Category Archives: Travel Photography

{Smoky Mountains} 2017

Back in November 2017, I went on another little family vacation to the Smoky Mountains, which was our third year going (as adults anyway, we used to go annually when we were kids!) The previous year, I took a lot of photos, but a major roll of film was lost in the mail. Thankfully, I had no such problem this time!

For this trip, the cameras I brought with me were: my Lomo LC-A, the Sears 35rf I’d recently scored from a thrift shop, and my Lomo’ Instant Automat.

The evening we arrived in Gatlinburg. In time to have dinner at our fave Mexican restaurant! This was taken while we were parked outside the lobby of our motel during check-in. 

One of the first things we did the on our first day was go to The Island in Pigeon Forge. It’s got shopping, games, and restaurants  (we had lunch there at a french fry restaurant called Pomme Frites that was AMAZING.) We went to scope out the giant Ferris wheel. More on that later 🙂

 

In the past, I have not taken many photos of my family when I make photos of our vacations, but I decided to change that during this family getaway.

We tried to go to some places and do some different things on this vacation than we have on previous trips to the Smoky Mountains. One of those “new things” we did was go to a place called Anakeesta, where you ride up the mountain in either an enclosed gondola (as we did) or on a ski lift chair. Anakeesta had only recently opened, so not all of its attractions were open yet, but we enjoyed the beautiful views immensely!

In our gondola (or Chondola, as they call it) 

Spectacular views

While at Anakeesta, we walked through the network of tree canopy bridges, which was quite the experience!

During this trip, I greatly increased the number of photos of my brother-in-law that are in existence 🙂

Descending the mountain in our Chondola 

The next day, we visited Ripley’s Aquarium (as we’d done in 2015 as well.) That was the only place where I shot digital while on vacation. I only posted those on Facebook and that was mainly for the benefit of my brother-in-law, who likes to have photos I’ve taken at aquariums printed so he can hang them on his office wall. I took HUNDREDS (as one tends to do on digital.) Here’s a screenshot of some of them…

 

After we’d finished our visit to the aquarium, we went to The Village because there’s a donut shop there that we love! Being the first week of November, Christmas decorations were already up in the area.

Christmas trees at The Village

Ole Smoky Mountain Candy Kitchen at The Village

Photos from our walk back to the motel room after visiting The Village

Our box from The Donut Friar, which is the donut shop we love at The Village 🙂

We stopped at a coffee stand on our way back to Anakeesta

We actually went back to Anakeesta on our second day in Gatlinburg, because our visit the prior day occurred in the afternoon and entitled us to entrance the entire next day too!

Can’t get enough of the mountains!

Somehow got one where she was smiling!

As I mentioned in my 2016 Smoky Mountains vacation post, there was a really bad fire in the area in November 2016. At Anakeesta, there is a Memorial Forest Walk that allows you to learn about the fire and its impact on the area. As you can see in some of these photos, the fire burned trees surrounding Annakesta, where the memorial walk is.

Colorful straws in a shop in downtown Gatlinburg

Best Italian! With calzones the size of footballs!

We also returned to The Island that night. It was BEAUTIFUL at night! It had rained, and the Christmas lights were shimmering in rain puddles.

The “show fountains,” where there’s a light and dancing water show set to music at different intervals throughout the day. They were fascinating to watch! 

The main purpose of our return to The Island was to ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. It’s a 200 ft. high ferris wheel with enclosed gondolas.  As I mentioned, it was a rainy night, which made the experience even better because all the lights you could see from way up there were even more beautiful! We were quite worried about our mother, who is very afraid of heights, but she did GREAT on the wheel. I think it was a slow night at the wheel because it was raining, so the ride operator let us go around a few extra times 🙂 (P.S. This kinda makes me want to ride the London Eye if I ever get back to London again…)

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Reflection of the Wheel in puddles from the rain

I will add something here that you wouldn’t know from just seeing the photos: One of the most fun things that happened was the torrential downpour during our visit to The Island. Even though it meant we got soaked, it somehow ended up being really fun darting around, trying to stay dry and catch a ride on the tram that transports people from The Island to the parking lot. We laughed so much! (plus the announcer on the tram was hilarious!)

The next morning, we went to The Christmas Place. It’s all Christmas, all the time, all year round! Though I doubt we would have visited had it not been close to the holidays 🙂 I don’t have a photo of it here, but the best thing there was the whole section of decor based on A Christmas Story! Including a full size “major award!”

The Christmas Place

We also went to Smoky Mountain Knife Works (for my brother-in-law.) Us ladies ended up sitting outside awhile to wait for my brother-in-law to finish his shopping 🙂

Outside Knife Works

I was bound and determined that my sister and I were going to a couple of thrift shops before we left the area. Here are a couple of photos from the flea market/antique mall we found. I ended up with a vintage Fire-King baking dish from there.

At the flea market

Dinner that evening

The Arby’s in Pigeon Forge still has the old sign!

Though this is the first photo of the Apple Barn from our 2017 Smoky Mountains trip, it wasn’t our first time there that weekend. We kept going back for more fried apple pies 🙂

I would have had more photos from our last night in town, but when I went out that night with my niece and brother-in-law to walk around downtown Gatlinburg, my Lomo LC-A stopped working! That was a bummer, but at least I got to spend a little time walking around with my niece and helped make sure she got a big funnel cake from a stand downtown 🙂

 

While I wasn’t as photographically prolific this time as I’d been in previous Smoky Mountains vacations, I was pleased with my camera set-up and with the photos I did produce while we were there. It was a great trip!

Photos taken with a Lomo LC-A, Sears 35rf, and Lomo’ Instant Automat

{Compilation} Holly Springs, Mississippi

This winter, I went to the town of Holly Springs, Mississippi for little photo excursions a couple of times.  The town is the county seat for Marshall County, Mississippi and has a really cute town square where I enjoy doing photography. I have shared a handful of photos from those photo excursions here on Shoot With Personality already, but I really wanted to compile those previously-shared photos with a lot of new ones I recently had developed!

Fuji Instax Mini 50s • Instax Mini Rainbow Frame film

Kiev 4AM • Kodak Gold 200

Kiev 4AM • Kodak Gold 200

Diana F+ • expired Fuji Provia 400, cross-processed

Kiev 4AM • Ilford FP4+

Fuji GA645i • Fuji Pro 400H

I really love exploring Holly Springs with my camearas, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more photos of it here soon!

A Bit More Texas

In August, my mother and I took a little trip to Texas to visit my aunt. I brought along only my Fuji Instax Mini 50s (the results of which I shared on the blog already) and my Kiev 4AM. Truthfully, I was having such a good time with my Instax Mini that I barely touched the Kiev. I, in fact, only used the Kiev during our visit to the quirky Salmon Lake RV and Recreational Park in Grapeland, Texas. My mom, aunt, and I just ran around the Salmon Lake park taking pictures and had a grand ole time! I finally got my Kiev film developed and wanted to share the results with you, as a completion to the series of photos taken on my little visit to the Lone Star State.

Gear with which the below photos were taken

Kiev 4AM • Helios-103 53mm/1.8 + Y2 filter • Kodak BW400CN
Grapeland, Texas

{Instant England} On Holiday

‘Ello guvna!

I went to England again, ya’ll. As was the case in 2006, I took along an exorbitant amount of film cameras. Are seven cameras too many cameras? Probably! I lugged those cameras around and shot about 22 rolls of film! I foresee it being a few weeks before it’s all developed and ready to be shared with you all! In the meantime, here are the (random) shots taken with my Polaroid SLR 680 and Impossible Project PX 680 Color Protection film (or Colour Protection – these were taken in England after all!)  This film is so awesome! It performs better than any other Impossible Project film I’ve tried thus far.

(Of course, being slightly careless, I put some of these pictures in my pocket to help warm them during development, causing the photos to crumple and acquire some “character flaws.” Just thought I should mention that, since these flaws were not the fault of the film but of the one using the film!)

 

I loved all the awesome doorknockers in London

Cuteness from Kayla’s kitchen 

 Yellow roses, on top of the recycling bins outside the Swiss Cottage Tube station

( Silhouetted) The Rising Sun pub in the Tottenham Court area

 Another awesome doorknocker 

 Memorial statue dedicated to WWII Polish General/Prime Minister Wladyslaw Sikorski 

Festive shop window 

 Iron railing + window flower box

Pretty seafoam/turquoise-y railing   

(Greasy) eggs and a side of chips at a Russell Square cafe

Gold flower on iron gate in Bloomsbury

 

Sadly, I dropped my beautiful, near-mint Polaroid SLR 680 one grey afternoon in England. That cut short my ability to use the last pack of Impossible Project film I had brought  with me. However, the bright side to not being able to use that film in England is that I’ve been able to sort of get my 680 working again and have been using that pack of film here in the States! You’ll see some of those results on the blog as well!

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