Watch your step

Vintage rail cars have so much wonderful detail

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This was something that caught my eye at the Southeastern Railway Museum.  The detail of this gate and the WATCH YOUR STEP stencil on the wall of the car just called out, look at me!  With the grass in the yard and the other rail cars off in the distance it just seemed to me to be a combination of color, light and texture that I couldn’t pass up.

Sometimes, I am not sure what will interest others when I spot things like this.  You might not share my enthusiasm for the patterns and contrast in light but it made me smile.  Trying to please others is a continual exercise in self-abuse.  Somebody will always criticize and someone else will not like anything you do, no matter what.

If I was doing this as a profession, I would probably drive myself nuts.  As long as I enjoy what I’m doing and I am continuing to grow and learn to do better, that’s what makes me keep going.  So, if I like the outcome, at least one person is happy.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
21mm at f/10 – 1/8 sec – ISO 100

Lantern and Crepe Myrtle petals

When art and nature combine, the results can be awesome

As we were walking through the Japanese garden section of Gibbs Gardens, I stopped to look at this stone oriental lantern and was captivated by the petals that covered it and the surface of the surrounding pond.  The paths here were also covered with the pink petals of the Crepe Myrtle trees that shade the area.  It seemed to be such a wonderful scene of tranquility that I didn’t want to move from this spot.

Sometimes, nature can be overwhelming in its beauty.  When man can enhance this with artistic landscape design, it is really amazing.  That is a big part of why Gibbs Gardens is a place that I visit over and over again.

Gibbs Gardens
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
38mm @ f/4.5 – 1/200 sec – ISO 640

#GibbsGardens #BallGroundGeorgia #Georgia #JapaneseGarden #lantern #CrepeMyrtle #south #southern #gardens #Nikon #WithMyTamron

Central of Georgia

Junk or treasure? It depends on how you look at it.

Another of the pieces of rusty rolling stock at the Southeastern Railway Museum.  This one I found very interesting as it displays so many marks of the past.  The broken window, the reflections of other rail cars, the faded “Central of Georgia” markings all give you something to look at and ponder.  The detail as well, with the rivets of the car body and the rusty streaks of color seem almost placed there piece by piece as a decoration.

It is amazing to see such marvelous scenery in what most people would consider junk.  Ah well, I can think of worse things to spend time contemplating.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
19mm at f/10 – 1/30 sec – ISO 100

Flowers and butterflies

Lots of butterflies at Gibbs Gardens

Last week’s trip to Gibbs Gardens was definitely one of those visits where nature was just out and about.  We started seeing butterflies before we even got into the visitor’s center and they were evident on almost every flower patch.

The swallowtail butterflies were the most plentiful and obvious.  Some black and others yellow like the one in my image above.  It can be quite a challenge to get nice shots of these creatures who flit around from one blossom to another and get blown about by the wind every time it kicks up.

My Tamron all-in-one zoom was exactly what I needed for this.  The ability to get a close view without needing to be right on top of the subject is necessary in this case.  Get too close and bye-bye butterfly.  With a little space but the extra reach that 300mm gets you, you don’t scare your subject away but still get the beautiful detail.

I love being able to capture the beauty of nature and share that here.  Hope you all enjoy and get out there and witness this for yourself!

Gibbs Gardens
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
210mm @ f/6.3 – 1/1000 sec – ISO 640

#GibbsGardens #BallGroundGeorgia #Georgia #butterfly #swallowtail #south #southern #gardens #Nikon #WithMyTamron

At the side of the tracks

The equipment may be rusty but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful

One of the really neat things about the Southeastern Railway Museum is all the cars that are out in the yard just sitting on the rails.  Being able to walk right up to the equipment and see the structural detail of the cars is amazing.  You don’t normally think about the mechanics of the wheels and couplings but seeing them up close gives you an appreciation for how complex they are.

This is also one of those environments where you can appreciate the beauty of rust.  We usually associate rust as a sign of things that are no longer useful or desirable.  At times though, the colors and textures that you see are so interesting.  It’s kind of like those images you see of old industrial buildings.  Even though these items are past their prime, you still get this haunting reminder of what they must have been like before.

Some of the equipment at the museum is in the process of being restored and some of it may never move beyond their current state of decay.  Whether these reminders of railway days gone by ever get polished and painted, they are all very interesting to see.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm at f/10 – 1/30 sec – ISO 100

Floating flora

Summer is the time to admire gorgeous water lilies at Gibbs Gardens

Yes, it is very hot out but a walk though the manicured paths along the tranquil shoreline of pools filled with brilliant aquatic flowers will take your mind off the heat.  Even when the sun is beating down and we all are looking forward to the cool weather of autumn, the beauty of nature displayed at Gibbs Gardens draw visitors from all over the Atlanta area.

Just looking at the image above brings back vivid memories.  I see the still waters reflecting the shapes and colors to multiply the flower’s beauty.  Small drops bead up on the petals and remind us of the cool relief that water can bring.  If it wasn’t such a perfect vision of peacefulness, I would jump straight in and splash around.

Humm… I may be due for another visit.  Very soon!

Gibbs Gardens
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 – 1/2000 sec – ISO 640

#GibbsGardens #BallGroundGeorgia #Georgia #flower #floral #WaterLily #LilyPond #south #southern #gardens #Nikon #WithMyTamron

Anyone for a train ride?

All aboard the Southeastern Railroad Museum train

How can you have a real railroad experience without a ride on a train?  The Southeastern Railway Museum offers rides on an operating full-scale train so everyone in the family can get a little time feeling the rails beneath their feet.  Engine #3 (shown above) is  a 50 ton Diesel Switch Engine that was built in 1948 by General Electric. A couple of cars and a caboose provide room for riders to get a joy-ride around the yard.

RailroadMuseum-2-Edit

It is fun to watch as the engineer, conductor and the yard crew get everything ready for the “All aboard”.  People stand and wave to the other museum visitors as they depart on their ride.  Children of all ages seem to be thrilled by their time on the railroad.

RailroadMuseum-3

This is really a very interesting place and a great source of photo opportunities.  There are wonderful details, beautiful colors and rusty textures all around.  The museum is open Thursday thru Saturday with more going on during the summer than other times of the year.  Train rides usually start around 11:00 in the morning and have a several times before and after noon depending on the volume of visitors.  Check dates and times on the website before going but, it’s definitely worth the trip whenever you can go!

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Featured image settings:

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
24mm at f/8 – 1/160 sec – ISO 100