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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I’ve written about Old Car City a few times before. It’s an incredible location about an hour from my home where thousands of old American cars and trucks have been junked. Imagine 35 acres packed tightly with abandoned cars, covered with pine straw and leaves, and sometimes penetrated by tree trunks. It may not sound like it at first, but it really is a photographer’s paradise.
I normally shoot landscapes, but when I go to Old Car City, I focus on details. I shoot some wide shots, but most of my time is spent peering at body panels of old cars and looking at their interiors in order to find some unique angle or shot I haven’t seen before.
So, I’ll post some shots from there in a couple or three installments. Today I’ll share some of the non-macro stuff I took during a trip in March of this year. I’ll move on to the macro stuff in a few days.
The featured shot is an old vehicle absolutely covered in pine straw. The windows have been removed or broken so the inside is just as dirty and covered as the outside. I did make one cosmetic change to the car. The from driver’s panel trim had fallen away from the body. I crimped and bent the trim just enough to get it to hang on the car in its original position for just long enough to take these shots. I took a series of five images separated by one stop so that I could generate a natural looking HDR and retain all the shadow and highlight detail that was in the scene. Even though someone junked this car, I found it to be a treasure to shoot – hence the title. Enjoy.
I posted an image from Hollywood, SC a few days ago. The image was of a beautiful alley of oaks leading to a beautiful house by the Edisto River. I presume that the property was a plantation site at some point based on its location. I don’t know that for certain, but whomever planted the alley of oaks certainly planned to be there for a while.
This image is of the other side of the oaks. Usually the manicured part of these alleys is the part between the trees. As there is in this location, a road usually runs through the alley. I suppose the intent is to impress guests by leading them through some magnificent landscape before they arrive at the home of the owner. In this case, the other side of the alley is equally impressive. The oaks overhang a lush green lawn making for a wonderful contrast between the deep browns and greens of the oaks and the vibrant green of the grass.
This location is like a Beatles 45 record (now I’m showing my age). The B side is often just as fun to listen to as the A side. I hope you enjoy this image nearly as much as a classic by the Beatles!
When I visit the lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina, one of my favorite pastimes is to find old oak alleys. Many of them have survived since colonial days, but others must have been planted since then. I’m no horticulturist so I don’t have a great idea of how old the trees I am viewing truly are. The oaks in this image seem relatively young compared to others I have seen but still must be many decades, if not more than a hundred years, old. Apparently, some of these beautiful trees are as much as fifteen hundred years old.
The fact that someone had enough forethought to plant trees that would take decades to form these beautiful alleys is fascinating to me. In today’s world people are so consume by instantaneous results that few would have the patience or desire to plant in this fashion. I suppose that is why I enjoy looking out for these beautiful scenes. They are the consummate combination of nature’s beauty and man’s creative spirit.
I have a few more of these to post from other locations. Stay tuned if you enjoy these types of images.
Okay, I’m not trying to stir anything up. I’m sure that others feel equally proud of their country or their region of their country. It’s just that I feel especially fortunate to have been born and to live in the American South. It has to do with values, climate, history, and the beauty of the region. So, no flames please. Just know that I am happy to be where I am.
Earlier this spring, my son, Matt, and I went to the coast of Georgia and South Carolina for a few days. I’ve spent a good bit of time on the southeast coast from North Carolina to Florida. Being from Atlanta, I’ve spent most of my time near Savannah on the barrier islands of Georgia and South Carolina. However, I never made it to Beaufort before this trip. Now that I’ve been there, I certainly plan to return! It’s a beautiful small town that has managed to retain much of its colonial charm. Given the damage incurred in the South during the Civil War, undisturbed antebellum towns are relatively rare.
We passed through Beaufort a couple of times on our trip and stopped both times in order to capture a sense of the place. Azaleas and other spring flowers were in full bloom making the town especially pretty. We spent many hours walking up and down the streets of the old section of town just enjoying the architecture. During our wandering this scene caught my eye. Old Glory and the South Carolina state flag hanging from a postcard perfect porch framed by Spanish moss and flowering azaleas is about as southern as it gets.
If you find yourself at Hilton Head, driving up I-95, or in Savannah, you really should pay a visit to Beaufort. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy.
A few weeks ago, Matt and I traveled to the Georgia coast to see a few colleges and do some photography. Well, that’s what we said why we were going. As much as anything, Matt and I both wanted to spend a few days together before he heads off to college this summer. It’s hard to believe that my first-born is eighteen and heading to college!
We’ve been to the coast together before and Matt wanted to revisit the area to see a couple of favorite locations. Matt didn’t have to twist my arm to go. I got to spend a few days alone with my son and visit some beautiful locations to photograph.
High on my list was Wormsloe, a historic location just outside Savannah. The whole of coastal Georgia is rich in history. It’s also beautiful in a completely different way than north Georgia where I hail from. One distinctive of the region is the live oaks that grow there. Their long, winding limbs with Spanish Moss dripping down from above make for wonderful photographic subjects. Wormsloe is a great example of a former plantation house where an alley of oaks was planted along the entrance road. One of Matt’s and my favorite past times is to looks for these alleys and capture the image. You’ll see several such examples over the next few weeks as I work through some pictures of spring in the South.
I hope you enjoy the image. I’m looking forward to sharing more soon.