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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!