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Author Archives: Michael Morgan

Riding the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

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The weather was cloudy and a bit foggy when we arrived in Bryson City, NC early in the AM to board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a five-hour round trip into the Nantahala National Forest. My wife Barb and I, her brother Jerry and wife Mary Ann, along with 300 other passengers, lined up by the waiting 12-car train idling nearby.

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We were greeted by a very friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff which made our trip most enjoyable, learning about the history of the region along our way. Once seated, I immediately noticed the historic atmosphere of the passenger car in which we were seated. It’s too bad we can’t routinely travel in such a manner today.

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Views out of the seat windows were spectacular, as was the included lunch meal we had pre-ordered. The next photo is my sister-in-law Mary Ann enjoying the views and the second is my wife Barb enjoying her BBQ lunch while we rolled along.

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Having been a passenger on trains several times in my life I knew that if I went to the open area in between cars where they connected, I could lean out the window (safely obviously) to make some interesting photos of the train and the surrounding beauty of the region.

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The day after we’d completed our train ride, we drove elsewhere in the region to explore, and on the way back to our motel, we happened upon the train on it’s twice-daily journey, but this time we were across a fast-flowing river we’d been so close to the day prior. We stopped the car, and I got out to capture the following images. The last photo of the caboose at the end of the train is a fitting end to this brief story. It was, in short, a wonderful time together!

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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Landscape, Photo Stories, Transportation

 

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Smoky Mountain Train Past

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It’s simple. I love old trains. While we were in the Smoky Mountain region of Western North Carolina recently, we rode the Great Smoky Mountain RR into the Nantahala National Forest. I’ll have a photo story about that later, but after we rode the train I found some old railroad cars from time’s past, and I was very happy to capture with my camera what I saw. The “open” passenger cars shown below carried many thousands of sight-seeing visitors for many years. These old cars are obviously now fully retired, but remain vibrant in color.

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The images below show details of other train cars which, to me, were very interesting. I sought to compose each photo in the most interesting manner possible.

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Smoky Mountain Color

My wife and I just returned from a great visit to Western North Carolina’s Smoky Mountain region with its beautiful fall colors. One thing that many “learning” photographers focus on is the weather. They seek sunny, relative warm and totally clear (no clouds) conditions. Their frequent chant before departing on a photo trip is “No rain, no rain.” In fact, what’s most important is their ability to take advantage of what the good Lord puts before them. For example, cloudy and misty conditions mixed with peeps of blue sky and bright sun can create almost perfect photo conditions; that is, if you’ll only recognize that as such. This situation is what greeted us and I was thrilled with what resulted. Colors become more vibrant and contrasty when there is partial sunshine and wet leaves. So, don’t worry about the weather when you get out with your camera. Just take advantage of what you have.

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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Landscape

 

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Fall Roses

Rainy days are mixed with sunny days at this time of year in SW Virginia and it was on one of the latter days when I made the photos below in a large rose garden at the Danville, Virginia Historical Center. Walking amongst these beauties, coupled with the wonderful smells from the blossoms was a real treat. Enjoy what I saw, sadly sans smells.

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Flowers

 

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Industry Past

Like many photographers, enthusiast and professional, I enjoy finding and making photographs of no-longer used industrial buildings and associated structures. Many explore inside these facilities, but I’m cautious and heed the posted “No Trespassing” warnings. Still, I sometimes yearn to get inside from time to time to see what I might see, being the exploring sort of person I am. What follows are several photos I made of the old Tobacco Warehouse District in Danville, Virginia. Many of these old warehouses remain abandoned, but an increasing number are being renovated into residential “loft” type apartments, that ultimately will being new life to the area. I can see that already happening, and to me that is a joy. But, that’s another “photo” story for later. What I wanted to do here was to make my black and white compositions as unique and as interesting as possible, moving into positions with my camera to make that possible. For example, under the water tank.

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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Architecture, Black and White

 

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Friday Mix – In a Garden

I often like to end a week with a mix of photos with a general theme. No story, per se, just a mix of interesting compositions. Photography is sometimes just “getting into the mix.”

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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Flowers

 

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Danville Train

Danville Virginia has been a main stop on railroad networks since the American Civil War. Over the years, passengers and freight numbers rose and fell, but still the location remained vibrant. Today, trains still pass by (and stop) at the Danville Train Depot several times a day. The depot’s historic architecture calls out for people like me with cameras in hand to come visit. I especially enjoy the main waiting room, with it’s large wooden benches and atmosphere. When I enter I can imagine myself with ticket in hand waiting for a train. I hope you’ll enjoy some of the photos I made there recently. I felt black and white would best convey the feelings I had at the time.

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Fall at the Train Depot

The old train depot in Bassett Virginia close to our home has been turned into a “farmer’s market” and when I last visited, the loading platform out front had been decorated with some appropriate “fall” items, all signifying the arrival of colder temperatures. I liked the way that the late afternoon sun was reflected in the windows near the decorations. It all made for a perfect photo opportunity. Stay warm!

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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Flowers

 

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Reflections on a Lake

Often I find that two views of the same basic composition help tell a nice story. In this case, the first image below by itself makes for a nice landscape composition with a smooth lake and afternoon reflections on the water. However, when I zoomed in on that image during post processing, I spotted the two-person row boat out looking for relaxation and a fish or two. To make this work, one needs a fairly good lens. I used a 14mm Panasonic Lumix Summilux that produces relatively sharp images when zoomed in (cropped).

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Landscape

 

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Bright Colors

No words needed here other than the title to this post.

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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Artistic and Creative, Close Up

 

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