Old Guy Photography

The Old Guy … Overcoming Obstacles … And Goals . . .



I have limited mobility. In fact, ninety percent of my photographs are taken through the driver’s side car window that has been rolled down. This would be done despite wind, storm, torrential rain, snow or searing hot and humid weather conditions. I have become quite good in positioning the vehicle at just the right spot and angle of attack.

I have decided for my Spring Project to scale a steep railroad overpass embankment and photograph a train, outbound or inbound, crossing the Cumberland River at Burnside, Kentucky. It is an ambitious endeavour for sure.


The Right Side Tree Route Up The Embankment

I did a year or so ago climb halfway up the steep slope for a few semi-successful photographs. Halfway back down, I slipped and slid quickly down six or more feet. Fortunately, a large rock with numerous sharp facets dug into my rear end and groin area and stopped my downward trajectory. I was safe despite several moments where stars floated in front of my eyes, over and over again.

After this forceful reminder, my feet and legs combined with my fear of heights, then reinforced by an image of myself sliding the rest of the way down the steep slope on the loose rocks to a prolonged, and certainly painful hospital stay, curtailed my photographic efforts that afternoon.

Despite my reservations, I did catalog the location for future consideration or re-evaluation.

Part of the problem with the limited success of the first shoot was totally incorrect footwear. It is hard to climb much of anything when wearing Diabetic Neuropathy shoes or Frankenstein Boots as I call them. I will have to find some tennis snickers that will, for short periods of time, be kind to my feet. I will also have to make this photographic effort clothed in farmer’s type overalls. There will be no repeats of the past shoots involving belt or suspender failures.

I also have to decide on the equipment to carry up to the tracks. Serious reservations come to mind when I think of carrying a heavy camera backpack upwards. Of course its cushioning value is debatable should I fall or slide down the steep slope. Such an occurrence also wouldn’t do my cameras and accessories much good either. For the moment, I am looking at a small shoulder cloth bag containing a camera and extra lens.

Photographs taken during the planning stage suggested a route up to the tracks was possible by climbing up the steep hillside using the sapling trees as hand holds. This would also add a measure of safety to the attempt since if you fall . . . you can’t miss all the trees on your way down. The sapling trees would be much like a safety line used by rock climbers. One or two trees would surely snag my body. At least, you would think so.

Of course the tree route, both left and right avenues, though steeper and a greater distance, does offer the use of my hardwood throwing cane.

My hardwood throwing cane would necessary for this proposed photographic adventure. For preventing rapid acceleration and injury causing sudden de-acceleration from a steep incline, nothing beats a hardwood throwing cane that can reach right out there and snag a young sapling, jagged rock or other available lifeline. One of the disadvantages of the underneath route up the steep incline is that there is nothing to but loose rock to navigate. There is no safety net or lifeline with loose rock.

So . . . I have a choice. A kind of pick your poison type of decision. I can go up from directly underneath or up the slope and through the trees either left or right. Whatever my final decision, I will give it the best effort an Old Guy can who suffers with bad feet and legs, a weak heart, diabetes, and an ever creeping disability from an advancing case of “bone Idleness”.

And … everything remains in the planning stage at this time. Before anything moves forward, it has to get a lot warmer and the slopes cannot be covered with snow. I will also have to get an idea of when the freighters run. All will be nought if I get up to the top of the embankment and nothing crosses the Cumberland River Bridge.

Hopefully, the Spring will be kind to my shooting project.


Author: geezer94

I was told by my grandfather that if you are destined to hang you'll never drown. I have never been afraid of water . . .

10 thoughts on “The Old Guy … Overcoming Obstacles … And Goals . . .

  1. Hi G,
    What a project! I understand the need for different footwear but tennis shoes may be a bit dangerous in that they offer no traction (or support for that matter). Maybe some lightweight hiking books? Depending on the terrain a pair of cleats might be good too.
    Your images are wonderful and it’s interesting learning more about the planning that goes into obtaining them.


  2. Ms Danica, always love to hear from you and know that you peek in on this old guy’s postings. Considering … I think you are right about the tennis snickers … I’ll give it more thought. I have a pair of wingtips that have rubber soles that on my last out-of-the-car outing I climbed down a large rock hillside. Anyway, thanks for the heads up. Keep up the good work. Love reading your material. What is UFC ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Safety first, G :). UFC stands for “Ultimate Fighting Championship”. It’s a private promotion company that produces mixed martial arts events. You may have heard of Dana White; he’s the UFC president. UFC has been around for a couple of decades and the early days were meant to identify the most effective martial art. This was done in real fights between competitors of different disciplines, such as boxing, wrestling, karate, jiu-jitsu, etc.. Instead of identifying the most effective martial art, fighters adopted effective techniques by combining more that one discipline. This blended-technique fighting is now known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
      MMA is popular worldwide and has faced much criticism, mostly for being too violent.


  3. Thank you for your advice Ms Danica. Safety first … after all us Old Guys don’t bounce as good as we did twenty years ago.
    My Grandsons are big fight fans. I don’t know anything about it. I have pretty much drifted away from sports over the years.
    take care. You are a kind, generous, and talented young lady. Looking forward to your next endeavour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Safety first for all of us…we can try anyway! 🙂
      You’re probably not missing much with the fights. The “too violent” criticism does have some validity. It’s enormously popular and has been likened to the gladiator tournaments.
      You’ve made my day with your kind words and encouragement. Thank you once again, G.
      I hope you have a lovely day and I’m looking forward to more of your photos!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ms Danica, Monday is Postcards From series, Wednesdays an article, Friday is a 4X6 Life series …
    Hint: next Wednesday is an article about SDS or Spontaneous Dancing Syndrome …
    best to you this day …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A true photographer! Still, think safety, especially if you are going anywhere on your own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ms Inesephoto, it would seem my guest blogger Cousin Gene has volunteered to climb the heights with me. When he comes in from Maryland the weather should be much improved. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your resolve and the daring projects you undertake. your photos are breathtaking and show great perspective. I’m inspired.


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