Last week, I attended a two day photo charter on the Reading & Northern Railroad hosted by Lerro Productions. The weather was an interesting mix of cold and snowing on Monday and slightly warmer and rain on Tuesday creating opportunities for shots with great atmosphere. Above is one of my favorites from the event. Look for a more detailed trip report in a couple of weeks.
I had hoped to share a photo from this week’s railroad photo charters, but as usual I’m a little behind on processing. I promise I’ll have one ready next week. In the meantime, this week’s photo was one of those happy accidents. As I was walking back from the Upper Falls Viewpoint in Yellowstone, this little pine tree was just standing there in perfect light. It stopped several of us in our tracks.
Following the Cass Fall Photography Workshop, I made the trip down to Pigeon Forge to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the first time. My two priorities for the trip were spending time in Cades Cove and shooting as many waterfalls as possible. While I was successful on the first goal, sunny weather all week made waterfall photography a challenge. But the sunny weather brought great sunsets and clear night skies on Clingman’s Dome so like all photography adventures, it was just a matter of chasing the light.
To keep the length reasonable, I’m going to split the trip report into three sections: Waterfalls & Cascades, Sunsets & Night Photography and Cades Cove.
First up is Waterfalls. As I mentioned earlier, many of the waterfalls are difficult to shoot on bright sunny days. Dappled light and harsh shadows make for a difficult exposure, so instead of hiking the waterfalls back to back as I planned, getting decent waterfall shots became a game of shooting in the shadows. After some quick research on the topography surrounding the waterfalls, I was able to guess when the surrounding hills would leave them in shadow, making for an easier exposure.
Big Creek Cascades
Midnight Hole Cascades
Mouse Creek Falls
Baskins Creek Falls
Lynn Camp Cascades
Spruce Flats Falls
All things considered, I’m happy with the waterfall shots I was able to get and since I didn’t get them all, I guess I’ll have to go back!
Check back in two weeks for Part 2 – Sunset & Night Photography.
Here’s a favorite of mine from a winter photo charter a few years back at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The weekend started with cloudy weather which turned to heavy snow later in the day. Sunday morning brought clear skies and some amazing light, especially for this shot of 734 in the Narrows early in the morning. With 3 days of photo charters on two railroads next week, I’m hoping for similar conditions and hopefully some good images.
Last fall, I attended the Cass Photography Workshops, hosted by Walter Scriptunas II and Clayton Spangler at the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Walter and Clayton put on a great workshop filled with many different types of photographic opportunities ranging from details to human interest to trains, plus some classroom instruction on photo editing. As usual it was a fun event and one I’m looking forward to attending again.
Saturday started with the traditional three train race and triple header runbys:
Later in the day we did some human interest shots on one of the company house porches and in the jail:
Saturday evening ended with a night shoot at the water tank featuring both broad scenes of the locomotive and tighter human interest shots:
Sunday started with a trip up the mountain in the fog. The Pocahontas Supply Company truck made an appearance at Back Mountain Road crossing and a hunter and his hound posed for us at Gum Road crossing.
Since I was heading to the Great Smoky Mountains Monday morning, I stayed in Cass Sunday night allowing time to catch the Whittaker train at the second bridge:
Clear skies Sunday night created opportunities for the Milky Way shots around the Mill Ruins that had alluded the group on Saturday night:
Thanks again to Walter and Clayton for putting on a great workshop and to the folks at the Cass Scenic Railroad and The Cass Scenic Railroad State Park for hosting us.