Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Just outside of Nashville, Tennessee is the beautiful city of Franklin. One end of the Natchez Trace Parkway is located here. The parkway covers 444 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi with a very scenic drive. One of the sights not to be missed is the 145′ tall bridge. Opened in 1994 it spans 1,572′ as it crosses over a highway connecting tree-lined roadways.

Once I settled on a view that I liked I setup my tripod to take some photos. With such a wide scene a standard lens was not doing the job of capturing the entire bridge in one shot. I decided to try out my 8mm fisheye lens. This was going to do the trick! The bridge itself is pretty much straight across, however the fisheye lens added in some distortion which bowed it out slightly. I thought it looked cool so I kept shooting from different perspectives until I found what I liked.

This image was shot in February on a very gray cloudy day. There wasn’t a lot going on color wise, so I went for black and white to bring out the textures.

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A low angle view of the double arch bridge in Franklin, Tennessee.

A low angle view of the double arch bridge in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Camping at Lake Kissimmee State Park

At the beginning of October I took a little camping trip. I reserved a campsite at one of Florida’s many beautiful state parks: Lake Kissimmee State Park. If you are a nature lover and want to get away from the lights and sounds of the city then this is the place for you. Located about 15 miles away from the main city area of Lake Wales is a park that is hidden from urban development. Once you arrive at the entrance the campground is still 3 miles back in the park. With extremely dark skies the park is a wonderful place for stargazing.

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Upon my arrival I checked in at the ranger station and drove back to the campground to get my site all setup.

CampsiteAfter setting up the site it was time grill up some burgers! No food pics as I was pretty hungry by the time I got to eat so the camera was put up.

When I checked in on  Friday evening the ranger informed me that their cow camp had just opened for visitors. I was intrigued at the photo opportunities so I perused the brochure to find out more information.

1870's Florida Cow CampThe open prairies of the area were a real draw to the cowboys of the day. They even had a real cowboy on hand to tell the stories of survival in the wild of the 1870’s.

1870's CowboyThey had some authentic items on hand to complete the theme as well. This saddle was a great example of the way of life back then.

Saddle 'em Up!

Here is a close-up of the metal emblem on the horse bridle hanging on the end of the wooden post.

US Horse Bridle

And this old wooden canteen for carrying drinking water was another great find.

CS Wooden CanteenAnd nothing completes a great day better than a spectacular sunset provided by mother nature.

Sunset Canal

But to really finish off the night nothing can beat a sky full of stars!

Starry Starry Night

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The Cottage

Imagine walking down a flower lined pathway, across a little bridge over a tranquil pool of water. Can you see it? Do you smell the aroma of fresh-cut grass and flowers? Awesome now you’re here!

Welcome to the Canada area in Disney’s  EPCOT Center. A place full of wonderful architecture and beauty that I can never spend enough time at. This scene greets visitors on their way to a premier dining destination known as Le Cellier Steakhouse. This quaint little cottage caught my eye so I decided to set up for a shot. I got down low so I could include the reflection in the water and get the Caladiums up close that were right in front of me. I felt like I was looking at a painting. Even though there were other people around I zoned out into the peacefulness of the moment.

Although I have not been to Canada yet, I am planning on visiting someday. I can imagine this is what it would look like from some of the pictures I’ve seen. They have a 360 degree theater with a film about different areas in Canada called O Canada! I’ve seen it a couple of times and it is very enjoyable.

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The Cottage

The Boardwalk

On a recent trip to Disney, I spent the day walking around taking in the magic. I explored some of the resorts and slowly made my way to the boardwalk area. After walking around there for a little bit, I sat down to a quick meal and a little relaxation.

It was getting close to sunset time so I started looking for something interesting to shoot. I noticed a sliver of sunlight peeking through the clouds. I found a spot that I liked and noticed the way the light was hitting the buildings. Since the lights were also turned on, it made for a nicely lit scene.

For the last half of the day the sky had pretty much been gray so I wasn’t expecting spectacular sunset colors. I moved around a little bit looking for different compositions and just enjoyed the way everything was looking. All of a sudden the clouds started breaking up and the most beautiful display of color and light that I had ever witnessed was appearing before my eyes. I started getting really excited! I had a very surreal feeling come over me. It was like standing in a dream. I was mesmerized by what I was seeing.

I kid you not when I say the light was changing every 30 seconds. This was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. And just when you think it’s over it changes again. I took a lot of shots this day, but this one really stood out to me. I will never forget Sunday January 13th, 2013.

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The Boardwalk

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Around the Bend

Happy New Year everyone! This is officially my first post of 2013. And this image was shot on the first day of the year!

For my first outing of the new year I decided to go for a bike ride. I wanted to see something different so after researching the Florida State Parks website for bicycling activities, I chose this area: Cross Florida Greenway – Withlacoochee Bay Trail. Situated in Crystal River, Florida the trailhead starts at Felburn Park. The trail runs 5 miles out to the Gulf of Mexico along an old barge canal. There are pavilions along the way with tables and benches where you can sit and relax with a beautiful view of the water.

The day started out as kind of a gray cloudy day. I prefer blue skies with puffy white clouds, but you have to use what you’re given. I stopped along the way to the Gulf at the different areas to see what I could shoot. I wasn’t really feeling inspired so I continued on.  I did get to see a family of deer run across the trail right in front of me which was pretty cool!

When I got to the Gulf area, I saw the most beautiful God rays I had ever seen. And they lasted for quite awhile. I hope to post one of those shots on the blog real soon.

When I started heading back I was watching the sky and noticed that there was some blue color trying to show through. With eager anticipation I kept looking upwards and decided to stop one more time. I finally got to get what I was hoping for.

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Around the Bend

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A Day at the Beach

Today’s post was designed to bring a little warmth to what is a colder time of year for lots of people. This was shot the day after the photowalk in New Smyrna Beach where I shot this 1958 Cadillac.

After exploring the Daytona beach area for awhile I went down to Ponce Inlet to look at the lighthouse. Feeling a little uninspired with the shots I was getting (read not a dramatic view of a lighthouse with rocks and crashing ocean waves :(), I left hoping something would catch my eye.

I stopped at a little pull-off by the beach and walked down the ramp to see what I could find. I watched the waves wash up on the shore and immediately noticed the reflection. I moved around a bit to find a good vantage point to highlight the reflection of the clouds. Using the distant buildings on the left and the high waves on the right as a frame, I set my tripod down low to get closer to the ground. I had to be quick as the waves were coming in pretty strong. Luckily the water wasn’t too deep where I was kneeling down and I had enough time to capture a few frames before the next big wave brought a lot of water my way!

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A Day at the Beach

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Lakeside Retreat

In a previous post which can be found here, 1929 Cadillac, I took a visit to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  I would like to share another picture from this “Disney Day.”

It was a very picturesque day as I setup for this shot. The clouds were creating a nice soft, diffused light. The forecast called for rain, but it stayed away. As I wandered around the beautiful grounds, I was taking it all in. I had seen this yacht before and knew I had to incorporate it into a shot. This particular building, Conch Key, is just one of the many luxurious buildings on the resort property. The yacht adds a nice touch. I was hoping to get a nice reflection, but the water didn’t cooperate. There’s always next time! 🙂

I still have another picture from this day waiting in the wings for a future blog post, so be sure and stay tuned for that. It will feature a view from inside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

If you would like to view more pictures on my blog from Disney, just click here.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

As always, I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂