Woolen Mill Studio

October 12, 2014



One of the things that defines Silver Dollar City is the Frisco steam train.  If not the memories of being held up on each and every ride (you would think they would have caught these guys by now) then by the iconic steam whistle that can be heard through the park and the surrounding area.  I still enjoy a run on this train through the Ozark mountains.


This site isn't so much to plug SDC (although it may seem like it at times) it is really about photography (picture takin).  SDC is perhaps my favorite place to take pictures.


My recent trip to SDC was not only to enjoy the Harvest Festival but to put to use some things I learned at a recent photography seminar.

This particular trip was a dream outing (well at least for me).  It rained every day.  Not just a 20 minute shower here and there but all day long (see the postscript below).  So much so I had to use a slicker for my camera, peering through a cutout to look through the view finder and constantly wiping the lens of rain drops.


I like taking pictures in the rain.  The wood is darker and has more character, the blue in the asphalt is more prominent and the reflections of the rain pooled on the ground just makes for a nice picture.  The downside is that you don't have a lot of light and you have to be careful about dropping below that hand-held limit of 1/60th of second shutter speed.  The first two days was a frustrating if not a dismal display of old photography habits.  The next two days was a focused attention on ISO, white balance, aperture settings and shutter speed with improved results.


This particular picture was an intentional recreation of an accidental exposure.  Most of my SDC pictures would 'freeze frame' the train coming by.  But I found a couple pictures that had the train with a blurred look.  A review of the camera settings explained what happened.  The next day I positioned myself at the Pottery Shop and new Kettle Corn shop crossing using a railing to hold the camera steady.  With an f/22 shutter opening and a 1/5 of a second shutter speed I was able to capture the train with a sense of motion.  One additional thing I did was to take a picture of the scene before the train came through.  The closed gates becomes a holding place for guests in colorful yellow, red and blue rain poncho's watching the train go by (colorful but not what I wanted in the picture).  I was able remove the people by copying a portion of the right side of the picture without anyone present and paste it into this scene.


The Harvest festival is rich in all things Autumn.  I enjoyed the smell of the campfires and the cool weather.  The Homestead Pickers were in their prime, playing in the cabin due to the rain.  The Pickers have a new song (or at least it was the first time I heard it) -- a  rendition of the song 'Tear My Stillhouse Down' or as they described it 'a gospel song for moonshiners'.  I loved it.




In the likely event that your idea of a fun day at Silver Dollar City

does not include it raining all day, take heart.  Silver Dollar City has a Sunny Day Guarantee.

For more information click here - Silver Dollar City Sunny Day Guarantee.


But if you ask me, Silver Dollar City is fun in any kind of weather.





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