We spent a couple of days in Winston-Salem (North Carolina) recently. One of the highlights was a visit to Old-Salem Village. Established by the Moravians in the 1700s, the village is an interesting mix of modern shops in a historical setting. Unlike most attractions of this type, the town is freely open to everyone, with no admission. A Ticket are required to enter some of the buildings, but you are free to wander about and enjoy the setting without paying an admission.
We only had a couple of hours to spend in the village, but the light was grand for photography. I had the Sony Alpha A350 with me, and since there wasn’t much time I decided I didn’t want to lug around a camera bag. So I selected my Minolta 28-85mm lens, figuring it would provide the best combination of focal lengths for a quick tour.
There was no shortage of subjects to shoot, and even though it was late in the afternoon, I found the long autumn shadows were quite interesting.
I used between a half and one and half stops exposure compensation to open up the shadows many of the buildings. I shifted between aperture and shutter priority for most of the shots. Everything was shot in RAW.
The lens revealed the famous “Minolta Colors” in many of the images. All in all, I was pleased with what I shot. I was somewhat surprised, however that my favorite shot was the front of a couple of buildings lining a side street. There was nothing especially noteworthy about the buildings and I the resulting photo was pretty much a simple grab shot. When I first looked at the image on my Mac, I thought it was okay, with pleasing colors.
Then I looked closer and started to notice dozens of small, but interesting details. The architecture and construction drew me deeper and deeper into the photo. This has nothing to do with me as a photographer. Well, maybe a little..:). I did see the potential in the shot, but I never noticed the details while we were in Old Salem. My true appreciation of the building’s construction details didn’t come until several days later, sitting at my computer. An even then, it didn’t jump out at me as something special. It wasn’t until I went through the images in Lightroom a few times that I started to see the things that make the image special.
I’ve put together a small gallery images from my visit. You can view it here: Old Salem Village Image Gallery. As I said, all images were shot with the A350 and the Minolta 28-85mm lens.
As I said, we spent less than two hours at the village. My appetite has certainly been whetted to go back when I can spend more time. I am sure Christmas time would be an excellent time to return. I imagine tons of Moraivain stars everywhere, steaming cups of hot chocolate…and of course; Moravian cookies! Yes, Christmas time should be an excellent time to go back.