Autumn of 2013 was particularly difficult for me in terms of life balance. After coming home that summer from a wonderful vacation in the western United States, I went into a bit of a rut photographically. I had seen and shot so many beautiful things that I found it difficult to be creative on my home turf. That fall, I also had a very heavy teaching load, student count, and other professional obligations. In short, I was having problems motivating myself to get out and shoot, and my workload gave me a great excuse to lay fallow.
I knew by the end of the semester that I needed a good outing, so the day after I submitted all my grades, I took some time to recharge. I decided to go to the Chattahoochee Nature Center on the north side of Atlanta, cameras at the ready. I didn’t know quite what to expect. I learned that the center provides a serene setting to rehabilitate and nurture injured wildlife, especially birds of prey. I began by practicing my wildlife shots on some of these birds before going on a nature hike around the grounds. As I hiked, I vainly pursued a cardinal who was proving quite elusive (Michelle really wants a good cardinal print to hang up in the winter). I took a couple of landscape shots of the river and pond, and I tried my hand at some more detailed nature shots as well. Continue reading →
On the Date Night scavenger hunt, the leader asked us to find children flying in Decatur. Dave went back and reshot this iconic sculpture for the “silhouette” category for his Arcanum scavenger hunt.
Who wants to send us on a scavenger hunt?
I must confess, I love scavenger hunts. I enjoy the mystery, the competition, and the creativity. It’s like a quest, but with a list instead of a map. And you use a camera instead of a sword (but I like swords, too!). There’s a focus and a purpose with scavenger hunts, but still plenty of room for improvisation and imagination. What’s not to love?
Michelle’s interpretation for the “couples kissing” category for the Decatur Date Night scavenger hunt with the Showcase School of Photography
Photo scavenger hunts can make fun date nights, party games, or family activities. The captured photos offer interesting insights into people’s thought processes based on how they have interpreted items on the list. A photo isn’t always just a photo! When making a list, try to think outside the box and allow flexibility in interpretation. Think of items that could be interpreted in several different ways. Dave and I went on a fun date night scavenger hunt in Decatur with the Showcase School of Photography this summer, and we pursued themes like “patriotic,” “something cold,” and “something that makes you laugh.” Of course, Dave was a bit grumpy being told what to shoot (he’d make a great 12th doctor). The evening’s activity encouraged me to see the familiar sights of the Decatur square in a new way, paying attention to details, such as patterns, colors, and out-of-the-way spaces. Continue reading →
A quick portrait of a Death cosplayer from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, DragonCon 2013 (Dave).
For some reason, we didn’t make it to the parade in 2012, but we sure did in 2013. We had a great spot near the front row and witnessed all the shenanigans. Michelle and I were both shooting, with her getting wider shots and me getting some zoomy shots. As we waited for the parade, I was able to get a portrait of this awesome Death cosplayer who was standing next to us.
Batgirls from 2012, with the best-looking half of Garber Geektography crouching in front.
Of course some of the most fun we have with photography happens to be when we go to DragonCon in Atlanta, and it is just around the corner. In looking back at some of the pictures we’ve taken, it is amazing to see what a difference a year makes! I got a lot of views on my Flickr page for several of my shots from my first year with the camera in 2012. By far the shot with the most views on our Flickr account was the one I took of the Batgirls at the DragonCon DC comic shoot. Of course that is extra special because of the crouching Batgirl, Michelle. Continue reading →
It’s time to put the “geek” into “Garber Geektography” with a look back at one of my first photo assignments on “perspectives” in The Arcanum. Karen Hutton presented us with a pretty basic, but eye-opening challenge to produce three images of three different subjects from three different vantage points. She wanted one shot from below, one shot from above, and one from a straight perspective. So what’s a geek to do when presented with such a challenge? Go grab Michelle’s Poison Ivy figurine for a date at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, of course (the date was with Michelle, not Poison Ivy … ’cause that would be weird).
Poison Ivy from the low angle.
I really did not know how tricky this was going to be when I started, given the size of the small bust designed by comic book artist Amanda Conner. I wanted to place Ivy in her natural habitat and sought out flora that complimented the color scheme. This meant lying down on the sidewalk along the gardens, figuring out the best light and angle, while also trying to find a slight slope to get the “from below” angle. This proved the most elusive perspective, given the fact that Ivy is looking up while I wanted to focus on the eyes. I also had limited myself to using the 35mm prime lens that I had at the time, which meant that in addition to lying on the ground, I had to get pretty close. I wasn’t as happy with this image, because the angle didn’t feature the eyes or face as well as it should. I do like, however, how the lines of the background landscape look from this angle, something that would later influence my landscape photography. I probably also looked more than a bit strange as I was arranging the dead roots to camouflage her base. I think at one point, a mother came by as I was lying on the ground and said to her daughters, “Awww, look, he’s taking pictures of a fairy.” I don’t think Pamela Isley would like that one bit. Continue reading →
Michelle and I have been tooling around with “Garber Geektography” for a while now. In fact, it has been about two years since I bought my first “real” interchangeable lens camera, and the past two years have been the most creative of my life. So we are starting this blog to share our photographic musings with the world. It has been a whirlwind summer for me, and I have quite a bit to share–from my trip with 13 students and 1 colleague to India, to our vacation to visit our good friends (Doug and Lindsay) in Alaska, to my rather eventful journey to Israel in the beginning days of the most recent Middle East conflict. So, I will be sharing some thoughts about each of those trips in future posts. This blog, however, is meant to be a more “fun” outlet for our creativity. While I will obviously touch on my vocation as a theology professor in various posts, we want this blog to be much more about our general life experiences and creative processes in the nexus between photographic images and geeky adventures (hence our tagline, “Adventures in Imagery”).