Last day and conclusion
On my final morning of the trip I woke up around 10:30 a.m., walked across the street to a Burger King, had breakfast, and then backtracked down the main road to an active coal tipple that could be seen from the highway. Since this was an active tipple I didn’t want to get to close with the coal trucks constantly coming and going and also didn’t want to get run off. Well the trucks never touched me but this was the only spot I was run off of during the entire trip. I had been doing a motorized pan of the location for maybe 15 minutes when what I assume was a supervisor pulled up and asked me what I was doing. Figuring this gentleman would listen to reason I explained that I had come from Louisville to show others how cool eastern Kentucky looked. Unfortunately he didn’t believe me and thought I was working for an organization called Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and was there taking pictures to portray coal negatively. He continued to go on explaining that many coal jobs had been lost because of this organization. I told him I was sorry for the loss of jobs and just wanted other people to see this neat operation. He ended up telling me “I don’t see how any good can come from this” and then to leave. Knowing I wasn’t on public property and he could have called the cops I figured it was best to do as he said. On the plus side, the discussion bought a few more minutes of taking photos and I pretty much got as much of the location as I wanted. From seeing the two other abandoned coal tipples the previous day I assume eventually there will be no more active tipples at some point in the future and all that’ll remain of these structures are photos. This encounter was also by far the most anyone talked to me on the trip.
From Pikeville I slowly started making my way back home stopping at any place that looked interesting from the road. I came upon a town named Drift and there was some road that had an interesting name which I no longer remember. I traveled the muddy road and there were some train tracks next to it. At one section part of the tracks were missing. I got out and timelapsed this because I found it fascinating since at one point there must have been so much coal in the area that companies could just lay down railroad tracks and when the coal ran out leave the tracks in place and forget about them. I stopped in another couple of places, shooting some houses on a hill and the downtown of another coal community named Garret before reaching my last random destination of the trip. From the road there was a sign for a park named Car Creek Dam.
A dam sounded pretty cool. I got a couple shots while there. One was a motorized move of the dam itself while the other was a hyperlapse of the backside of the dam looking off into the distance. At the time this roughly 400 foot hyperlapse was the longest one I had pulled off, it’s also the opening of the video. After packing the gear back into the car it was dark and I had decided it was time to get back and not worry about shooting anymore. Out of the 39 locations photographed, 37 of them made it into the final video.
It was a fun but busy and tiring trip. I had been working on shooting a timelapse video on the city of Louisville the summer beforehand but didn’t have a computer or program capable of processing the photos until a couple months before I started this adventure. While I was shooting in the summer of 2012 I didn’t really know how any of the shots would turn out so I shot at quicker intervals than I thought I would need. After processing the footage I found that shooting at each spot for an hour wasn’t really necessary since each clip wouldn’t stay up more than 5 seconds generally. When I went into the eastern Kentucky project I figured I would have each shot last for roughly 5 seconds and shoot at a spot for around 30 minutes during the day to show a decent passage of time. Upon looking back at the footage compared to other videos I’ve seen online and the Louisville project that is wrapping up, I’ve found that when there are clouds moving at a decent speed it’s probably better to shoot at a shorter interval between shots and stay at each location for maybe 10 to 15 minutes. I believe for most of the daytime shots had a delay of 15 to 20 seconds and probably should have had a delay of 5 seconds to smooth out the motion of the clouds. Overall I’m happy with the project and am glad to have seen where others live, while learning more about timelapses.