF18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 R, LM, OIS WR lens.

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Photowalk of  Main Street, Franklin, Virginia

Spending the majority of summer in Virginia Beach, I knew I had to visit at least one small town in the area. To do so I had to get away from the beach area and I chose Franklin, VA. I made the trip to Franklin twice: first during the week just to check it out and second on a Sunday morning to shoot. 

Franklin’s population is around 8,200. It has the Birdsong Peanuts and it leads the State in peanut production. International Paper is also located in Franklin. With approximately 300 employees, they produce high quality bleached fluff pulp that are used in diapers, wipes, and fem care. Throughout Main Street there were beautiful murals painted on the businesses exterior walls and also inside of store walls as you walked the streets. Pretty cool. 

To me small towns have so much character. Businesses come and go but the characters of the buildings stay the same. To walk around on a Sunday morning is the best time for me. The streets are normally quiet and the town’s people are slowly getting up/most likely getting ready for church. Well…it wasn’t so quiet. As I was shooting a gentleman stopped in the middle of Main Street and we had a conversation about photography 😁 Not only we talked photography, he shared history of  Franklin and the original businesses that have gone. Yeah small town on a Sunday morning….works for me. 

If you enjoy visiting and photographing the small towns, don’t hesitate to do so. Doesn’t take much for them to be here today and gone tomorrow.

Gear used: Fujifilm GFX50R, GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

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anything goes newsletter July 2022

Welcome to another online newsletter “anything goes…something for everyone. Click on the link below to read from here OR download for later. Click on the articles title and it “should” take you to the page. Click on the article title and it “should” take you back to the main page. And if there’s a link inside of an article it “should” take you to their website.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Still hanging around Virginia Beach I feel that I’ve captured/photographed all that I wanted along the beach. Staying one block off the beach I was able to photograph the pier early morning and also a little street photography to capture those awesome morning shadows. Maybe go back and see what I can capture at sunset along the pier….maybe. But all in all I’m good with what I have.

Now what? I don’t have a clue so I reached out to a friend for some suggestions. He threw out some good places that were 2-3 hours drive away: Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Avon Pier, Rodanthe Pier, and Jeannette’s Pier…cool!! He came back with once I get to Currituck there’s a lighthouse there that he hasn’t visit yet. 

Hmmmm it’s SUMMER and there’s a LOT of people; I really don’t want to go to the Outer Banks area. Never heard of Currituck Beach Lighthouse…let me drive there. 

Currituck Beach Lighthouse is located in Corolla, NC. It took me a little more than two hours to drive there. When I was researching about the lighthouse it was stated it opened at 9:00AM if you want to walk up to the top. Wasn’t for sure if I wanted to do that but I knew it’s SUMMER with lots of PEOPLE so let me get there before 10AM. 

I got to the lighthouse around 9:30 but I couldn’t find it. The GPS was on point but I didn’t see it. I asked a gentleman where it was and realized I passed it. I passed by it because it was hidden by trees. Yeah this isn’t the typical lighthouse where you see the water surrounding it. Parking was sooooo limited so I was happy I got there when I did. 

Gear in hand I started walking towards the lighthouse. Still wasn’t decided if I was going to climb the lighthouse…but I saw some little people in front of me getting in line to go inside. I couldn’t let them outdo me so I got in line too 😉😉

Before going to Currituck Beach Lighthouse I did some research. The lighthouse is located in the Northern Outer Banks in Corolla Village. It was first lit 1 DEC 1875. It is the last brick and mortar lighthouse built in North Carolina. The lighthouse has 220 steps. They left the lighthouse unpainted to distinguish it from the others. It took at least a million bricks to construct this lighthouse. As you begin to walk/climb up, there’s nine landings for viewing and relaxing. It was well lit which was really nice. 

The view from above was awesome! The day was a nice clear day so that made it just as good. Looking out was the Currituck Heritage Park. Located on this park is the Whalehead Club – the yellow building. The Whalehead Club is a restored 1920’s era Art Nouveau style mansion-turned-museum. The Whalehead is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Looking down on the premises I was able to see the employees building and also the Gift Store. 

I kept my gear light – sling bang with GFX50R and GF 50mm lens. I didn’t know how narrow the steps would have been and how many people I would have encountered coming the opposite way therefore I didn’t want what I had banging around and getting damaged. With the high ISO of the GFX50R I was able to capture some nice images and able to twist and turn around the stairways. I am glad I made the climb up to also read the history of the lighthouse but also for some fun photography. 

Currituck Beach Lighthouse is a must lighthouse to see. When you have a few days and going to the visit Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses, make a turn to go North and visit Currituck. 

Gear used: Fujifilm GFX50R and GF 50MM F/3.5 R LM WR lens. 

To see more of Currituck Beach Lighthouse, visit my website (under Lighthouses):


Job well done…my Hi-Tec Boots

I know most of us have a favorite something: jewelry, color, game, watch, blanket, and maybe shoes. And most of us have heard someone tell their story about themselves, or how something in their life that turned out to be more than what they would ever thought. For me it’s about my long lasting Hi-Tec Waterproof boots. 

Now if you don’t know by now from reading my blogs I can write a story on just about anything. I always say that the little things are just as important as the big things. At times I don’t see it until it’s almost too late.

After I had a contract on my home, I still had to keep up the outdoor exteriors and one was my lawn. Last fall and winter my neighbor and I worked on the lawn. We got all the weeds out and fertilized it all winter (yeah we had another mild but grateful winter). Way before Spring had officially arrived we got so much rain. Now the new grass was growing and looking really good…FINALLY when I decide to sell!! 😂 In between the rainfalls I cut the grass in the back one last time. It was a little muddy, I took my boots off, left them on the back patio, and went inside. But I looked outside of my door window and saw my boots there and it dawned on me I won’t need my boots anymore…therefore I needed to photograph them. 

I must have purchased these boots late 90s or early 2000s. They were purchased for work which was photography. When you find the right comfortable pair of boots you make sure they last as long as possible. Indoors and outdoors photography, you don’t know exactly what you’re walking on and in (and I’m not talking the typical, obvious things). Traveling here and there, crazy weather, I was just happy that at the end of the day my feet felt pretty good. After years and years of working in these boots, I began to get stopped at the airport checkins and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized it was my boots; I stopped wearing them for work.

After my boots retired from work, I kept and used then around the house. I cut grass, I shoveled snow, I washed the car, I cut up tree limbs, you name it. They were just the most comfortable boots ever! But as I cut the grass one last time, I knew it was time to totally retire them; to move on to the next phase. And if you’re asking well you may need them again for those tasks? No. If I decide to purchase another home, lawn care will be in the budget to have professionals to take care of. 

I took TONS of photographs of my boots. Just looking at them and seeing all the small cracks and scruffiness from who knows what. The shoestrings aren’t the originals. They were replaced a few years ago. The outer part of the strings pulled away from the inner…I guess it was time. 

Thank you Hi-Tec! Thank you for sooooo many travels from here to there.

Do you have a favorite something? The next time you want to photograph something, pull out one of those favorites and show it how much you appreciate it through your photography 😉

Gear used: Fujifilm GFX50R, GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

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Morning walks at Virginia Beach

I am spending my summer in Virginia Beach. I’m not a water nor a beach person but I do enjoy my morning walks on the boardwalk. I see so many different types of people enjoying their morning: runners, bicyclers, skaters, casual walkers, and just people sitting listening to the water with their choice of drink. Then you have the workers: policemen waking up the homeless to make them move along, sweepers, trash pickup, porta potties getting refreshed, workers removing excess sand off the boardwalk, and the machinery smoothing out the sand on the beach for another day. 

My first few days of walking I had a camera with me: X-Pro2 and 27mm pancake lens. Just a small setup where I can throw in a small sling camera bag that doesn’t weigh me down. I like shooting with a prime lens…because it makes me move my feet AND makes me create with what I have. Also I wasn’t slowed down with my walking at all. Like with my casual walking I was casually shooting but with a purpose. 

The morning sun can produce so much dramatic shadows, silhouettes, reflections, and spitting through whatever it was in front of it. The first day I walked the boardwalk only. The second day, on my way back, I walked on the next street over to capture more shadows on the buildings and to check out what was there. 

Now that I’m feeling good about my morning walk, it’s time for me to add my evening walk. I will carry the camera with me a few times. Can’t wait.

If you want to take a camera with you and not be overloaded, grab a camera with a prime and a small camera bag/sling or a bag of some sorts big enough for your camera, phone, and ID.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm 27mm f/2.8 prime lens.

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Find a different perspective-Gaylord Post Office

You know, you think I get tired of shooting the same thing over and over. I do but I just have to think harder than the last time and shoot with a different perspective. 

Mid April I put my house on the market to sale – AND IT SOLD!!! 😁😁😁One of the days we had the Open House, I had to find something to do for about three hours; something that time will fly by quickly and take your mind off of how things are going at your home: did anyone show up, where they pretenders or died hard I-wanna-buy-this-house, was my house in order, did they feel warmth when they walked….all that crazies that goes through your head…well it did mine. As you know I have “my spots” to go to. Since it was the weekend, if there were people there I would just enjoy and shoot around them and keep moving. I was going to stop at Northfork Shenandoah River but I remembered a few days ago it closed with workers all around. I decided to go to the old Gaylord Post Office. When you look at the post office you will see there’s a fence around it with horses. Years ago as I was there, the owner came by and we started talking. He told me when he bought the horse farm (that’s what I call it) the post office came with it; so he kept it there. 

I went back to the Gaylord Post Office to photograph it AGAIN!! But one thing was different from this shoot, I had my Fujifilm GFX50R camera. GFX50R is a medium format digital mirrorless camera. Back in my days of film, I love shooting medium format film. The bigger the negative the less you had to crank up the enlarger. It’s not for fast action photography. It’s for slow down and take your time photography (my opinion). And that was just exactly what I did. I had to think of a way I haven’t really photographed this area. I know at times I probably shot from below looking up but not with effort. This day I put a lot of effort. The GF 35-70mm zoom lens was wide enough to give me some crazy and probably perspectives. That happens at time when you shooting with a zoom lens. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. I got lower that I’ve ever did before. No tripod this time, just handheld. Shooting handheld I moved more freely all over the place with a nice flow….almost like shooting video. The touch of clouds brought much drama to the entire composition. Even though I shot it in color, the black & white just hits it right. 

So you’ve been to a spot a zillion times. That’s okay. Keep going back and challenge yourself. I know I do 😉

Gear used: Fujifilm GFX50R, GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR lens. Capture One editing software.

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anything goes newsletter – April 2022

Gold Mining Camp Museum

During my online searches to find local places to photograph, I found this hidden gem the Gold Mining Camp Museum, which is located at Monroe Park in Goldvein, VA. The museum opened September 2019. According to their website Gold Mining Camp Museum, this is the official gold mining interpretive center for the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is also the only museum in Virginia solely dedicated to the history of gold and gold mining. 

This site isn’t an actual mine but nineteen mine sites existed within five miles of Monroe Park. Three museum buildings – Assay Office, Mess Hall, and Bunk House – interpret structures found at the 1930’s mine. There’s signage at each building that holds exhibits and plenty of displays. 

Not only do you have the three museum buildings you also have the display of the Hornet Balls. According to the signage, the Hornet Balls were most likely used to crush ore. Horses or maybe an attached steam engine spun the balls. 

Near the Hornet Balls is the Gold & Gemstone Panning area. From March to November there are free daily panning demonstrations…if the weather permits. 

This hidden history was very interesting. So many hidden gems in each state. If you find one check it out.

For more information visit their website:

Gear used: Fujifilm GFX50R with 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lens.

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