Time Gone By - Messer/Whaley Farm, GSMNP

Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has several old buildings that were once used by the families that made their lives in the mountains. It was a hard life in a rugged land that eventually became the National Park. One of these sites is the Whaley/Messer farm site.

About a mile up Porters Creek Trail you come upon the site seemingly deep in the forest. The farm was originally built by Pinkney Whaley in the late 1800's. The double-cantilever barn was built in 1875. Eventually the farm was sold to John Messer who had married Pinkney's cousin.





By the 1930's most of the farm buildings had been torn down, or used to rebuild a cabin for the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. The cabin was used by the Hiking Club up until 1981.





Here is a view from beside the cabin. In it you can see an old mill stone, the old farm spring house in the middle distance and the 1875 barn in the distance.



Today the buildings show their age in deterioration. But those years also give a beautiful texture and sense of warmth that comes with years gone by. It difficult to believe that people once lived in this place. They worked hard everyday to ensure their way of life could continue. They did so in a place of amazing beauty, so maybe the effort was worth it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
All images were shot with my E-M5 or E-M10 with the Sigma 30 1.4, Panasonic 14 2.5 or the aforementioned Super Takumar 105 2.8. They were processed in Lightroom and given the slight sepia tinting that I felt lend itself to the aged subjects.

Here is a parting shot from the near by Porters Creek shot with the Leica Summicron-R 50 2:
 
Last edited:

dornblaser

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
3,376
Location
Chicago-area
Real Name
David Dornblaser
You walked over my footprints from a couple of years ago. Nice pictures, I love the shots in B&W. I am not very familiar with the Super Takumar lenses, how do you like shooting with them?
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
You walked over my footprints from a couple of years ago. Nice pictures, I love the shots in B&W. I am not very familiar with the Super Takumar lenses, how do you like shooting with them?
I very much like the Super Takumars. They are quality glass with good construction and smooth focusing mechanisms. They have a distinct rendering. It is a little hard to describe. It is a warmth that adds vividness and it gives very smooth oof areas. The 105 is interesting in that it is on the soft side, but gives great detail quality - that seems oxymoronic, but that is the best I could describe it.

I plan to someday add a 24, 28 or 35 to my kit. That way I would have a Super-Takumar trinity.
 

dornblaser

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
3,376
Location
Chicago-area
Real Name
David Dornblaser
I very much like the Super Takumars. They are quality glass with good construction and smooth focusing mechanisms. They have a distinct rendering. It is a little hard to describe. It is a warmth that adds vividness and it gives very smooth oof areas. The 105 is interesting in that it is on the soft side, but gives great detail quality - that seems oxymoronic, but that is the best I could describe it.

I plan to someday add a 24, 28 or 35 to my kit. That way I would have a Super-Takumar trinity.
Thank you. I can appreciate liking a lens for how it renders; that is refreshing in the era of pixel peeping.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
Thank you. I can appreciate liking a lens for how it renders; that is refreshing in the era of pixel peeping.
I leave the pixel peeping to others. I find that it only limits what you are willing to do photographically. The noise pattern says nothing about whether an image is engaging to the viewer or not.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
This is what I am looking for myself in terms of finding a style.
Keep on doing this
Ever since I posted this thread I have been trying to look for ways to expand my photographic "eye." That led me to one other project and the attempt to capture this farm out in the forest. I shot some similar images at another place in the GSMNP last winter. I think I might try to hit up some other old farm locations in the GSMNP and try to make it a whole project.
 

Santa

Super Moderator
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
568
Location
Tennessee
Real Name
Tom Staggs
TNcasual: “I might try to hit up some other old farm locations in the GSMNP and try to make it a whole project.”

I think that would be a stunning project. I will look forward to it!

Do they all have to be in B&W, Sepia? A few in color of the buildings and area would be nice. IMHO
 
Last edited:

Santa

Super Moderator
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
568
Location
Tennessee
Real Name
Tom Staggs
Its nice you have such a short distance to access the Park. It takes me almost 8 hours round trip. Been there, but you get off the beaten (tourist) path and give us very nice photographs.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
5,429
Location
Knoxville, TN
TNcasual: “I might try to hit up some other old farm locations in the GSMNP and try to make it a whole project.”

I think that would be a stunning project. I will look forward to it!

Do they all have to be in B&W, Sepia? A few in color of the buildings and area would be nice. IMHO
These images were shot back in December 2017. I still have it in mind to go to a few of the other places in the park that have these older buildings. I just haven't taken the time yet.

I have shot similar older structures in the GSMNP in color. It really depends on how I am feeling the day of and/or the day I PP the shots. As for those in this thread, I was shooting at the beginning of December. There really isn't a great deal of color in the forest at that time.

Its nice you have such a short distance to access the Park. It takes me almost 8 hours round trip. Been there, but you get off the beaten (tourist) path and give us very nice photographs.
The GSMNP is the most visited National Park (barring the National Mall.) But it really doesn't take much effort to leave crowds behind. There are tons of trails that you can see few to nobody on just a few dozen yards from the trailhead.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom