Archives for posts with tag: Lexington

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A must stop on the horse country tour has little to do with horses, but a lot to do with history. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill offers visitors 3,000 acres of history on beautiful grounds. You can stay at the inn and dine at the restaurant. Period-costumed workers make products for sale in some of the buildings. For a photographer, the opportunities are endless.

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Fall is one of the best times to visit, but the grounds are beautiful year round.

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Many people were there the day we went taking family and graduation photos.

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If you look closely in the bottom right corner of the above photo, you’ll see a photographer’s light rig.

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For more information about this beautiful photo op, restaurant menu, inn rates and directions, visit here.

Always on the lookout for photo ops in gorgeous Central Kentucky. 🙂

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Some places are just worth visiting more than once. Old Friends Farm, refuge for retired race horses, is one such place. I visited earlier this year with my husband and son and decided to take my sister there while she was visiting from out of state. Boy, does that farm dress up for fall.

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The farm was founded over 10 years ago by Michael Blowen to be a retirement place for these athletes. It is funded almost entirely by donations.

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There were a few of the horses that I didn’t get to see last time I was there, that were out the second time. Popcorn Deelites, above, is a movie star. He was one of the horses used to play Seabiscuit in the movie. He and his paddock mate are known as the “frat boys” of the farm because they are usually up to some type of mischief. When I was at the farm earlier this year, they were in a corner of the paddock and wouldn’t show the tour anything but their hindquarters. This day, they were much more friendly.

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This is, in my opinion, the prettiest horse on the farm, and probably the most well known. Silver Charm, winner of the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was in the barn during my first visit. This day, he was all about showing off.

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To see my previous post about Old Friends Farm, visit here. For more information about the farm, click here.

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A great place to fill your belly and your senses is the Windy Corner Market, just north of Lexington, KY. A horse country tour wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Windy Corner. It is literally surrounded by horse farms.

IMG_2948Visitors to the Windy Corner order at the counter from a Kentucky-style gourmet menu of foods mainly grown locally. Even most of the beverages (beer and wine included) are local. After you order, you find a seat either inside the store, on the screened porch, or outside and wait for your order. I almost always get the shrimp po boy, but the barbecue is wonderful, too.

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The market is located at a crossroads along the Bluegrass Driving Tour.

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Horses, living (above) and statuary (below), watch diners enjoy their food.

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For more information about this Kentucky treat, directions, menu, ect., visit www.windycornermarket.com

IMG_8444A must-stop attraction along the horse country tour would have to be Old Friends Farm, near Georgetown, KY. A farm for retired race horses, tours are conducted several times a day. You can get up close and personal (we’re talkin’ horse drool all over the hands, if you want) with some beautiful former racing thorobreds. If you follow thorobred racing at all, you will recognize the names of some of these horses.

IMG_8455There are a lot of great photo ops here. I lagged many times taking pictures, while my husband and son listened to the tour guide tell about each race horse, but no one minded.

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For more information on the farm, directions, etc., visit www.oldfriendsequine.org

IMG_1071_tonemappedMidway, named because it lies halfway between Lexington and Frankfort, is very small. What it lacks in size, however, it make up for in charm.

IMG_1092_tonemappedMost of the shops are locally owned and sell locally grown and crafted merchandise.

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IMG_1080_tonemappedThe railroad runs right through the middle of Midway.

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IMG_1074_tonemappedFor more information about this charmer, visit in person or go here.

These photos were taken with a Canon Rebel and then each single image was imported into Photomatix and HDR effects applied.

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Canon Powershot SX 50, ISO 100, F/4, 1/2 sec.

I shot this from the passenger seat one night in downtown Lexington. Since the shutter stayed open for 1/2 second, and I was holding the camera and we were moving, the shot is slightly blurry. It looked okay, but I decided to apply the pallet knife filter in Photoshop and it brought out some more light flecks. It also makes the shot look more like a painting. The point I am trying to make is that even if you don’t have all the “proper” equipment with you, take the shot. You might really like what you get.

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If you have read this blog very many times at all, you know that I live in Central Kentucky, home of some of the most beautiful horse farms in the world. My plans are to introduce readers to a few of those farms while I am on hiatus from school this summer. I share pictures of farms frequently, mostly taken from the road. Since my husband and son are interested in touring horse farms, my plan is to actually take part in some tours and snap a lot of pictures.

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I do some freelance submissions to the tourism cabinet and plan on using many of the shots for that. I will, of course,  share the pictures in this blog, in hopes of inspiring someone to visit Kentucky. If you are interested in visiting, here is a link for the tourism cabinet’s website. This link is for the website specific to the Bluegrass area.

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This state has a lot of great photo opportunities. Hope you will agree. 🙂

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am craazzy about high dynamic range photography. So it is only fitting that I include HDR photos in my series about using photos as dramatic wall art. I am going to show a series of before and after photos that illustrate why I love HDR so much. Each of the before pictures were taken recently locally of scenes that are much prettier in the spring. Each of them is pretty bland. However, since you have the option of manipulating one, two or three photos in Photomatix, I opened the single image and let Photomatix do its magic.

See for yourself:

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Before

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After

Wow, right!

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Before

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After

Beautiful clouds!

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Before

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After

Stunning!

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Before

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After

Pretty good, huh? Now without any further manipulation, these images are wall worthy. If you are a photographer who likes to push the limits of creativity, you may want to check out Photomatix.

Next up, watercolor collage 🙂

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I thought I would start the year with very few words and another great mural from Lexington, KY.

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If you are looking for a great place to take some pictures, check out Triangle Park in downtown Lexington.

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The park was recently renovated and cafe tables were added.

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The semi circular fountain was part of the original park, but was turned off and upgraded.

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In the winter months, a skating rink is constructed in the center of the park. I have taken many photos in this park over the years. If you are in town, check it out.

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