BEST/SHOT: Lights, Losers, Lovers, Lillies & Leaves

Photographs from around West Virginia worth a second look.

Photograph by Al Peery of Peery Photo.

When I first saw the striking Al Peery photograph above, I thought it might be a Photoshop collage, a sort of greatest hits of the pointiest places in West Virginia’s capital of Charleston. But, no, this is a single photograph. The shot, says the photographer, was taken from a famous shutterbug locality atop the Municipal Parking Building No. 1, at Dickinson and Quarrier streets in the heart of downtown.

“That general scene has been shot for many years before I did it. It is an iconic scene. It has been said that there’s an X that marks the spot on the parking building where the photographer should set up their tripod,” he says.

If there is an X, he certainly found the spot. I noted the photo’s detail and richness, wondering how he executed the portrait. Said Peery: “Mine is different than most because of the tight framing of the shot with a telephoto lens, and the fog bank that rolled through that morning, isolating the subjects from the background.”


The Hills & Dales of Al Peery’s West Virginia | nov4.2021

Yet there was a specific reason he set out to get this shot on that day in 2017. Gov. Jim Justice — never one to miss his own shot at a political stunt — lit the ‘State of Emergency’ lantern atop the Capitol dome because of a budget framework by Republican leadership that Justice said would create “a health emergency.”

“The main reason I went down that morning,” Peery noted of his notable version of this iconic view, “was because Baby Dog’s Daddy had the lantern atop the capitol dome shining red. A fairly historic happening.”

~ Douglas John Imbrogno

PS: You can order the shot above in various sizes and framings at this link.

MORE PICTURE/SHOWS (Click to enlarge)

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