Adventures In Point-&-Shoot Photography in the Shenandoah Valley — Part 2 of 3

by Jim on 2011/04/22

[Jimbaux is wondering if he should give himself to a southern girl or some other kind of girl.]

Yeah, mes amis, I’m on an Incubus kick ever since I reminded you earlier this week that, as Brandon Boyd said, “we’ll always have each other, when everything else is gone.”  Anyway, this is Part 2 of Jimbaux’s adventure to the Sheandoahs with Bernie; Part 1 can be seen here.


Really, I am quite proud of those two very similar shots of the NS work train taken seconds apart from the bridge in the middle of the prior post.  I also want to thank Bernie for giving me the opportunity to get those shots by indefinitely lending me one of his clicker cameras.  Thanks, pal.

Actually, as I’m typing this, I just got an e-mail from one of my best friends who tells me this:

Nice work.  I actually cannot really tell a difference in quality in that camera from yours.  Yes, the overhead shot is really good.  I also like the one of it going across the trestle across the road that you say isn’t great.

That’s interesting.  There are a few things I have to say about that.

1.) It reinforces what I’ve been saying here the last few days, about the foolishness of the idea that having good photography gear makes one a good photographer.  The most important tool that a photographer has is his imagination.  Having a guitar and knowing how to play chords didn’t make James Hetfield and Sully Erna famous musicians, since so many other obscure guitarists (including yours truly) can do the same thing; their imaginations made them well-known.

2.) Myself, I actually can tell some imperfections in the shots compared to what I have before.  The tiny, built-in lens on the new clicker can’t compare with what I had before, and I can tell by the fuzziness in those pictures.  This leads to something else I need to say; so many people are expressing condolences over the loss of my camera, but the real loss is the lenses.  It is the lens that makes the image – the image that the photographer composes with his imagination – and not the camera.  The biggest problem with the clicker camera that I’m forced to use now is the lens, and the inability to attach any other lens to it.  Furthermore, the retail value of the bigger of the two lenses that I lost is actually a few hundred dollars more than the camera.  So, while it’s a tragedy that I lost my camera, it’s a bigger tragedy that I lost the lenses.  The camera itself is only worth about a third of the gear that I lost.

Get To The Pictures, Please!

Yes, dear Jimbauxlings, I know that I’m heading towards analysis paralysis, and I’ll just get to the pictures now.

We intercepted a northbound train north of Shenandoah.  We turned back and hauled some serious tail down a dirt road to beat him and get to this shot.  I decided to go grey with this shot.

Oh, and here is a shot of me taking the above shot, taken by the foamer-in-training Bernie.  Yeah, that clicker camera and me not looking through the viewfinder (there isn’t one) just doesn’t seem right, does it?

Also, here’s a shot of me waving at the conductor.

OMG!  WTF?  Run!  Hide!

As we were departing, I saw this:

OMG!  That’s some sort of spy node!  Big Brother is watching us!  The commies are coming to get us!  Quick; somebody call Glenn Beck!

Burning Bridges

Apparently, a bridge was burned here  in the Civil War.  I only skimmed over what was written there.

No, contrary to what it may appear in the picture, Bernie is not taking a leak here.  Actually, he apparently has a fear of relieving himself outdoors.  I don’t.

I was half way expecting the boys in the truck to get out and yell at us to take our camera-toting selves back to the city, but that didn’t happen.


In this case, we are referring to the river but the town of the same  name.  I had heard of the town and seen this nice picture on

Here’s part of the town.

Not long after that, we found the NS yard.  Here’s Bernie overseeing the yard.

And here is the sign in front of the depot, which seems to be the yard office now.

I had questions about this line’s pre-NS lineage until I saw the “No Trespassing” sign, which is at least 30 years old.

Here’s a shot of one of the parked, tied-down, crewless locals with the locomotives shut down.

Shenandoah is an interesting place, but it was time go south.


We went to Waynesboro, and I got some shots there, but they were all blurry, a sign of the poor equipment I’m using.  Yes, my Canon DSLR gear would have served me well here.


Charlottesville is a special place to me as it is to many.  I came here in January 2004 on a trip that changed my life, the same time I came to DC as an adult for the first time.  When there in 2004, I was part of a group of educators to visit, and we at The Virginian, and I wanted to relive that.  So, that’s where Bernie and I ate on this day.

The chicken salad was good.  Here’s a shot of the front of restaurant, just across from the campus of the University of Virginia.

Right next door is an apparel store.

So, here is The Rotunda, the centerpiece of the campus, designed by Thomas Jefferson.  The Rotunda was the original library for the university.

The original dorm rooms are to the side, and as I understand it, only certain seniors can stay there.

And another . . .

Here’s a chamber on the side of The Rotunda.

This is a typical scene at The Rotunda, visitors being given explanations.

Here’s one last shot before we conclude Part 2.

That’s interesting, eh?

Bernie and I then went inside The Rotunda, which you’ll see next time.  All for now, my dear Jimbauxlings.




1 BisonBill April 22, 2011 at 20:12

Who did you go to Charlottesville with in ’04. I went in ’05 with Gilder-Lehrman, “Worlds of Thomas Jefferson.” Three private tours of Monticello wine and cheese on the patio, private dinner on Mt. Alto, research at the International Center ofr Jefferson Studies…an experience, indeed.

2 EDITOR -- Jimbaux April 23, 2011 at 12:38

Close Up Foundation. An experience that changed my life.

3 Lee A. Gautreaux April 23, 2011 at 12:21

If you get a chance to head out to Clifton Forge, VA on the CSX (old C&O) that is the eastern terminal of Lou Schultz’ layout. Nice pics. I kind of prefer these shots to your old camera. I don’t personally care for the telephoto look, but, hey that’s me.

4 Rita April 24, 2011 at 00:55

I would like to get a latte at that Starbucks…

(and the black and white train shot..MAGNIFICENT!)

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