Street Photography; Eastern NC Part II

Methodist Warehouse

The Queen Street United Methodist Church dominates what there is of a skyline in the small city of Kinston. Beautifully maintained, the church has been the focal point of countless photographs of the downtown area. This shot captures the Church’s Bell Tower as well as the rich brick texture of one of the ancient warehouses nearby.

Great BlueThe 

The side wall of another of the old warehouses that have been or are in the process of being re-purposed as shops, galleries, upscale loft apartments, etc  by the hipster  entrepreneur-developers who are giving the city new life.  The huge mural of the Great Blue Heron is testament to Kinston’s artistic renaissance.

These cast cement facades of tobacco barns are a salute to tobacco which drove the area economy for more than a century.  Tobacco is still an important crop in Eastern North Carolina but not to the degree that it was.  Next time, back to the coast.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.  All shots taken with a Nikon D750 Camera and a 24-120 f/4 lens.

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Street Photography, Kinston, North Carolina

The Boiler Room

“The Boiler Room” is the second restaurant founded and operated by acclaimed chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight. Their first, “The Chef and the Farmer” was the catalyst that has led to the rebirth of Kinston, a small city in southeastern North Carolina. The entrance to “The Boiler Room” is via the alley shown above. It gives the restaurant a gritty, blue collar feel.  Howard’s Peabody Award Winning television series,  “A Chef’s Life”, is on PBS.

Mother Earth Brewing Tap Room

Mother Earth is another major player in Kinston’s second coming.  Entrepreneur Stephen Hill has turned Mother Earth into a powerhouse in the craft brewing industry.  He’s also behind the second coming of a major section of Kinston with two hotels, a motel and several homes to his credit.  The rub off has been amazing with an array of eateries, shops, galleries and now in the works, a vodka distillery.

I do a fair amount of street photography in Eastern North Carolina, most of it is stock for Getty Images.  My usual practice is to shoot street scenes in black and white ,  but I decided on color for this batch because of the richness of the textures, tones, and hues involved.  I used a Nikon D800E and a D750.  More next time.  Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead.

Photo Of The Day: The Boiler Room

_DSC0748Nikon D600/ 24-120 F/4 lens.

I was casing the alley on a rainy, overcast, foggy morning  in order to return for a night exposure but I figured, why not a test shot.   This is it,  the just opened Boiler Room Oyster Bar in the up and coming alive  Downtown Kinston, North Carolina.

Not Kingston, KINSTON!   The story is the locals were so pissed at George The Third that they ditched the G.  If it’s not true, it ought to be.    Kinston came close to going the way of the  “G”.  Left for dead in the wake of the great textile exodus,  and nearly buried in the wreckage of the financial collapse of 2008,  the city looked like death on a cracker, terminally ill with a serious overdose of Nothing New will ever happen here.   Now Kinston has seemingly turned the corner and seems on the precipice of finally acknowledging that better times are here without having it curse the city again as it has so many times in the past.

Kinston’s rebirth rode in on a “Mother Earth Brewing Company” Bus (there really is one ) and pulled up a chair at the world class Chef and The Farmer Restaurant.  Now, the young entrepreneurs  are not just picking up awards for beer and getting raves from the New York TImes, their success has become a catalyst for a legion of hip new establishments:  eateries, shops, Bars, and a new art gallery.   Old decaying shells of classic brick buildings are being rejuvenated and re-purposed, even an old Kinston residential neighborhood is getting a do-over.  Nobody misses that “G”!

By the way, “The Boiler Room”, so named for an old boiler restored in the building, is a Chef and the Farmer Project.  So is a new television show on PBS.  “A Chef’s Life” airs on Thursday Nights at 9:30PM.  It’s really about the dogged determination of Ben and Vivian Howard to make a go of a five star restaurant in Eastern NC.  But in a way, it’s the story of Kinston itself.

Check your local listings for Time and Channel in your area.

Thanks for the read and have a great evening. .

The Snowless Winter

What a letdown this Winter has been.  No Snow.  Not one flake.  Not even the threat of a flurry.  Nothing.  They got some snow last week up in Raleigh and along the Virginia border but here….just rain.  You’d think the local grocery stores would have gotten together by now to persuade a TV weather guy to at least mention the word to produce a nice run on bread and milk but No!  Frankly, I think the heavy frost the other morning would have at least scared the schools into closing.  Doesn’t take much to close the schools here.  But I don’t think  anybody got up early enough to see the big freeze….and by 9 oclock it was about gone.   Looked pretty impressive for a while though.

We need some snow here for aesthetic reasons.  It covers all the leftovers from the cotton harvest in the fields.  All those stalks and stuff.   What I wouldn’t give for a few inches.  Just one morning would I like to grab a sunrise out here with some snow on the ground.  Frost just doesn’t do. Obviously I am trying to jinx what many consider our good luck in avoiding the really frigid stuff.  The Kinston Municipal Electric Company where we get our power has some of the highest rates in the country if not the highest ….. and I don’t care to pay them any more than anyone else but one morning with a few inches of snow wouldn’t break the bank……Just a few inches.  You think?    See you soon on most of this same blog.

Photographs for a Good Cause

My church, Gordon Street Christian Church in nearby Kinston, North Carolina,  holds an auction every  year to benefit the Church’s Hand bell Choir.  And each year, the choir director who is also the Church’s Minister of Music,  gets in touch  to request that I donate a few photographs.  I am always happy to comply.   Last year a couple of 5×7 framed floral shots brought in just under six hundred bucks.  That could be quite an ego builder until you remember the cause.   The hand bell choir, The Sanctuary Bells, are quite well known and its probably safe to say they are the most effective public relations tool the church has.    Anyway, based on last year’s success,  this time around I decided to donate three photographs.  Two double matted and framed floral prints and a very large seascape, 24 x 16.

Taken on the Outer Banks of North Carolina between Southern Shores and the Village of Duck back in September of last year,  the shot has been quite popular on my website.  I’ve sold several copies of it.  One in an even larger size than this.    Quite a few church members own property down on the coast and I figured perhaps they might desire a coastal scene for their second home.   I decided not to frame it. Framing is a very personal thing as regards frame style, mat color and so on.  Instead I decided to just display the print on sized form core board wrapped in plastic Artist Wrap.   Readily available at the big art supply stores online, I had trouble locating Art Wrap in a reasonable quantity.   Most I found came in huge rolls, up to a thousand feet,  far more than I would ever use and which, I might add, carries a pretty hefty price tag.   I kept looking until I came across Blick Art Materials.   They had a reasonable priced roll.  It’ll be here in two days.  I was so glad to find it, I’m glad to give them a plug.    As for pricing the print for the auction,  I’m going to start the bidding at 50 bucks.  Large prints, done well, are pricey to produce.   We’ll see how it goes.   On the off chance it gets no bids,  I just might buy it myself.  I have a spot picked out here at home where it would look just smashing.  See you next time on most of this same blog.