Old Salem Historic District - Ray Devlin

The Old Salem Historic District (in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is a series of working museums, depicting the lives of the original Morovian settlers in the late 18th century. The town is staffed by a team of period-costumed staff providing demonstrations of life in this well preserved relic to a long lost period in US history.

I liken this museum to other working museums that I am familiar with in the UK; such as the Black Country Museum or the Summerlee Heritage Park. You can eat and drink in restaurants, bars, and bakeries that serve either modern or period-style traditional German food. Brats are on the menu, as is a fantastic Pilsner, which went down quite well at noon on a Sunday.

There are lots of good opportunities for photographs, with two I’ll focus on in particular. First is the possibility that you can add some textures to the image, accentuating the vintage nature of the shot, and recreating the feel of a photograph damaged by the passage of time. The second, if you are interested in still life photography, are the vast opportunities to capture the array of artefacts, such as recreated rudimentary table tops or the work of a craftsman such as a gunsmith or carpenter. For this type of photography, it provides great opportunities to work on macro techniques, using very shallow depths of field to provide some interesting bokeh effects.


Old Salem