Monday, December 9, 2013

Pickett State Park, Tennessee. Easy trails, breautiful features, day trip from Knoxville

Pickett State Park above Jamestown, Tennessee is a relatively easy day trip from the Knoxville area.  From the southeast, take the road up to Jamestown to avoid  a section of very steep and curvy cutbacks at the base of Big South Fork National Park.  Big South Fork is a wonder in itself and should be given added time in the woods and rough and tumble mountains. 

Just west of Big South Fork and north of Jamestown, the smaller Pickett State Park is a worthwhile day trip from the Knoxville area or places of similar distances. We skirted Big South Fork, managed the steep curves and did not smoke the brakes.  This way from I75 is about 1 1/2 hour drive time. Coming back through Jamestown was definitely a longer but easier drive.

Once in Pickett Park, the trails are relatively easy and go to pleasing small wonders such as the natural bridge in the photos below. The sandstone of the area has given nature a sculptor's paradise and rock formations are both beautiful and enticing. 

We cannot assure you the tree with the tiny base is still standing! The photo was shot in mid-fall of 2013, showing apparent woodpecker work on the tree base down to hardwood core.  This tree was spotted aside the Natural Bridge trail. 

Balanced tree, eaten away to the core wood
  Is this tree still standing since mid fall 2013? 

HDR photo, stream at Pickett State Park
 High dynamic range photograph of stream and woodland, mid fall, 2013
Easy trail to the natural bridge
 Trail to natural bridge is an easy walk.

Furrowed sandstone rock face below natural bridge, Pickett State Park
 Furrows in sandstone, natures carvings

Color variations in the sandstone rock face, Pickett State Park
 Colors in sandstone under natural bridge

Beneath natural bridge in Tennessee state park The natural bridge: Take secondary trail to cross bridge or go up rocky steps at   base of the formation

Laurel thicket along stream, Pickett State Park
Mountain laurel along a stream: This view is easily accessed on foot or vehicle

We hope you enjoyed these few photos of a beautiful state park in Tennessee.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Go to our Thomas Haynes Photoshoot Blog for details...if your dog, you get a free quality print!

Blue Eyed Sheep Dog
IS THIS YOUR DOG? LET US KNOW FOR A FREE PRINT! Here is a blue eyed sheep dog we saw at a special place in Kentucky on November 2, 2013.  A mile or two and we would be in Virgina. Once in a while a non-posed pet strikes us as special and it is not always looks. Disposition has a lot to do with us picking an "unknown to us" pet and offering a free print.  You just need to contact us and confirm where this photo was taken and what was around you at the time.
Blue Eyed Sheep Dog, side view

Professional photography is our business but this dog was such a sweetie it had to go on this blog, too.   Your dog? Use link above to our other blog to let us know and get a free high quality print.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Race and Walk Event to Raise Money for Cancer Research and more...Buddys Race

These dogs were friendly walkers at the Buddy's Race Against Cancer in 2012. 

Two dogs at the Buddy's Race Against Cancer, 2012, Knoxville, Tenn.
 Two nice dogs walking with their caretakers.
Buddy's Race Against Cancer, 2012, first runners past finish line.
 A few of the lead runners who have just finished the 5k race in 2012

Near Sunsphere of 1982 Worlds Fair, just prior to Buddy's 5k against cancer, 2012, Knoxville, Tenn.
The bridge near the Sunsphere tower from the 1982 Worlds Fair was the staging area for walkers in the 2012 Buddy's Race Against Cancer.  Speedy runners were placed at the front of the pack, to the left and out of view of this photograph. We will be participants again this year.

Waiting for the ladies restroom; men had little wait at all. The on-site Holiday Inn graciously provided the open facilities.
Ladies in the restroom line at the on-site Holiday Inn of Worlds Fair Park and location of Buddy's Race Against Cancer in 2023. In comparison, men had little if any wait.

Why Do We Do Buddy's Race Every Year..The story below shows why we started.  Now the event is an expected part of our lives every fall.  

We have been part of the fall event since a brother went through treatment and was finally healed by God of metastasized melanoma several years ago.  He was treated at one of the best facilities in the USA, M.D Anderson in Houston.  In the end, after the final surgery,the doctors came to the waiting room and essentially said, "We are sorry he had to go through this surgery. We  were in there and there absolutely was no cancer there, regardless of what the testing a few days before had shown". We consider it a miracle from God, prayers and anointing a few days prior combined with the brother feeling that he was going to pass on and what he really wanted was a clean soul when he met his Creator.  A miracle it was in the final event.  Melanoma internalized is a definite killer but was not the winner in this case.  After that, we have been part of the Buddy's Race Against Cancer every year.
If my feet cooperate, I will be in the race with my wife.  If not, I will be an independent event photographer for my point of view of the happenings and the people.

With so many similar events including the emphasis on 
breast cancer research,  events like Buddy's Race should not be neglected. The turnout is in the thousands and just being there raises the spirits of the hurting and touches the warm hearts of the others present. The link at the top sentence in this blog provides a link to official race information.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tell Us..Do You Want Pet and Animal Photography? Please Comment or Email

 to be a larger part of Thomas Haynes Photography?

We are thinking seriously of going more into the pet and animal direction but in this economy, change is risky even if seen as needed...and advertising is costly. PLEASE EMAIL OR COMMENT TO THIS POST AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. If you comment and want it private, say so and it will stay private, guaranteed from our end.  Sure, if you want to talk over doing some really nice photos of your animals with you or your family, get with us by email and we will get right back. We work out of Clinton in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

As with that and other business photography work, we will move the business content of our work to the commercial sister site of Thomas Haynes Photography:  Thomas Haynes Photoshoot

The following images are from personal shots, not purchased or sold.These are not portfilio images and are here to get you attention..and we think they do deserve a look. Photos for clients are discussed beforehand so we get  photos closest to everyday life in the relationships with your animals or pets.

Dogs ready for a 5k at Buddy's Race Against Cancer, fall 2012, Thomas Haynes Photography
 Dogs ready for a 5k at Buddy's Race Against Cancer, fall 2012,Thomas Haynes Photography

two high class mules at blue grass festival,thomas haynes photo
 Two high class mules at blue grass festival,thomas haynes photo. They won at mule showings.
Bernnie, local male cat, Thoms Haynes photo
 Bernnie, local male cat, Thoms Haynes photo
Molly, wonderfulderful girl kittie, passed at age 4, too, too young.
Molly, wonderful  girl kittie, passed at age 4, too, too young. Thoms Haynes photo

We have done family and pet photography in natural settings of animals with the people, life for them as it is and not staged.  This has been well received but do we need to advertise this part of the business?  Not everyone is willing to have professional photos done of their animals...and the animals interacting with them as a family activity, which it is.   This is photography for the person who truly wants more than they can photograph with the cell phone or point and shoot camera. And, these clients love their animals, whether cats, dogs, horses or more exotic creations.

More often than these sample photos show, the critters are in action doing what they love to do.  It is not easy photography but is a part of this work we love doing.

We need feedback on this one.  Please EMAIL OR COMMENT!    We will move this as with other business interest to the sister blog, ThomasHaynesPhotoshoot but published these thoughts here first for you to consider and let us know.  

Thanks so much for what you might have to say.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gettysburg...reenactment of an horrendous Civil War Battle:Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863 Introduction..more to come.

The "High Water Mark" signified the end of the devasting Pickett's Charge
Reenactment of the final event called Pickett's Charge
 To see even in reeactment the horrendous slaughter in the infamous Pickett's Charge
was heart rending. Overall, the reenactment can bring the spirit closer to 
those events of July, 1863.  It was for us an educational and emotional, heart
tugging event...because 150 years ago it all was real and men were
 becoming calualties in huge numbers. Actually, perhaps
 not so ill planned as some believe, many factors
 contributed to the defeat of
 Lee's army in the battle.

It is estimated between 46,000 and 53,000 were casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg.  Played out on the farmland and low hills surrounding Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the actual battle could not possibly be replayed for the sake of history on those hallowed grounds.  The actual battlefield areas provide a memorable driving tour with many markers in memory of soldiers from several states.  During the reenactment dates is not a good time to tour the battlefield simply because it is too, too crowded and parking at the visitors center is best skipped and a shuttle taken from town.  A few days after the reenactment, parking is easy.
Gettysburg, reenactment of battle of 1863, cannon being fired.
The large fields provided better scale to the Gettysburg 150th reenactment.
If not on the battlefield, where is the reenactment done?  Local farms have provided the land, room enough for several thousand reenactors, somewhere betweeen 12,000 and 16,000 are numbers posted here and there.  A definite number will be found and this blog post revised as need be for accuracy. We stayed from Tuesday through Monday morning, July 2-8.   The reenactment played out July 4-7, one day added so an additional battle could be played out with the climatic conclusion of the long and devestating Confederate charge now known as Pickett's Charge.  

gettysburg 2013, reenactors fire Civil War cannon
 We counted over 100 cannon at the  Gettysburg battle event
As more time is given to writing and editing of a multitude of photographs, this post will expand and will eventually become a page so all will be kept in order, not the last to first pattern of blog posts. (A blog page is an article with a permanent link just below the header of the blog site. You will see tabs for pages at the top.)

The days were quite hot and all ended as it did in 1863...the rains came down right after the last shot.

More to come...check back.  Comments appreciated. Guest blogger will be considered.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Close Up Pictures: Titmice, Chickadees, Finches, Red Bellied Woodpecker

My opinion changed radically when I actually knew what I was talking about.  Humm..ever happened to you?  Years ago I appreciated bird photos but felt like “bird feeder photography” was like cheating.   I espoused photos of nature taken in the wild…yes, that was the real stuff.

Titmouse Dancing With the Stars...

Then I got good cameras and lenses and found that taking good in the field bird shots meant patience, good weather, good lighting and a truly cumbersome combination of circumstances coming together at the right time while I was there and alert  in a place harboring wildlife.  In other words, if you want to do that, get used to what it takes and treasure the fine “in the wild” photos you actually have.  Taking bird photos while they were closer at hand and yes, eating, was gaining appeal.  What is  good about these photos? First of all, it is a good way to fill photo time when going some miles to find the critters is not feasible.  Next,  these are fun to shoot and do provide a good look at the local birds.  These tiny creatures are definitely not easy to photograph and to have good close-ups is worth it.  Take a look and see what you think.

Seeing more than I would if I was a believer in Naturalism...

Instead of believing nature is nature and that is all there is, no supernatural, no creator, I choose to believe in Creator, the God who did bring all this into being.  Should I be one to care for the earth and its contents, living and otherwise?  Should I honestly believe when that God said this through David in the Psalms, that He meant it? 

Psalms 8, a psalm of David
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Certainly other bible verses tell of mankind having dominion on the earth and over its creatures and a responsibility given with that position. It tells me,  even if we might not be able to catch them, the least we can do is care for them  and should not catch them in the first place, not without a truly valid not destroy them or our planet and its living things! Doesn't it make sense that a person who believes in this Creator God should respect and care for the earth.  Oh my, that is much responsibility and where to act and when not to act are tough questions to answer.  However, one who does destroy the earth and practices poor, wasteful and destructive stewardship is in my understanding clearly violating what Creator wants from mankind regarding our home.  Much begins with caring for each other, all created in the image of the Creator.

Now, on with the birds and their favorite and dependable place to find black oil sunflower seed...

A male Purple Finch with a mouthful of seed to shell.

Notice the low stance of the Red Bellied Woodpecker.  This is close to the surrface, just as if on a tree standing very close with tail as a support.  This is a female. The male has more red over the top of the head in the bright cap.

That is it for now...more birds from the photo files will be posted next unless something more pressing to publish comes up . Thanks for looking. Comment or contact as you wish. Contact with the text box and then we can email directly should you have a bird photo you would like to send to see here. (It must be your photo, not the © work of someone else.) God Bless.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Festival Photos in Surreal Edge Enhanced Style

Topaz Labs makes fine plug-ins for Photoshop and other photo editing software.The software used with easy discretion will help produce very nice photography which is realistic, pleasing to the eye and a joy to view. Of course, you must begin with a good photo in the first place.

Going into the more extreme end of the adjustment sliders are results like these, all readily controlled in several aspects of detail, color, clarity, etc. in global or local adjustments.  These images are playthings, surreal views. Considered overdone for normal photo editing, such digital manipulation takes images into a different realm.  As is, the photos enter a form of art and are not expected to be photos as such, more so posters and exaggerated detail, fun for the eye. 

Larger view is much better with these. Click image.

This was a a festival celebrating herbs, emphasis on lavender and everything made from and with it from lavender ice cream to more common but refreshing lavender soaps and lotions, oils and decorative craft work. The amount of foods cooked with lavender is surprising and most certainly taste is dependent on the strength of the herb in the mix...otherwise, it is like eating perfume and that is strange to my taste.   Aromas abounded at the festival in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the crowd was very good for a small city event. 

 Barbeque lavender in that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Titmouse, small but active winter bird in Tennessee

This is a titmouse. A group of these are, yes, titmice.  These birds do not migrate from where we live and are here all winter. That pretty much explains the sunflower seed.  They eat what winter affords and we add to that with seed.  Several varieties of birds who winter here are attracted to the seed, even an occasional Red Bellied woodpecker.  The woodpeckers prefer what insects they find on and in tree bark but will take sunflower seed.  A companion with titmice is the Carolina Chickadee. These tiny birds hang with titmice and are always together when feeding here. They do not hog the seed but grab one and go immediately to a tree and open and eat the seed there. Just as quickly, they return for another seed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Real Estate and Commercial Photography..We Do It For You

We now offer photography for real estate and property. Thomas Haynes Photography is centered in Anderson County, Tennessee and our work area extends within reasonable driving distances into Knox, Roane and surrounding counties.  Cities of Knoxville, Clinton, Oliver Springs, Kingston and others are easily served. 

                              Our photo featured in Homes and Land of the Smokies magazine

Certainly real estate agencies and individuals wanting to sell property often do their own snapshots. If you do a wonderful job, more power to you! However, many seller generated photos leave something to be desired from a marketing perspective.  If the first image does not catch the eye of the shopper, odds are they will look no further and will not revisit your listing!  We believe the comparatively low investment in quality photography is well worth it and this is not a place to be penny wise and pound foolish. No matter how easy it is to use a  point and shoot camera, easy might cost the sale.  Actually, it is not easy to get really good photos to market your property.  We  are invested in high level equipment, take time needed at the property to capture the best views and spend twice that time in editing. 

Marketing is what it is all about, getting the potential buyer to look, like what is seen and take the time to go through the listing. Studies by real estate giant Redfin provide up to date statistics that pro-level photos not only increase selling opportunity but often result in a higher sales price when all is said and done. Think of  homes in the $300,000 plus price range. That is the price level where the advantages of a DSLR camera and experienced photographer/editor kicks in  We don't expect to shoot all your properties and your lower priced listings.  Higher end property? That certainly justifies higher end marketing photography.

As a way to market Thomas Haynes Photography and introduce you to our services, we offer a no cost to you  photo shoot.              
FREE SAMPLE PHOTO SESSION*    You get an exterior view and 4 interior rooms put on our website to view. You look at the photos and see if we are on the same page with your marketing.
 *Free samples sessions are limited to reasonable driving distance from our central location. We must make that determination.

  Samples, a very short selection...


                              Window to great room in a mountain home

A rural stables commercial property

This fine "barn style" home is no longer available. We shot and edited
photographs for the agency and they selected the 
images to best market the home.
Contact us through the e-mail link on the upper right of this page. We will let you know if you are in the physical driving range for a free sample shoot and will certainly mail you our information and other particulars at your request. Agencies and owners wishing photography may contact us.
See Website Photos HERE

______________Other Photography We Do__________________  
Pets, job site or light commercial and personal photos: Contact us and talk about it. If within our areas of experience we will work with you.  If what you need is best handled by another photographer, we will tell you straight up and if possible recommend a contact.  More information and photos to view are on our Website

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is happening with Alpha House, transitional home for women in Tennessee?

Unfortunately, Alpha House is currently closed due to lack of funding. Efforts are being made to reopen. A new board of directors is in place. We will report as good news emerges. August 26, 2016

Like fledglings from the nest, transition to a straight life is not easy.Wings must become strong and directions clear. Alpha House does its part for women coming out of incarceration.

 Each resident tells her personal story to all on the day she 
graduates and returns to living on her own.

Support from volunteers, friends, family and others with loving hearts
 is apparent at each graduation event.

A post in the blog dated 9/8/2013 contained this line:  Alpha House is now closed and the current residents will be the last.  Without increased and regular funding, this will be the last year.  That statement was totally true and for a while work to secure funding mixed with faith and prayers for effective efforts was in itself a work of faith with no assurances of the future.  The home was given up to its owner and the search for a new home was in earnest.

A new nest was needed and was found. 

 Families are reunited with a new hope for the future

 Love flows in abundance

As of January 2013 there is an new residence for Alpha House. A smaller house was located, freshened  and fixed up to suit the needs of a group home.  At this time, the chain of assistance to ladies in transition from incarceration has not been broken during the trying transition from one home to finding and occupying the new one.  Women in the program graduated as fledglings from the nest into their own lives again.  One lady would not complete the program until January 12, 2013 and special living and learning arrangements were provided for her I attended her send-off, graduation, celebration of accomplishment at the new residence and also met the first lady to begin the program at the new home.  One fledgling has left the nest and a resident is now moved in, learning the social, everyday life business and work skills needed to adapt to a new straight life. When she flies the nest, we pray she will make it.  Currently there is room for 3 more residents and those spots will likely be filled soon.  

Alpha house is looking for regular and committed monthly donations from individuals.  They truly need commitment from business and organizations in larger amounts.  Support of this faith based transitional home is an ongoing effort and a base of dependable support is needed to avoid the crash experienced last fall.  The idea is not just to exist but to grow in service to ladies coming from the jails and prisons in transitional time.  I cannot speak for the board of Alpha House or for those running the operation daily. However, I do believe they are willing to speak with anyone who holds a key to improved funding.

Contact and Words from Graduates   Read what a few women who have completed the program have to say, straight from their hearts.

Alpha House Website 


I speak my own words and experiences and in no way am an official spokesperson for Alpha House, the faith based transitionalhome in Tennessee.  This blog post is written to educate, inform and hopefully bring financial and prayerful support to the program.