Northend Greenway

Good for you, Good for the 'Burg!

Beyond the lens: local photographers kick off greenway discovery project

Posted by @northendgrnway on August 14, 2012

The greenway path is coming alive thanks to a few local photographers who are spending the next several months documenting what they find along the proposed route, and sharing their exploration with us here on the blog. Jeff James tells why.

“Making images for me is intertwined with my desire to explore, discover, and learn. World travel is beyond my means at this time in life, but discovering the gems hidden in our own community is achievable. Most of my personal work is made while walking or biking through Harrisonburg. When I’m out, I’m constantly sensing what’s around me and responding to whatever attracts my attention. It could be the light, color, an object, a person, signs, movement, etc.

Whatever it is, I don’t spend much time trying to figure out why I’m attracted to it as a subject, but instead I begin to explore it compositionally within the viewfinder of my camera. I try to associate that initial attention-grabbing subject with other elements in the same space to create a juxtaposition of competing subjects. And it is in those juxtapositions that I find meaning, which gives me an understanding of the space that is at once both personal and often ironic.

I intend to walk the proposed route of the Northend Greenway over the next several months to create a body of work inspired by the places that it passes through and to highlight my belief that much is missed from the confines of an automobile. I want to engage with and experience my community intimately. Photography helps me achieve that goal, and the Greenway will encourage more people to rise to that level of engagement.”

Check back for Jeff’s exploration through photography. To join the greenway discovery project email


After a period of years working in photo-journalism, living in Africa and even shooting for National Geographic, Jeff now happily lives in Harrisonburg with his family, works for Rosetta Stone, and conspicuously carries a camera with him everywhere he goes. Jeff makes photography a witness to the personal experience of his life, his home town, and American culture generally. Follow him here on the blog and on his own at

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