Chasing Light on the Trace

with 6 Comments

 

Those who follow this blog or my other photography sites like Flickr and 500px know that the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of my favorite places to shoot. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 2 lane road that runs 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. It was built to commemorate the “Old Trace” which was a forest trail used by the Native Americans. The area around the highway is a National Park and is maintained by the National Park Service. No matter where you enter the parkway, you know you’re on the Trace. Getting on the Trace is like stepping into another dimension, a dimension of well manicured greenways and historical artifacts.  I have yet to travel the entire length, but as far as I know the top speed limit is 50 mph and only recreational hauling is allowed. There are overlooks, waterfalls, trails, architecture, wildlife and dark skies. That last one is one of my favorite attributes. I’ve had many observing sessions on the Trace with my telescopes. In fact, I was on the trace with my family when I saw the planets Jupiter and Saturn for the first time. That night ignited my passion for Astronomy.

Most of the time I have a destination in mind when heading out to the Trace. However, some of my best adventures are when I don’t have a subject in mind at all. I usually just drive down the parkway and stop whenever something catches my eye. The more time I have, the further I drive. That was the case with the pictures below. These pictures were taken on two different days. The first 4 images were taken on an early morning drive on the Trace. The morning light was really nice that day. I decided to stop at one of my favorite sites, the Baker Bluff Overlook. I never get tired of looking at this vista. It just says “Tennessee”.

 

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Baker Bluff Overlook – Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

After leaving Baker Bluff, I headed further West down to the Tobacco Barn. While the barn is the main attraction, I think the scenic vista to the East is great as well. The light was still nice and the icing on the cake was that there was tobacco hanging in the barn. Of all the times I have shot this barn, these photos are my favorites.

 

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The Tobacco Barn – Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

 

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The Tobacco Barn – Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

 

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The Tobacco Barn – Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

One evening I headed down the Trace with no subject in mind. The late evening sun was peeking in and out of the thick layered fast moving clouds. While the light and cloud play were interesting, I needed to find the proper landscape composition to pull it all together. As I crossed the bridge over the Duck River, I knew I had found my shot.

 

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Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f3.5, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

After taking the shot, I walked down the road to the bridge. The sun was shining through the clouds displaying a patch of color on the tree tops lining the shore. I quickly found my composition and took this shot before the light was gone.

 

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Duck River – Natchez Trace Parkway – Olympus OM1, Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f3.5, Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned by the Film Box Lab

 

 

These are some of my favorite images from the Trace. The early morning and late evening light was the key ingredient to these shots. Portra 400 did a nice job of rendering natural looking scenes. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. If you are ever in the Middle Tennessee area, it would be worth your time to visit the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is beautiful on the Trace anytime of year. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Images Best Viewed in Lightbox Below!

 

 

 

 

6 Responses

  1. aukje
    | Reply

    I like these a lot, specifically the first two and the last one. They have such a lovely feel to them, and I like the colours.

    • Travis
      Travis
      | Reply

      Thank you! Those are my favorites, too. The lighting was really nice on those days. Thanks for reading!

  2. Patricia Preston
    | Reply

    I love the Trace. Have traveled it for years as my mother and family were raised near Collingwood so we always traveled it from our house in Mississippi to Tennessee.

    • Travis
      Travis
      | Reply

      Thank you for visiting my site and thank you for the Follow on Twitter! The Trace has always been my quick getaway. I hope to travel down to Mississippi sometime soon.

      • Patricia Preston
        | Reply

        I have traveled the entire Trace, although it has been many years since I went to Natchez. The northern part of the Trace has more scenic vistas. Mississippi is mostly woods and once you are out of north Mississippi, no hills. There are some interesting places near Tupelo. Especially a Confederate gravesite on a section of the old Trace.

        • Travis
          Travis
          | Reply

          Thanks for the information. My wife is a Civil War Historian. She would love to check out that gravesite.

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