Through The Lens 105 – Williamsburg Christmas Decorations

We’ll stick with the Williamsburg Christmas decorations this week.  While many of the decorations are elaborate, using a wide range of materials, some of my favorites like the one in the photo above are the simpler ones.

Through The Lens 104 – Colonial Williamsburg Christmas

Another from the archives.  A few years ago, a snow storm hit Williamsburg in late December.  It was after Christmas but before they take the decorations down in January.  It was an easy decision to make the four hour drive in the snow for this photography opportunity.

Through The Lens 102 – Wabun and the J

The engineer eases off the throttle of N&W 611 heading into a speed restriction on the uphill grade outside the town of Wabun, VA.  This was the first of two trips out of Roanoke on Memorial Day 2016.

After Norfolk Southern ended its first steam program in 1994, many thought we’d never get to see the J under steam again.  Fortunately miracles happen and the Virginia Museum of Transportation restored 611 to service with the help of Norfolk Southern and many other generous donors.  I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to ride behind and photograph one of the finest steam locomotives ever built.  Even better, I got to photograph it with some good friends.  Thanks again, Kevin, Mike and Rick!

Through The Lens 94 – Colonial Williamsburg Fall Color

Another from the archives.  This is one of those luck favors the prepared kind of moments.  A couple of years ago, Dad and I took a weekend photo trip to Colonial Williamsburg.  While we were there we stumbled into a video shoot for an upcoming TV commercial, allowing us to photograph part of Duke of Gloucester Street without any non-colonial inhabitants.

Through The Lens 85 – Ravens Roost Adding Scale

Ravens Roost Overlook Sunset

Since a number of folks liked my previous post from Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I thought I’d share another.

I usually don’t include people in my landscape photos because they’re often distracting elements.  But on the rare occasion when they’re standing in the right spot, its nice to include people to add a sense of scale.  After other photographers had moved on to other locations at the overlook, I found a composition that allowed me to include two people between the trees.

Through The Lens 84 – Chasing the J

Christiansburg Grade

Half the fun of photography is the experience behind each image.  In the case of this image, I’ll never forget the sound of N&W 611 crawling up the grade outside Christiansburg pulling a 19 car train while doing her best Mt. Vesuvius impression, or the moment when the exhaust hit the underside of the highway bridge we were standing on, lifting the bridge upward.

 

Through The Lens 83 – Ravens Roost Overlook

Ravens Roost Overlook Sunset

This photo of sunset at Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another case of luck favoring the prepared.  I was driving from work in Baltimore down to Roanoke for Memorial Day Weekend to photograph N&W 611 on her trips out of Roanoke.  During lunch at work I took a couple of minutes to look up potential sunset locations on the the Blue Ridge Parkway just in case I was ahead of schedule and had time to head back up the parkway after checking into my hotel.  Four traffic accidents on I-81 turned a 4 hour drive into 7 hours, but remembering one photo I saw of an overlook at the North end of the parkway, I turned east on I-64 with just enough time to get to Ravens Roost Overlook before sunset.  Sometimes you just get lucky.

Through The Lens 77 – The Mighty J

The Norfolk & Western Class “J” 611 is an incredible machine. She was designed to pull the N&W’s premiere passenger trains at speeds up to 100mph. As the only example of this class of locomotive to survive the scrapper’ torch, we’re lucky she’s operational today.

In the photo above, we see her rolling past the former N&W Freight House in Roanoke.  The site is now home to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Last week was the third weekend I photographed her this spring. Watch for the trip Report in a couple of weeks.

Through The Lens 15 – Great Falls

Winter has finally arrived after an unusually warm start.  Let’s take a look back at a cold snap from last year at Great Falls along the Potomac River.  It had been very cold for about a week so I thought I’d try shooting sunrise at the falls hoping for some ice buildup on the rocks. I ended up going twice since the first sunrise didn’t amount to much due to clouds forming minutes before sunrise.

Through The Lens 13 – Year in Review

With the first post of the new year, I would like to thank everyone for stopping by and following along. As I’m writing this, I find that I’m way behind on editing images from trips to the Cass Scenic Railroad and Great Smoky Mountains National Park from this past fall. I hope to get those wrapped up and trip reports published in the near future.

The coming year looks exciting photographically with two railroad photo charters and an airshow already on the calendar and possibly a National Park trip somewhere in there as well.

Edit:  Due to user error technical difficulties, this post failed to publish as scheduled.