Tag Archives: Lomo Lc-a

{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

Cactus [In Bloom]

Unlikely subject matter for a photo taken in North Mississippi…

Snow Day + Lomo

Memphis Museums – [Stax]

Can we say “spontaneous visit to Stax”?

I hope so, because that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Two weeks ago, I got a message from Meredith, which stated: “We are going to the Stax Museum. You want to go? Free ticket!!!”

Yes, obviously!

It seems that Meredith’s fella, Kevin, had bought some tickets to Stax at a discounted price and I was asked to come along.

In tow that afternoon were Meredith, Kevin, and Kevin’s friend Ryan. And me, of course.

What you folks have to understand is: I am a soul music fanatic. It’s what I grew up on [what with having a gospel singer as a mother and all.] Otis Redding is my #1 favorite singer, with Sam Cooke coming in a close #2. The fact that I live in a city with a soul music museum which I hadn’t visited up until this point is ridiculous. It’s even redonkulous, if that word happens to be in your vocabulary.

That’s me, soul fan extroidinare!

So, when we were watching the introductory film/documentary at the museum, it was really difficult for me to not be up and singing and dancing throughout its running time.

The first exhibit we saw upon entering the museum was a 100 year old church which had been transplanted into the museum.

I enjoyed that each member of our party walked around the museum at their own pace – exploring things which interested us. Maybe Kevin, for instance, wanted to dwell on the section devoted one artist, while Ryan browsed another artist’s section.

Meredith, reading information about the recording equipment used in making many famous Stax albums

I, for instance, paid the most attention to things which involved Otis Redding. I remember some years ago, being told by my friend Adam, after he’d visited Stax: “Your idol is EVERYWHERE there.” He meant Otis. See the above Otis Redding display? I got really “Aaaaaahhhhhh!” about it, because I definitely recognized that jacket from photos I’d seen of the late, great Mr. Redding. Just as my sister, as someone who studied English for her degree,  was struck by the fact that I got to see a part of the Rosetta Stone when I visited London, I was struck by seeing Otis Redding’s favorite jacket.

Kevin, looking at the Otis Redding memorabilia

Ya’ll know how I like to document things, right? Photographically, this museum visit reminded me of a photo series I did in 2003, called “Memphis Museums.” It was before I had a blog  – before I’d even heard of a blog. I went to some museums with friends, took photos while we were there of both the exhibits and my friends, and posted the photos to the old version of the Shoot With Personality site.

Our visit to Stax reminded me very much of my old “Memphis Museums” series. Since it was so spur of the moment, I could only use the photo equipment I had on my person {or in my purse, as it happened} that day: my old Lomo LC-A and a couple of rolls of color-process black and white film. Which is much the way I would have been shooting the “Memphis Museums” in 2003.

Kevin, admiring artwork from some of the albums released by Stax

Meredith, and the interactive Stax music player, just before we slow-danced to the music in the headphones.

wonder if they’d stop us if you jumped up on these so I could take your picture sitting on them?”

Issac Hayes’ Cadillac – it is displayed on a rotating floor, with audio of Hayes saying things like “Don’t touch my ride!” playing.

Meredith, in the little photo gallery at Stax

In conclusion, I had a wonderful time at Stax with friends, and loved doing some photography that reminded me of the olden days of Shoot With Personality. And being inspired to perhaps begin a new “Memphis Museums” series…

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