The One-Stop-Shop

One Stop Shop One Stop Shop One Stop Shop

Is there anything better than the sites on a rural highway when driving through the US?  I’ve been by this particular place several times going from our home in Bucks County to Lehigh University for lacrosse tournaments.   Last weekend, as we drove by, I said to my son, we have to stop on the way home!  My kids and husband expect these type of delays.  If we don’t stop and I don’t at least get to attempt to capture a subject I toss it around in my mind for a bit.

I loved the images in black and white because I felt that the vintage nature of the facility was enhanced.  The sun flare gave an eery, almost supernatural feel to the one-stop-shop that appears to be approaching dilapidation, or even possibly abandonment.

Can you envision people sitting out front in between the gas pumps and the front door on old metal, formerly brightly painted chairs?  I can hear them talking about the amount of rain or lack there of, how the crops are doing, how the old man down the road is being visited by his long-lost son, about Mary planting her garden, and about who just gave birth.   In fact…

It’s a hot July afternoon.  The local meeting spot, The One-Stop-Shop, is humming with the sound of fans. Other than that, it’s a quiet country afternoon.  Two men are sitting out front holding a conversation in old metal chairs, one red, the other a faded mint green.  Rust covers the back of the chairs, both in need of fresh paint.  One of the men has a pipe in between his teeth and the other a bottle of Coke-a-Cola in his hand resting on the arm of the chair.  As a woman pulls in to fill her tank with gas, the man with the Coke sits the bottle on the ground and offers to pump the gas for her.  She says “fill her up please” and hands the man a five-dollar bill.  Her ’72 Chevy Impala has a relatively small tank and she doesn’t have far to go.   She proceeds inside with her little boy who is going to get a hair cut from Bob, the local barber, while she grabs a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs and catches up on the local happenings with Jane, the clerk.

Once the gas is pumped, the oil checked and the windshield cleaned, the man sits back into his chair, takes a long drink of his warming Coke from the now perspiring bottle, and says to the gentleman next to him, “It’s too bad what happened to that there family.  She seems to be doin’ OK.  I sure hope it all works out.  Don’t you?”

Before the man with the  pipe responds, Jimmy walks out with his fresh “#1 all over” hair cut, all proud and handsome.  His mama follows with her bag of groceries and a smile on her rose-colored lips.  The two climb into the car, mama in the front, Jimmy in the back, and drive off into the haze of the hot summer sun.

Short story copyright Robyn Graham

Have a fabulous weekend, and for those of you who enjoy black and white photography, please stop by “Monochromia” and check out my Thursday post.

Taylored To You

Meet Taylor

Meet Taylor

The image above is of my niece, Taylor!  I adore her and she is absolutely, hands down, my most favorite model to work with!  The image above was taken last summer when she came for a visit.  I am writing about her today to introduce you to her new blog…TayloredToYou.  Be sure and stop by and give her a hardy WordPress welcome!  If you enjoy fashion advice and adventure, I suggest you follow her blog too!  You won’t be disappointed, unless of course, there is a time-lapse between her posts!


Grandma’s Hands

Grandma's Hands

Grandma’s Hands


“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”  – Mark Twain

The hands in the photograph, as the caption reads are my grandmothers.  She is 90 years young and I simply adore her!

2013 Lily Series – 04

Love stories are journeys.
All have a beginning, all have a middle, and unfortunately, some have an end.
But, as long as there is love, there is hope.
As long as there is hope, there is a journey of love.
This my friend, is the majesty of it all.

copyright Robyn Graham

The Beginning

The Beginning

The Middle

The Middle

The Journey

The Journey

Majesty of it All

Majesty of it All

Happy Valentine’s Day!  May your day and years be filled with love and hope.  May your life be a journey of love.

Manic Monday


Oh manic Monday,

It’s a crazy day this Monday.

Unsure if coming or going,

The to do lists are long, the activities aplenty;

School, dance, soccer, homework, cleaning, and dinner to plan too.

The evening charity benefit looming with the promise of a late night,

But warmth in knowing the cause is good and smiles will be bright.

Copyright Robyn Graham


The calm I find amongst the chaos when I look out my kitchen window.

“Then comes a Yellow Day. Wheeeeeeeeee. I am a busy, buzzy bee.” A quote from “My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Seuss


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. SeussThe Lorax

While John and the boys were camping this weekend, Gracie and I took advantage of the quiet time and rented a movie.  It was her treat to choose dinner, pizza of course, and the movie.  She chose “The Lorax”.  Can I tell you that I enjoyed the movie very much?  I really did.  The quote above was shown on the screen towards the end of the movie, and of course can be found in the book by none other than Dr. Seuss.   Gracie enjoyed the movie so much she asked the boys to watch it with her when they arrived home.  It was a hit all the way around.  And the quote above, what more can I say about it?  I love it.  Dr. Seuss certainly had a way with words and his quotes have so much meaning, as well as application for all generations.

As I was contemplating which image to post this evening this tree came to mind in light of having watched “The Lorax”.  We were in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina recently and the trees with the Spanish Moss hanging from them reminded me of Dr. Seuss trees.  With that said, I thought it appropriate to post an image of one of the  trees with Spanish Moss.

It is not an award winning image by any many means, but I liked the contrast in the lighting and it reminded me of Dr. Seuss.

The Pigeon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

During a recent visit to New York City my mother, sister and I took a quick peak inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  When exiting the church, this pigeon was sitting on the steps outside.  It reminded me Mary Poppins.  Do you remember the scene when she takes the children to the city and they meet the poor woman on the steps feeding the birds?

I intentionally shot this so that there was no room to the right of the frame.  I was able to get so close to the pigeon that it seemed as though he was just standing guard and no intention of leaving.  I shot the pigeon at several apertures, but F2.8 was my favorite as it made the stairs just fade away.

His post.

Self-Portrait Attempt

Please don’t think I’m crazy.  I feel like I am going out on a limb here.  I look at 100’s, maybe 1000’s of photographs each week.  It is more or less an obsession.  I look at what other photographers do so that I can learn more and more about my passion.  I am of the thinking that this, along with reading about photography every day will further my journey to becoming a good, or even great photographer.  There is always more to learn.  More technical skills, more creative compositions to experiment with, more processing techniques, etc.

Along my journey of exploring the works of other photographers I’ve run across many who have published self-portraits.  Some photographers I’ve met have taken a self-portrait every day of the year for a 365-project.  One of my all time favorites, someone I’ve mentioned here before is Vivian Maier (  She’s inspired me in many ways, attempting self-portraits, being just one of them.  The images below are my attempt, on a whim so to speak, to accomplish the task of shooting a self-portrait.  This is not my first attempt.  I will post others at some point.  Others, in fact, that I like better because they are more mysterious, more interesting.  But these are fresh, show the process of my attempt to get it right, and a little fun so I’m going to post them now.

Attempt 1 – not quite there, but I like it.

Almost there, slightly out of focus, but I like how you can see the camera and the way the mirror alters the image in the corner.

I like the camera in this one and I think you can tell I am having a little fun…

The final product. Slightly out of focus, which soften’s the image and I think makes it look a little less self-portraitish, more like it’s a candid and my gaze is on someone across the room.

Yellow Roses

A dear friend of mine gave me a yellow rose plant early in the summer.  The plant has flourished despite the heat and lack of rain and has produced many beautiful roses.  Yesterday evening I took advantage of the soft, diffused light to capture the splendid roses. What you see below is a series of images capturing the various stages of a rose in bloom.

The bud and the bloom.

The rose and the opening bud.

The grand opening.

Delicate beauty.

My personal favorite of this series.






Photographing Steam


The thought of photographing steam is sometimes much easier than actually accomplishing it.  The environment has to be just right.  After several attempts I was able to capture a slight show of steam only to then learn that to photograph steam you really need cooler temperatures.  It was 100 degrees the day I set out to accomplish my mission.  To prevent you from working backwards like I did, attempting, being less than successful, and then going on-line to research, I am going to tell you what you’ll need to be successful the very first time you attempt to photograph steam.

What you need to photograph steam:

Steam – of course.

Light – back lighting, or side lighting.

Temperature – cooler temperatures are better.

Background – dark background.

Air movement control – the slightest shift in air can result in the steam moving in a different direction or taking a different shape.  Sometimes this is beneficial.  Sometimes an aggravation depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

A few websites/blogs I found helpful:

Food Photography Blog - –

Photoink –

A few of my attempts, better images to come when cooler weather arrives.  Live and learn.  You have to start somewhere, right?

Afternoon tea with a cinnamon butterscotch scone.

Less steam than the first image. There was an air conditioning vent near the placement of the first subject.

Again, less steam, but I like the image.