*Week four of a four-week series by photographer Douglas Graham who captured the beauty of western Loudoun in photographs over 30 days in June.
New to the series? Read 30 Days in June - Week 1 here!
Time in the Loudoun Valley has treated me well. I found the love of my life and a place that I love to live. Living here has often made me wish I was a painter versus a photographer because you can control the colors much easier in paint than in pixels. Writing about this area also makes me feel equally inadequate as language is one thing, but morning light slanting into the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge is quite another.
Lining the western slope of the Loudoun Valley are the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, and the affect light has on their softy contoured ridges produces impressions I try hard to capture in photography but fail more often then I succeed. They say Montana is the land of the big skies, but they likely have never witnessed the sun setting over the Loudoun Valley.
Time has worn the old mountains to modest heights and gentle profiles and some days you don’t really notice them with a continuum of undramatic color. Wait a few hours and catch them in the good light under a salmon sky and the blue for which the mountains where named, and it becomes one of the most beautiful places on earth. Often what my eyes see and what my camera produces moves just ahead of the reach of photographic technology. It can be and often is maddening.
All of this beauty is tied together with a vast network of historic roadways that are virtually untouched for centuries. The roads serve as an ambassador to the spectacular Loudoun Valley. There is a simple and timeless majesty to the curve in these old roads. A portal that takes you back in time reminding you that there is value to peace and quiet and that it's okay to slow down.
Along these ribbons of history, you will find dozens of wineries and breweries, the oldest fox hunt in America walking dogs down for a swim and livestock being moved from one pasture to another. Equestrians working out horses and wildlife also abounds. You can stop at a 200-year-old country store for ice cream and a cold bottle of soda or choose fine dining in downtown Middleburg. There is literally something here for everyone and it’s in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Douglas Graham has also created a book capturing his project.