Moody Images from My Last Trip to West Virginia

January 10, 2013 Travis Dewitz

Keystone, WV

These are some of my photos from my 2011 road trip through parts of West Virginia. Many of you have already seen all of my West Virginia Photography Series but if you haven’t Coal in McDowell County would be a great place to start. These are some of the West Virginia photos that slipped between the cracks or may have been redundant to the photos selected for my other West Virginia photo sets. The photos below are railroad heavy as the railroad is the bloodline to many of the communities that I visited and are an  integral part of the area. Many photos are from McDowell County which leads the country in population decline which shows. This is also a very history rich area which was amazing to see in person and to be able to photograph while many structures still exist. Take some time and look into the scenes and really look at the images. There is so much to be seen in many of the photos and many of the details are easily missed if just browsing through. Look at some of the gorgeous homes that blend in with the degrading homes that surround them or falling down houses (literally). Look for the homes hidden on the steep valley walls or small items just laying on the ground. Stop and try to feel the emotion that these images convey. Just spend a few extra seconds and enjoy yourself.

Pax, WV

New River – Prince, WV

Amtrak Station – Prince, WV

Prince, WV

Northfork, WV

Welch, WV

Kimball, WV

Coopers, WV

Keystone, WV

Northfork, WV

Prince, WV

Welch, WV

Keystone, WV

Keystone, WV

Keystone, WV

Iaeger, WV

Freeburn, KY

Norfolk Southern Signals

Mckendree, WV

Thurmond, WV

Thurmond, WV


Travis Dewitz Powerlines Portrait Thumb PhotographThrough the creative lens of Travis Dewitz; he demonstrates time and time again how much splendor can be extracted from the interplay of the industrial world around us. In the most unusual and unexpected places Dewitz showcases images that embody the forgotten beauty of railways, factory floors, the rolling smoke of steel mills, and the cities that are built around them. He brings a certain magic as he invokes the very souls of these once-glorious industrial areas; his captures overflow with inspirational energy. Click here to view his personal series.

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Travis Dewitz

My name is Travis Dewitz and I am from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. My specialty is commercial photography with a love for expressive portraits. My work is Conceptual, Emotive, Editorial, Surreal and Eclectic. I am passionate about fashioning new worlds through photographs as I extend my visions beyond the realm of the camera. I have incredible vision, which you can see in all of my photos.

Comments (17)

  1. Elisse Jo Goldstein-Clark

    Excellent photos, and as you say, “moody”! Especially liked the ones of Prince and Thurmond, and the 2 cats… The one of Welch, however, was actually cheery, and gave me hope! And as I live here, I need cheery & hopeful, as well as moody!

  2. Leslie Hopkins Eaton

    My Grandmother was from War, WV. Beautiful photography. There is a true beauty in the coalfields…Thank you for capturing on film and sharing. Leslie

  3. Scotty Fuller

    these pictures are shocking to say the least haven’t been home in 25 years and I had no clue iaeger was that bad.make you feel so sad but lucky at the same time glad I got out.

  4. Sandra Montgomery

    This is the very worst part of WV. You need to go back to northern WV and take some beautiful pictures.

  5. Diane Stemple Swearingen

    Your pictures are stunning. WV is a beautiful state…even in the poorest parts, the beauty shines through. I’ve lived here all my life, but I’ve never spent much time in “coal country”. I especially loved the 10th one down, “Keystone”.

  6. Amy Gentry

    This is absolutely not the worst part of WV. We have plenty of beauty here…’s just not captured in these photos. What a terrible thing to say. Some of the best people you will ever meet live here. Like I have said before, beauty can not be bought and paid for, it is found within the character of people and in the condition of the soul. How sad to label our home that way.

  7. France's ward seltz

    My dad Charlie ward and our mom had a family of 15 children.most of us where born in Mohegan, west was a coal miner.he would come home from working the coal mine in Mohegan,west dad died with black lung.he did love us all.times was hard.sometimes we did not have enough food.or coal for the stove.i remember helping my dad,sawing wood.we carried our water.took baths in a wash always washed our clothes two times and rince two times.hung clothes on clothes line.freezing on the line.we had a black went up on top of mountain with lines so we could get a good picture.he was always fixing any car we had.the love of our still the passed away at the age of was 80.lost our little sister Linda in 1961.she was almost tommy in 1998.our family,s are in west va,noth Carolina,va.i remember the good times.when it made snow cream.yes,west va is always part of my life.

  8. Jim Legursky

    Loved the pics, I was born and raised in Mabscott, W.Va. The pics brought back memories. Thanks

  9. Charlee Wedhorn

    Thank you so much for the trip back home to Keystone Wv. Your photography is so clear and vivid, it was almost like I was standing right there. Home is where your heart is and West Virginia will always be my home.It is so sad to see so many places gone and houses vacant.I would move back there in a minute but there are no jobs.Coal played such a huge part of the economy there and when that left a lot of folks had to go too.The people there are the nicest people with the biggest hearts.We grew up with morals and values instilled from traditions handed down through generations that you work hard and you treat people good.My Aunt Maudie was poor but her house was my favorite place to be.I never will forget the plastic curtains blowing in the wind while her wood cook stove made us dinner.She did not have much but I didn’t even know that, all I knew was her house was fun playing with my cousins.Thank you so much again.

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