Tag Archives: Travel Photography

{Oh Smoky Mountains}

Here’s a story for you:

My family and I had a little vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee/The Smoky Mountains in September 2016. I took only film with me, waited awhile before I sent it away to be developed, and got a surprise once the film arrived at the photo lab: the package had been damaged in transit, and two rolls of film had gone missing. I was gutted. I knew at least one of those rolls was the primary roll I’d shot while we were in the Smokies. There would be nothing I could do to recover those photos. Thankfully, once I got my film scans back, I found that my secondary roll of film hadn’t been lost after all. Basically the first couple of days of our trip were on the film that was lost (as well as photos from the rest of the vacation,) but at least I also have some Instax Mini photos to share from those first two days!

Fannie Farkles Family Fun Parlor, downtown Gatlinburg

We can never get enough No Way Jose’s Mexican food while in G’burg!

In the Village Shops in Gatlinburg – was surprised to see a British red phone box here, as I’d just been photographing them in London a few weeks earlier ūüėČ

We went to The Apple Barn sooooo many times on this trip! 

There was some sort of Harley Davidson meet-up at our motel that weekend

“Homemade Wine,” downtown Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium and the Gatlinburg Space Needle

Gatlinburg Space Needle and Arcade

This is a cannibal pumpkin at Dollywood. 

50s-themed area in Dollywood called Jukebox Junction

EPIC eagle sculpture near the Wild Eagle rollercoaster

Red’s Diner

Inside Red’s Diner¬†

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH – Rockin’ Roadway, Jukebox Junction

Metal sunflower sculpture 

Rides in the County Fair section at Dollywood

Smoky Mountain Cat House 

Our drive through Smoky Mountains National Park, on our way to Cherokee, North Carolina 

On our way back from Cherokee, we stopped at Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I made my brother-in-law pose for this photo

Pinhole photo at the Farm Museum 

Chicken at the Farm Museum 

Crazy overexposed photo of the chicken

Delicious ice cream shop in downtown Gatlinburg

Light fixture made of spoon’s at Maypops

Caramelcorn, downtown Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium

Ah, good ole Fisherman Cove (the area of our hotel in Gatlinburg where our room was located)

Bear sculpture in the parking lot of our motel

One last pit stop at the Apple Barn before driving back to Mississippi

Truck stop on our way back to Mississippi

These photos came to mean even more to me because, a couple of months after we were in the Smokies, there were devastating fires which reeked havoc on the¬†area. I don’t yet how the landscape will have changed since I was last there, but I am so thankful for our time in that beautiful part of our country. We also found out that the motel we’d stayed in for our 2015 and 2016 Gatlinburg vacations had torn down so they could build a resort hotel there, so things will definitely be different for us next time we visit the area!

Photos taken with my Pentax Espio Mini, Fuji Instax Mini 90, and Lomography Diana F+

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¬†‚Äʬ†Helios-103 53mm/1.8 + Y2 filter ‚ÄĘ 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!

A lesson in travel photography (or “how I learned my lesson”)

Who doesn’t love to travel? I know I sure do! I, like a lot of travel lovers, do not get to do it as much as I would like to. Everyone likes to take photos when they travel. When a photographer goes on vacation, photography can become¬†the most important thing. More important than experiences

Three years ago, I up and took a voyage to England. Alone. You can read a little about it here. Besides the fact that I was already in love with the Motherland before I set foot on British soil, I knew the main purpose of my trip was photography, photography, photography. I owned a dSLR, but I was so high and mighty that I didn’t take it. I documented my entire trip on film. There were times when camera malfunctions made me second-guess this decision, but I don’t regret leaving the digital camera back in Mississippi while I went to England. In the end, I was glad I’d gone to England on my own because when you are a photographer on vacay, it can be difficult to juggle your desire to photograph with being fair to your traveling companions. I could stop and go as much as I want, come and go as I pleased, all to suit my photographic needs.

Both the issue of film vs. digital and how to get in satisfying photography while traveling with others cropped up for me recently. I traveled with about 7 of my friends to St. Louis, Missouri for a quick visit. I, being me, left my nice digital SLR at home and opted instead to take my Nikon FE and Holga 120N. I didn’t stock up on film before I left for Missouri because I figured I could just do that when I got up there. When some of my friends realized I didn’t have my digital camera, they were both perplexed and slightly disappointed because they new the limitations of film might hamper the volume of photos I could take on the trip. I was somewhat offended that my artistic vision for documenting our time in St. Louis was being questioned. Then some things happened along the way that caused me to learn my lesson.

I am very stubborn about using film rather than digital in most areas of my photography. However, I’m going to have to admit now there are some drawbacks to basing yourself in film photography. For example, when my friends and I arrived in St. Louis, it was getting late in the day and the sunlight was fading fast. We went to the zoo, and there were definitely certain shots I couldn’t get because I had a slow film speed, 100 ASA, loaded in my camera. Sure, I am quite pleased with some of the photos I DID get, but the scope of my photography that first night in the STL was not what it should’ve been.

Nikon FE and Holga 120N at the St. Louis Zoo. 

Tragedy struck my plan of being too cool for school and do only film photography in St. Louis: I actually LEFT my wallet at the restaurant where we’d stopped for lunch on our way to St. Louis. Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I discovered this when I went to stock up on film and had no way of paying for it. D’oh! My lack of preparedness bit me in the rear. Yes, Amanda Raney did go out of town with only one roll of 35mm film in her possession. Oh how the mighty have fallen…

I ran out of film pretty early in the day Sunday morning. Before we’d even left our super cool hotel, in fact! And we still had hours of St. Louis awesomeness to enjoy before going home. What’s a girl to do??

Nikon FE and Holga 120N at and around the hotel Sunday morning

All was not lost, thanks to the darling Annie who decided I should use her point-and-shoot digital camera while we spent our last few hours in St. Louis before going back to Memphis. I’m sure she knew not being able to take photos like I wanted was just eating me up inside. If you think I’m uppity about not using my dSLR for everything, you should see how uppity I normally am about my ever having to use a point-and-shoot digital! Once again, I had to learn my lesson: some camera is better than no camera at all. And guess what: that little camera of Annie’s wasn’t half bad! It performed well, I’d say. We went to the St. Louis Art Museum, the galleria, and a cool pizza joint for lunch. I ended up being quite pleased with a lot of the photos. Just gotta know how to get the best out of these little cameras.

Further adventures in STL, taken with Annie’s Sony Cybershot¬†

For the events that unfolded with my photography in St. Louis, I am taking the “all’s well that ends well” viewpoint. I didn’t come back with a portfolio stacked with shots of that city, but I came back with a lot of fun (and some quite nice) shots that fulfilled my need to do photography while traveling.

So what is my conclusion in all of this? When you, as a photographer, are going somewhere special, you have to assess the purpose of your trip. Is this a trip that is going to be based mostly around photography? If so, how is this going to work out if I’m traveling with others who are not mainly interested in doing fine photography while we’re away? Even if I had had all the film in the world while I was in St. Louis, I wouldn’t have been able to do everything I wanted to photographically because I was with people whose purpose was to hang out with friends in a different city, not pack in as much photography as possible.

I had to learn that maybe it’s okay that I go out of town with my friends and have a main purpose of just being with my buddies. When I access the purpose of future out of town trips, I will decide if it’s to hang out with my friends, or if I’m planning on coming back with a body of work from that city. After my experience in St. Louis, if the answer is “my main purpose is to just have fun with my friends,” I’m honestly just going to throw my digital camera and maybe a small 35mm camera in my bag to take care of the type of photography I’ll do while I’m away.

It was my first time to travel to St. Louis and I just LOVED the city. I was just DYING because there were so many awesome things I saw and I wanted to capture in photos. It just wasn’t practical this time around. I resigned myself that I would be “forced” to go back to STL another time specifically for a photo excursion. Oh, the things I’ll do for my work!