Laura at Fort Pillow

On our recent visit to Fort Pillow State Park in Tennessee, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. But of course, a larger part of what we enjoyed was being there together. Since I was the one with the camera, here are a couple of photos of Laura from the day.

Laura at Fort Pillow

If you were going to do a portrait session, Fort Pillow would be a great place for that, in my opinion. Especially if you like lots of foliage in the background, because there was foliage everywhere. Our two visits to the park have been in the winter and in the spring, but I would imagine that if you were to time a fall visit just right, the colors here would be spectacular.

But because we were there to hike the trails not not take portraits, instead only getting a few photos on the side, we did not have portrait clothes with us. But that’s okay, because sometimes portraits don’t actually capture the real person, but rather an overdressed and overmade-up person who doesn’t always look natural. Much better to have a natural-looking photo, and this is how we would appear on our normal, natural, fun days.

Laura at Fort Pillow

Of course, we had to get a photo that showed off the particular scenery only found at Fort Pillow, so here is a photo of Laura in front of the fort. Back behind her, you can see the wooden openings in the earthworks wall that were created for the cannons to fire out of. While this is not exactly what you would think of as a portrait-type photo, I still like it, and it perfectly captures the fun that we had on that beautiful day in that beautiful place that just happens to have a Civil War fort in the middle of it.

Back in the past, my photos of the places we would go would mainly focus on the things that we were there to see – the theme park buildings, the ocean and the beach, the Civil War fort, and so on. But as time went on, and as more people weren’t here any more, I slowly (perhaps a little too slowly, unfortunately), began to realize that photos of people were even more valuable than just photos of the places we had been. Maybe not valuable to everyone else, but definitely valuable to me and to those close to me.

So now, Jaylin sometimes complains about too many photos, but each time I say that no matter how many photos you take, in a few years it won’t be enough, and Laura usually agrees with me. Except sometimes when I take photos of her. But those are important, too.

Laura and Steve at Fort Pillow

And just to prove that I was there, too, here is one more photo, along with one of the cannons in the background. Because sometimes it is good for the photographer to be in the photos, too. Maybe a better photo than just holding the camera with the fisheye lens at arm’s length would be better, but this will have to do for now, because I didn’t want to carry a tripod all along the trail. Maybe some other time.

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. – Proverbs 4:23

About the photo:

For the main photo in this post, I switched from my usual fisheye lens to the 25mm prime lens. It’s wide f/1.8 aperture gave the bokeh look that I was going for. A little bit of post processing included some beauty and portrait filters from the Google Nik Filters, along with toning down the greens of the foliage slightly, since they were a bit overpowering and distracting from the main subject. This lens and these processing techniques work quite well for portraits, in my opinion.

But then for the other photos in this post, I switched back to the normal fisheye lens look, because I do still like that, too. Why change a good thing except when it is necessary?

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8 and Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: May 6, 2017
Location: Fort Pillow State Park, Tennessee

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