Atlanta

Atlanta from Freedom Parkway

Atlanta from Jackson Street, December 2016

Downtown Atlanta skyline as viewed from the Jackson Street overpass in December 2016

The app that I use to forecast sunrise and sunset conditions showed that there was a high chance of a brilliant sunset over Atlanta last night. So, Taylor and I headed down to the Jackson Street bridge over Freedom Parkway to see what might happen. I’ve shot from this location many, many times, but I’ve never come away with the shot I want. Unfortunately, the same was true last night. Conditions were promising, but no blazing sunset over my hometown materialized. Sigh. Conditions were great for the classic twilight view of Atlanta, however. Here’s that shot and here’s to that fiery sunset over the city that I’ve been chasing for a while now.

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Chihuly at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Chihuly at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

One of the works at Chihuly’s exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Pamela and I went with friends on Wednesday night to view the Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It’s truly beautiful, especially near sunset and at dusk. The glasswork is amazing and when combined with the beauty of the garden, it really is worth the price of admission. Enjoy.

Atlanta Beltline

Beltline Pano

A mural painted on a bridge underpass promoting the Atlanta Beltline

I thought I would take a quick break from my Ireland images to post a cool shot that I took on Friday. The image is a mural near Ponce City Market in Atlanta denoting that the Beltline passes overhead at that spot. If you aren’t from Atlanta or don’t know what the Beltline is, here’s a link that will help you out. In short, the Beltline is a series of trails and parks that will eventually circle downtown Atlanta using a series of abandoned railroad easements and newly purchased land. The Beltline was born out of a graduate thesis of a Georgia Tech student.

Especially in east Atlanta, there is a growing work of murals painted on building facades and underpasses. These aren’t the typical graffiti but professionally done, innovative pieces of art that actually enhance the urban landscape. I think this one is a great example of the genre. Unfortunately, some people can’t resist putting their own mark on an already painted surface. Hopefully this one will hold up for a few more years before having to be repainted. In the meantime, enjoy.

9/11 Memorial at Milton High School

9/11 Memorial at Milton High School

3000 flags are placed on the front lawn of Milton High School each year as a memorial to the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001

This is an image from a post I made five years ago, but it’s certainly appropriate today. May we never forget the tragic events of September 11, 2001. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

Merry Christmas Y’all

Christmas Tree in Atrium

A beautiful Christmas tree glows brightly in the atrium of a historic building in Atlanta

As we remember in this Christmas season that God sent his son to reconcile us to Him, may we seek reconciliation with all those around us. I hope that you find joy, peace, and contentment this holiday season. From me and my family to you and yours, may you have a very, merry Christmas.

Spring in Oakland Cemetery

Spring in Oakland Cemetery

Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery and the colors of spring

Another go-to location for me in the spring is Oakland Cemetery. I suppose some people find hanging out in cemeteries a bit creepy, but historic cemeteries are some of the most beautiful locations in many cities. That’s certainly the case at Oakland.

Atlanta is not a very old city compared to many cities I’ve visited. It was only founded in 1837, but quickly rose to national prominence as a transportation hub. Therefore, no grave in the cemetery predates the 1840s or so. But, in that time lots of prominent Atlantans have been buried here – some in quite impressive mausoleums or with ornate grave markers.

The real attraction at Oakland for me is the riot of color that emerges in spring. Dogwood, azalea, camellia, and dozens of other flowering shrubs, trees, and other plants seem to peak at the same time. Along with some of the beautiful grave markers, statues, and mausoleums, it becomes quite an interesting place to shoot.

I made two different trips to Oakland this spring. I was fortunate to have overcast skies and cool temperatures on both visits. As I’ve mentioned often, those are my favorite shooting conditions. The clouds create a giant soft box to keep harsh shadows and highlights at bay. Hopefully, the resulting images convey some sense of the beauty of Oakland in the spring. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas Y’all!

For the most part I post landscape and nature images. That really is my passion and what I am best at. However, there’s a ton of stuff that I shoot that is people oriented. I just don’t post it as often. That’s primarily because those shots are of my kids in their sports or work that is shot on commission for others.

However, I shoot quite a bit for my employer as well. I don’t talk about it here very much, but I work as the CFO for an incredible organization, North Point Ministries. I’m biased but I think I have the best job in the world and work for the best possible organization in the world. And I’m not exaggerating. One of my absolute favorite event(s) to shoot each year is our Christmas concert or services. This year we launched a Christmas album (Let There Be Light) and had a concert featuring those songs. The music was beautiful, the artists were incredibly talented, and the lighting and scenic design were like a photographer’s paradise.

So, since my family and I will be traveling this year for Christmas (for the first time ever), I thought I would leave you with a bit of an early Christmas present. Here are a few images from this year’s Let There Be Light Christmas concert at North Point Community Church. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope that this Christmas is your best one yet. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to y’all.

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SCCA at Road Atlanta

SCCA at Road Atlanta

An Audi R8 at Road Atlanta during the SCCA race in March 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve created a blog post. That’s partially because life has been very, very busy and because I had pretty much run through my backlog of images that I wanted to share. There’s still a few in the archive that I’m working on, but now I’m getting out more to shoot. It’s not that there isn’t anything to shot in the winter, but my eye certainly is drawn to the colors of spring, summer, and fall more than the monochrome of winter.

This image came from a recent outing to Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. The track is a world-class race facility that hosts a variety of races and classes of cars. I’ve shot there before, but I never captured any images that I really loved. I made a ton of images that I love this time out. I may share some more in the future, but I wanted to get this one out there.

I really enjoy looking for different subjects to capture. I truly enjoy capturing landscapes, but variety truly is the spice of life. I find that if I shoot concerts, races, architecture, or other subjects, when I return to landscapes I enjoy them even more. So, enjoy the race photo and let me know what you think. But, soon I’ll be back to posts of my favorites. Enjoy.

My Annual Pilgrimage to the Atlanta Botanical Garden

As I’ve probably written before, one of my favorite places in Atlanta is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It’s a wonderful set of gardens that rarely attracts the attention that it deserves. I’ve visited quite a few botanical gardens over the years and only a handful are at the level of Atlanta’s. Very few exceed it. Each year after the long winter, I get the itch to shoot color again. One of my first destinations is the Botanical Garden. The seasonal plantings and the orchid house guarantee a splash of color even as the native flora is awaiting spring. Although spring came early in Atlanta this year, I still made the pilgrimage to the Garden. I hope you enjoy the flowers as much as I did.

I’m posting many more photos than my normal one image per post today. Don’t think that I’m lazy. I just don’t have nine different stories for these images.

I know the common flowers. I’m just not certain of all of the other flowers that I encounter at the Garden. These first two are poppies, one in bloom and one waiting to bloom.

To be honest, I don’t know the name of this flower, but it certainly is beautiful.

Orchids I do know. The Fuqua Orchid house has an incredible collection of orchids native to many different parts of the world.

Another one that I don’t know the name of but I certainly admire its beauty.

This state of a little boy catching frogs has adorned the gardens for year. I love the look of sheer joy on his face and the thoughts evoked by living a simple country life.

I know roses as well. I especially love the peach shade of these delicate, perfectly formed flowers.

I believe this is a poppy as well. I love the delicate feel of the overlapping petals, the soft transition from rose-colored to white, and the intricate structure of the pistils and stamens.

Once again, I’m not sure of the flower name, but the large stands of them made for some interesting foreground in focus, background out of focus compositions.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park

The Fountain of Rings and some of downtown Atlanta's skyscrapers as viewed from Centennial Park

One of the enduring legacies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta is Centennial Park. The area where the park stands now was once a series of ramshackle warehouses and businesses on the edge of downtown. Although controversial when it was created, the park now is one of the major tourist attractions in the city. It is the largest urban park created in America in many, many years. It is located close to Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome and CNN Center. The Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola are essentially inside the park. What was once an eyesore is now a gathering point.

One of the primary attractions is the Fountain of Rings. The pattern for the fountain is the famous five interlocking rings of the Olympics. The fountains run continuously and are programmed to a series of songs. They are also lit at night and change colors to fit the choreography of the current song set. During the hot Atlanta summers, people flock to the rings to play in the cooling jets of water. Surprisingly, people even play at the edge of the fountains in the cooler seasons as they did the night this image was taken.

In this image, you can see the rings, the light towers that are located throughout Centennial Park, and some of the skyscrapers found in downtown Atlanta. The image was exposed for 1.6 seconds and shot at f/10. I wanted just enough exposure length to cause the water to turn silky without exposing for so long that the effect looked unrealistic. This image very much captures the look and feel of Centennial Park as it appeared a few nights ago.