An Eye for Light - Tara for Thanksgiving

This year we are doing something special for Thanksgiving...

We are having dinner at Tara - A Country Inn.

Tara - From the outside

We made this trip 2 years ago and absolutely loved this place.  My wife, Vic, is a real Gone with the Wind fan. We were looking for a place for dinner and were looking for buffers to try out. We looked at the Ohio state park lodges and that sort of thing. Tara was actually cheaper and seem like a much cooler place.

Tara is only about 2 hours from us here in Clark, Pennsylvania. Obviously, Tara is based on the movie Gone with the Wind. It is a bed and breakfast and restaurant. They excel at holiday buffets.

Of course, as a photographer, I had a blast here. The decor and accents all had a flair for the historical. Lots of cool details.

Inside and out, there is a lot of statuary. This might be George McClellan.

All through the house, it is decorated with a civil war theme.  The Christmas trees, the sitting areas, the hallways, all of it is decorated with a genuine feel for the old south.  The next pics are ornaments from one of the trees.

Very, very cool.

They also have rooms that you can rent for the evening. All civil war themed. Looked great. A little pricey but you can't beat the location.

All that being said, we were there for the food. The buffet was outstanding. Great stuff, great variety. They had to roll me out of there after the meal. The do not do "walk up" but the do sittings. They sit the place in shifts and funnel you through that way. If you have a 12:30 sitting, be there at 12:30. No fooling around, no waiting. Take your time, enjoy your meal. It is organized, the buffet is well stocked and laid out and you do not meet the crowd at the food. All in all a very pleasurable meal.

Probably the best buffet I have ever partaken of.  We are going again this year. I will take many more pictures.

The location is a little odd.  You kind of come up on it all of a sudden. But it is located on a huge reservoir. Shenango River Lake, a Pennsylvania State Park. Very nice, picturesque. Tara is up against the southern shore.

All told a great holiday experience. The food was great, the photography even better. The only challenge for a photographer was most of the interior is on the darker side. Low light photography.  What I did was use my fast 50 lens. It is a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. Great for low light and you get great bokeh. With a wide open aperture, you get ore light than you would with a regular lens. That helps. It gives you some options for creativity. If you look at the chess pic above, you can see what i mean. You can direct the eye by narrowing the focus to a specific point. The pieces are about 8 inches apart and the whites are really out of focus. Cool effect and easy to do.  In a low light situation, every little bit helps. and you can do some fun things.

That's all for now. Here are a few more pics.


One of the locals.

This is a favorite shot. It is actually a wall sculpture reflecting the wall on the other side of the hall.

On this one you see how the focus is on "the LORD" nice effect.