On our recent train ride aboard the Great Smoky Mountain RR (see prior posts earlier this and last week) one of the main historical attractions along the ride (per our staff host who rode with us in the car, giving us drinks and when necessary giving us some local lore) was what is referred to as “The Civil War House.” On the outward leg of the trip, I missed seeing it since I was on the side of the passenger car opposite to the house. However, on the way back I decided there was no way I was going to miss seeing it a second time. So, I positioned myself by the open space in the connecting area between cars, where I could look out at the passing views with no window involved. I was not alone. Soon I was joined by another passionate photographer and his wife, both very nice folks. We shared the limited space with me looking forward to provide ample warning to the approaching attraction. His wife remembered our host saying that the house was located at mile-marker 70 “something” so when we passed MM 80, counting down I started to pay very close attention. Then in a flash, I saw the house coming into view as we sped along. We both made room for the other and started clicking away. I’m not sure what he got, but I was pretty happy with one of my images. The scene reminded me of how much American Civil War history there is still around today in Virginia and North Carolina. In this case, I’d never have had the opportunity to see it had it not been for riding on the train. Lucky me!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.