Garber Geektography Phase 2 (Part 1): Wherever We May Roam

The Tumbler in front of Rogue Shadow at our inaugural campground at Edisto Beach State Park, SC, USA.

The Tumbler in front of Rogue Shadow at our inaugural campground at Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina.

My parents may have Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” but we have Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam” (though Michelle prefers this version by Iron Horse). We are now introducing Phase 2 of the Garber Geektography project! One of the things I learned from my time in The Arcanum was my penchant for travel photography. I had a lot of opportunities last year for travel experiences, and while I have a few trips lined up this year, we are mostly sticking a little closer to home.

The galley of the Rogue Shadow. Perfect for the two of us.

The galley of the Rogue Shadow. Perfect for the two of us.

As we were trying to figure out how to incorporate a travel mentality into our lives, Michelle and I downsized to one car–appropriately named The Tumbler because it came in black–in anticipation of buying a camper that would allow us more freedom.

 
A reverse side of the galley and the bed area. We have a queen size bed at home, and the dogs sleep in their own beds. In the full size bed in the camper, they opted to sleep in the bed. Go figure.

The galley and the bed area. We have a queen size bed at home, and the dogs sleep in their own beds. In the full size bed in the camper, they opted to sleep in the bed. Go figure.

We spent the better part of a year researching different camper options and planning. We finally decided to go with a small travel trailer—the bathroom sold it for us! We’ve dubbed it the Rogue Shadow and are going with a Star Wars décor. It is a Starcraft Camper, after all. By the way, Rogue Shadow is the name of Starkiller‘s personal transport. Starkiller, A.K.A. Galen Marek, was Darth Vader’s secret apprentice.  Seriously, you can look it up in Wookiepedia!). We are ready for the adventures before us!

 
We’ll be posting reviews of the locations we explore, as well as updates on our (mis)adventures as camper newbies.  Part 2 of our phase 2 project is coming soon, so stay tuned!

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Our first campsite spoiled us! It was spacious, with trees all around, and a great view of the salt marsh in the Live Oak Campground at the Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina.

We Found what we were Looking for at Joshua Tree National Park

Maybe it’s because I was born in Arizona or spent half of my childhood in El Paso. Or maybe it’s because I spent the other half of my childhood imagining I was Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Whatever the case, I love desolate desert landscapes. We spent half of our Thanksgiving holiday in a desolate landscape photographer’s dreamland: Joshua Tree National Park. And, yes, we listened to U2 on our way there. As one friend told me, that’s not cliché. It’s classic. Here are some of our favorite images from our first day at the park. We focused the first part of our visit on the Joshua trees and the rock formations. We’ll post some images later in the week of the Cholla Cactus Garden and the Cottonwood Oasis.

Bowing to Shemesh

“Bowing to Shemesh.” Just hanging’ out with some sun worshippers at sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. Actually, the Joshua trees allegedly got their names from Mormon travelers who thought the trees looked like Joshua raising his arms leading them to the promised landPrint Available.

This seemed like a wise old Joshua Tree. I had fun combining different effects from various plugins for a more artistic approach.

This seemed like a wise old Joshua Tree. I had fun combining different effects from various plugins for a more artistic approach. Print Available.

We got a little starburst happy on this trip. Michelle caught this great one in the middle of a well developed Joshua Tree. We had fun processing this as a split tone in MacPhun's Tonality Pro. Print Available.

We got a little starburst happy on this trip. Michelle caught this great one in the middle of a well developed Joshua Tree. We had fun processing this as a split tone in MacPhun‘s Tonality Pro. Print Available.

Speaking of starbursts, it's not all about the trees at Joshua Tree. There's lots of rocky fun, too! I liked how the solar flare worked on this one.

Speaking of starbursts, it’s not all about the trees at Joshua Tree. There’s lots of rocky fun, too! I liked how the solar flare worked into the green spots on this one.

Stony Texture

Michelle loves to photograph textures and shapes, and this shot definitely demonstrates that. Again, we used MacPhun’s Tonality Pro for some purply monochrome action on this one. Print available.

Michelle also has a thing for paths. Apparently when the Joshua Trees get too top-heavy, they fall over in the desert wind. In fact, the famous Joshua Tree from the U2 album cover fell down in 2000.

Michelle also has a thing for paths. Apparently when the Joshua Trees get too top-heavy, they fall over in the desert wind. In fact, the famous Joshua Tree from the U2 album cover fell down in 2000. We had some fun with textures and sepia in MacPun on this one.

The landscapes at the Joshua Tree National Park are so diverse. I loved having the chance here to get a Joshua Tree with the mountains in the background. Coming soon: the Cholla Cactus Garden and Cottonwood Oasis.

The landscapes at the Joshua Tree National Park are so diverse. I loved having the chance here to get a Joshua Tree with the mountains in the background. Coming soon: the Cholla Cactus Garden and Cottonwood Oasis.

Fall Fun Fest, Chapter Four: Rediscovering Stone Mountain Park

When I first moved to Atlanta, I spent a lot of time at Stone Mountain Park: walking the dog, hiking, biking. As the years went on, I lost interest in the location. In the past couple of months, though, Michelle and I have been visiting the park to practice our photography, and we have discovered it from some different perspectives.

Stone Mountain Sunset

A Stone Mountain sunset on the west side from the road that leads up to the songbird habitat.

Songbird Trail

A fun trail through the wooded area of the songbird habitat.

One of the new discoveries I made this past weekend was the Songbird Habitat Trail. It is on a less-traveled road in the park, which means there are fewer people, dogs, bikes, and cars. The sanctuary itself has some very nice trails through a meadow, and is quite peaceful and serene. I didn’t do any birding, but had a good time shooting some landscapes.

And Michelle explored the world in miniature with a macro lens that we rented.

Michelle explored the world in miniature with a macro lens that we rented. This was some moss on the granite by the waterline.

The next morning, Michelle and I went to the Grist Mill. It is on the eastern side, so you need to be there in the morning to get the best light. Otherwise, the big hunk of granite known as Stone Mountain will cast a shadow over the whole area.

Michelle had some fun playing with a macro lens we rented to test for an upcoming trip. She loves to go into a different universe and see things in unique ways.

Songbird trail around sunset.

The songbird habitat is on the eastern side and is beautiful during the sunset golden hour.

There were some beautiful autumn trees with great color around the mill.

There were some colorful autumn trees around the mill.

Rusty screw

Michelle loves to play with texture, and this rusty screw in the wood filled the bill.

Burlap.

She also had fun exploring the fibrous universe of burlap that was lying around for a landscape project.

Autumn Grist Mill

Some autumn colors framing the grist mill.

Bodh Gaya

When Vocation and Avocation Meet

Various work opportunities this past summer led me to some pretty awesome photography experiences. I’ll be blogging some retrospectives about those in the next few months as Michelle and I prepare for even more adventures. In the meantime, I wanted to share this month’s edition of Tableaux, the Mercer University‘s McAfee School of Theology magazine. This month’s theme was “Leaders in Research, Leaders in Service,” and it chronicles many of the activities of the students and faculty at McAfee from this past year. It also features a lot of my photography from trips to India and Israel. I love what Lesley-Ann Hix did with the layout and design of this issue! Special thanks also to Barrett Owen (editor-in-chief) and Kate Riney (managing editor) for inviting me to publish the photos and column for this issue. I have a brief column about my experiences in Jerusalem, as well .

Mercier Orchards

2014 Garber Geektography Fall Fun Fest Chronicles: Chapter 1 “How about ‘dem Apples?”

In the middle of grading and writing, we did find some time to escape last weekend for our favorite season of the year. Our first stop was at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia, to get our annual supply of apples. It was a bright, sunny day, which made for some harsh lighting conditions, but I was able to get a couple of environmental shots. I love how the winding paths on the hillside drive you through the whole orchard. We also found out that our favorite apple is the mutsu, or crispin.

Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards in October

I was also grateful to have my Lee Seven5 polariser in my bag to bring out the sky in this shot:

Mercier Orchards in October

Mercier Orchards in early October

Having come home with a plentiful harvest, we rested up for the next day’s adventures, which included getting Sargon back into the groove of agility training at the Canine Ranch.

Sargon's motivation for training is his tennis ball. Really, it is a quite unhealthy obsession.

Sargon’s motivation for training is his tennis ball. Really, it is a quite unhealthy obsession.

We also ran into his pal, Beauregard, training on the A-frame.

Beau strutting his stuff.

Beau strutting his stuff.

We ended the day with Sunday in the Park at Historic Oakland Cemetery. We were overjoyed to learn that I took first and second places in color in the photo contest, and Michelle took second in black and white! The mausoleums were open, so I played with some HDR while we were there.

Mystical mausoleum at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Mystical mausoleum at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

They also had a car show there, and Michelle captured this emaciated passenger. A cool, spooky shot to get us ready for later in the month.

Whew, I'm famished!

Whew, I’m famished!

What are your plans for a great Fall weekend?