Georgia

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.

Lone Tulip at Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Lone Tulip at Atlanta Botanical Gardens

A solitary tulip in a planter complements the background vegetation beautifully

The natural rhythm of my camera usage follows the cycle of the seasons. Summer is usually a busy time to shoot with travel and warm weather encouraging outdoor activity. Fall is also busy since it is my favorite season and I love to shoot in nature as the fall color change occurs. By winter, the leaves have dropped and my photographic activity decreases significantly. I like to shoot the occasional snow blanketed landscape here in the South or indoor events like my kid’s sporting activity or concerts at North Point. Other than that, I largely put my camera away and work on processing the year’s haul of images.

By spring, I’m ready to pick up my camera and shoot. Usually my desire to shoot precedes my ability to get in front of pretty landscape scenes. The urge to shoot usually begins in mid-March. At that point, my go-to location is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It’s a relatively unheralded location in Atlanta, but always beautiful to me. The staff there do a terrific job keeping season color in prime locations and keeping the gardens beautiful. It’s really a beautiful place in any season, but particularly so in the spring.

This shot was taken approaching the children’s garden. There are some planters for seasonal color lining a pedestrian bridge there. This shot was taken by isolating one tulip from others and using the other vegetation in the planter as a background. I love the way the two color palettes complement each other. I should have posted this earlier in the spring, but too many other images are lined up in the queue. Enjoy.

Suches, Georgia Farm in Snow

Suches, GA Farm in Snow

Outbuildings in a snowy landscape in beautiful Suches, Georgia

As I sit writing this post I’m looking out from my home office at a beautiful snowfall beginning to cover my patio. It’s been an odd winter in Georgia. We started out with some of the coldest late November and early December temperatures that I can recall. Then, winter became mild and made me think we would have an early spring. Now, a fairly decent snowfall seems destined to cover us.

As the temperatures dove last week, I began to hear tales of people actually climbing giant ice formations in north Georgia. Then I saw photos of climbers with ice axes and crampons actually scaling the icy cliffs on Richard Russell Scenic Highway. I decided that I had to see that for myself. So, I drove up early last Friday morning to see the frozen landscape.

Unfortunately, despite checking the road closure list, the road I wanted to drive was closed. Anna Ruby Falls near Unicoi State Park was closed as well. But, having grown up wandering through those mountains, I had a few other locations in mind that certainly would be worth visiting. I wandered around Helen visiting the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River. That was fun because the slow moving parts of the river had frozen over and made for a beautiful landscape. Helton Creek Falls near Vogel State Park had also frozen over. The road was a bit slippery down in the valley where the falls are located, but the picture more than made up for the effort.

My favorite road in Georgia, Highway 180 leading from Vogel State Park to Suches was open and beautiful. The snow from earlier in the week was still on the ground and new visual delights awaited me around every corner. At the top of Wolf Pen Gap Road, Lake Winfield Scott was totally iced over. I wouldn’t have gone ice skating on the lake, but it clearly was frozen and held pockets of fresh snow.

At Suches I planned to go back down the mountain, through Dahlonega, and head home. Fortunately for me the most beautiful part of the trip was waiting for me in Suches. Snow still covered the ground and trees were still covered in ice. It wasn’t a deep snow, but it was enough to make for a lovely scene. I found this image and spent a while composing and recomposing until I had it just right. I love the pops of color on the storage sheds and the overhanging oak with its ice-covered limbs. The background of snow-covered mountains adds to the sense of a cold winter scene. Perhaps I’ll share some of the other images soon, but I hope this one gives you a sense of winter in Georgia. Enjoy.

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.

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks display from the Fourth of July Celebration in Alpharetta, GA

It’s a bit late for this, but here’s a shot from a few weeks ago from the Independence Day celebration in the town where I live, Alpharetta, Georgia. I’ve never had a lot of success in photographing fireworks but I actually had a few shots turn out pretty well on this occasion. That was despite my setting up in the wrong location and having to scramble frantically at the last second to reset all of my gear hoping I would get some decent shots.

Ironically, we went to the beach for a few days a week ago and there was a magnificent fireworks display at the resort where we were staying. I had a front row seat but didn’t know the show was coming. So, our first notice the show was coming was the boom of the first rocket. We were on a higher floor of a condominium tower and the show was literally at eye level! My camera was with me, but the show was relatively short. By the time I retrieved my gear I knew I wouldn’t be set up in time. So, I just sat back and enjoyed the show. Oh, well. Now we have a reason to go back to the same location next year… Enjoy!

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.

The Texture of Green

The Texture of Green

Shades and textures of green at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

And now for something completely different… (Bonus points for you if you can identify the comedy show that used that line consistently.) I’ve been working through a backlog of images from last fall and am just now making my way to some images from this spring. I usually post scenics and grand landscapes but a good bit of what I’ve shot this spring are intimates and macro shots.

This one was taken at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I’ve fallen into a bit of a pattern where this location is usually one of the first places I shoot each year. I don’t intend to but many of my shots are taken spring through fall. Once the weather gets cold and leaves come off the trees I tend to put the camera aside and focus on other pursuits. I’ll shoot the occasional Atlanta snowfall but most of my images during the winter are of my kids’ sporting events.

So, I get the itch to shoot in mid-March once the weather begins to warm. The easiest place to go and get some guaranteed results is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Even though it’s a beautiful location I see relatively few serious photographers taking advantage of its delights. One other factor that makes the Garden such a draw is the Fuqua Conservatory. There are desert and tropical sections allowing photography of diverse species all year around.

I should know the name of this plant, but to be honest, I don’t. I do know that it is beautiful and the shades of green from it and the surrounding plants make for a wonderful composition. The textures of the plants make the image even more compelling. Hence, the title of the image emerged. When you are in Atlanta a visit to the Garden is certainly worth your time. Enjoy.

Old Car City 2014

Modern Art

Layers of paint on a car at Old Car City chipping away over time create a beautiful abstract pattern

As I mentioned last time, Old Car City is an easy spot for me to get to with some incredible photography opportunities. It’s an especially good location to do macro work. So, I’ve included some shots from earlier this year that I really enjoyed taking. I hope you enjoy viewing them.

Cadillac

The badge from a mid-century Cadillac

V8

A V8 badge survives alongside the fading, mildew-covered paint of an antique car

Special

An emblem of an antique vehicle in Old Car City, White, Georgia

Ford Emblem and Rust

A Ford emblem rusting away on an antique vehicle in Old Car City, White, Georgia

Fairlane 500

The badge, rust, and peeling paint of a Fairlane 500

Facing Forward

A hood emblem in Old Car City, Whte, Georgia

A Study in Green and Blue

Patterns in the body work of an antique car in Old Car City, White, Georgia

A Study in Blue, Yellow, and Rust

The peeling paint and rust of an antique vehicle at Old Car City