Tag Archives: North Carolina

Twist and Shout

Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina

When I made these photos I wasn’t thinking about hurricanes, but they do have a bit of a cyclonic look to them.  I have all of my friends along the coast on my mind as I post this, and hope they all remain out of harm’s way.

These are a little cliche-y but I think serve the purpose quite well.

Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Amusement rides on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach, North Carolina

A Weekend With a Fuji X-T3

Roy Taylor Forest Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 433.3

For our recent visit to Waynesville I rented another camera – the Fuji X-T3.  It’s the latest version of my existing camera, the X-T1, and I wanted to see how it compares.  It was an interesting experiment, with mixed feelings.  The Folkmoot photos from my previous post were taken with that camera, and here are a few more.

Clouds and rising fog from Waterrock Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway MP 451.2
Clouds and rising fog from Fork Ridge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway MP 450.2
Clouds and rising fog on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waterrock Knob

All in all, the camera would be a worthy upgrade from the X-T1 if I happened to be in the market.  But I’m not.  The obvious reason would be cost, because in addition to the camera itself I would need to upgrade my memory cards, buy new batteries (my current batteries fit but have a lower power output so will supposedly not last as long), buy a new L-bracket and eventually – because of the 26MP files vs. my current 16MP – I would need to buy larger hard drives.  Sorry, that would cover the cost of a nice vacation!

Clouds and rising fog on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waterrock Knob
Roy Taylor Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville, North Carolina

Another, albeit minor, negative would be the slightly larger size of the X-T3 body.  In my opinion the X-T1 borders between just right and a little large (weird to say since my initial impression 4 years ago was that it was tiny compared to the Canon 5D!).

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Oak Park Inn in Waynesville, North Carolina
Oak Park Inn in Waynesville, North Carolina

On the positive side, the files were quite nice, although I wasn’t blown away by a huge difference between the newer camera and mine.  There is definitely a slight improvement in detail, and I found that with files almost twice as large, zooming in to 50% instead of 100% is far enough.  Any closer than 100% just accentuates the flaws, and I don’t need to accentuate them any more, thank you!

Waynesville, North Carolina
Waynesville, North Carolina

The menus are a bit more complex, necessary due to the customization the camera allows.  But it wasn’t impossible to figure out, probably because I’m already used to the setup.  I liked being able to see blinking highlights in the viewfinder, which I can’t do with my current camera.  That’s not a big deal but it is helpful in certain situations.  The EVF is nice and bright, and contains all of the information found on the main screen.

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Waynesville, North Carolina

One of the things I should have paid more attention to is the ability to set different autofocus parameters based on specific shooting situations.  I tried tracking subjects in the parade but found a lot of missed shots because I didn’t have it set up correctly.  That’s not something I usually do, so I didn’t think about it until after the fact.

So, no new cameras for me – yet!  Although those new Canon point & shoots are due out any time…hmmmm! 😉

Waynesville, North Carolina

What’s A Folkmoot?

Performers from El Alma de la Luna of Spain at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

Tell just about anyone around here that you’re headed to Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock or Cherokee, and they know where you’re going and likely have been there themselves.  Tell someone you are going to Waynesville, and just about everyone says “where’s Waynesville?”  Tell someone you are going to Waynesville for Folkmoot and they just get confused.  “Where for what?”

Performers from El Alma de la Luna of Spain at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Performers from El Alma de la Luna of Spain at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

When I was photographing for Our State and WNC magazines I took photographs to accompany articles about small towns in the western part of NC.  Waynesville has become our favorite mountain town for a number of years and we keep returning.  We’ve become friends with the couple who owns a small motel there, interestingly the same motel where my family used to stay when we visited from Pennsylvania.  Waynesville has several restaurants we really like, a coffee roaster that makes my favorite coffee, and is ideally located for access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Members of the Kecskemet Folk Dance Ensemble of Hungary perform at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Members of the Kecskemet Folk Dance Ensemble of Hungary perform at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Performers from the Bahamas Platinum Knights Junkanoo at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Performers from the Bahamas Platinum Knights Junkanoo at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

Every year in July, Waynesville hosts Folkmoot.  Webster defines a ‘folkmoot’ as a general assembly of the people (as of a shire) in early England”  Folkmoot in Waynesville has traditionally been a two week festival of international friendship and fellowship, highlighted by dance and musical performances.  The Folkmoot organization has recently begun to evolve into a year-round cultural center, with programs and events that celebrate diversity, encourage cultural conversation, and preserve and honor worldwide cultural heritages.

Members of the Student Folkloric Ensemble “Martisorul” from Romania at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Members of the Student Folkloric Ensemble “Martisorul” from Romania at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

We have been to Waynesville during Folkmoot several times in the past but have limited our participation to the Parade of Nations that is held one Saturday.  This year we also purchased tickets and attended the opening ceremony, where all of the performers are featured in an indoor (and air-conditioned!) setting.  I didn’t photograph there, but we did attend the parade the following day.  I think I would like to eventually participate more, but for now we can be glad that we did something we hadn’t done previously.

Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Performers from the National Folkloric Dance Troupe of Egypt at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Representatives from the Cherokee Indians in the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

Here is a small selection of photos from the parade.  It is a lot of fun to attend, and I think I captured some photos that represent what it is all about!

Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina
Representatives from the United States at the Folkmoot “Parade of Nations” in Waynesville, North Carolina

 

Revisiting Favorite Places

Historic Pump Station at Lake Mattamuskeet, NC

As much as Kathy & I like to explore new places, there is a certain comfort in the familiarity of places we return to often.  Such is the case with our recent visit to Belhaven, in eastern North Carolina.  Whenever we visit that area, we return to places like Swan Quarter, perhaps best known as the location of the ferry to Ocracoke Island, but also the location of a number of fishing companies and their boats.  Englehard is also the location of an inlet that houses a number of fishing boats.  Lake Mattamuskeet is the location of a number of interesting places and the photographs that can be made there.

Boats on Far Creek in Englehard, NC
Fishing Boats at Swan Quarter, NC

While I rarely return with anything truly new, it is a good place to go and look for things I haven’t seen previously.  Storms wash away old piles of debris and sometimes bring in new subject matter.  Businesses come and go and sometimes the change in decor can mean new material.  Sometimes returning to a place with fresh eyes can mean new opportunities.

Belhaven, North Carolina
Belhaven, North Carolina
Porch Swing
Belhaven, North Carolina

This is another collection of photos from the Leica D-Lux 7 that I took on our recent visit there.  I’ve got a few more batches that I’ll post once I’ve worked out the words to go along with them!

Swan Quarter, North Carolina

A Toe In The (Photoshop) Water

Pink Plemmons General Store, Luck, North Carolina

For years I have been steadfastly avoiding the use of Photoshop for processing my photos.  No particular reason other than stubbornness and preferring to only use one program (Lightroom) for the work.  Recently, Adobe began sending out free special effects actions for Photoshop.  It sort of got me intrigued enough to download them and I finally got around to trying them out.  This is a photo that I took a few years ago but never really liked the “straight” version.  I’m not sure how much I really like this version using the “Watercolor Artist” action, but it is starting to grow on me.  Like any recipe I’m going to need to work with the options a bit to get a “look” that suits me.  But in the mean time it’s something interesting to look into, and it may even motivate me to spend more time catching up my Photoshop “chops.”  I only have a 10~ year learning curve to catch up on! 🙂