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.

2014 Fall Fun Fest Chronicles Chapter Two: Conasauga Falls and Family Photo Shoot

CarraBrian

Some crazy fun chaos on a blanket!

The Fall 2014 adventures of Garber Geektography continued last weekend with a family shoot and a “quick” two mile hike. We started off the weekend with a fun shoot with our friends Carra and Brian at Alexander Park in Gwinnett County, GA. The light was great to work with in the fields of tall grass. It was a crazy fun shoot, since Carra and Brian have one-year old twins, a toddler, and a four-year-old. They have such a great family.

Walking towards the sunset.

Walking towards the sunset.

The deceptively easy trail.

The deceptively easy trail.

We spent most of the weekend indoors with my family cheering on Duke, Baylor, and Texas A&M. Yes, that is an eclectic mix. Our cousin, David Helton, plays linebacker for Duke, so there is one connection. I graduated from Baylor, and, oh my, was that a great comeback, or what? My sister and her husband are Aggies, so we pulled for them despite the loss.

A detail shot of the Falls that Michelle directed. We had to put up one camera since it isn't weather sealed.

A detail shot of the Falls that Michelle directed. We had to put up one camera since it isn’t weather sealed.

On our way home from the Knoxville area, we stopped off at Conasauga Falls for what we thought was going to be quick two-mile, in-and-back hike. The first part of the hike was deceptively easy, with a gradual downhill slope and some switchbacks.

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The cascades of Conasauga Falls with some hints of autumn color.

The golden light at the end of the tunnel?

The golden light at the end of the tunnel?

 

It got a little more slippery as we approached the falls at the bottom. But the hike was definitely worth it when we got there.

Of course, we need to remember that when you hike down to the bottom of the falls, it means you need to hike back up. We stopped along the way for a few shots to catch our breath. One lesson we learned is that when the hiking trail fairies provide you with walking sticks, you should take them up on their offer. It might have lessened the burden.

On the way back up, Michelle pointed out the cool textures in these wooden waves.

Waves in the wood.

Waves in the wood.

 

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?

See Rock City

It’s Finally Fall!

Happy Autumn everyone!  My favorite season is finally here, and to celebrate, we present you with some fun fall photos. First up is one of my favorite pictures, inspired by Karen Hutton and taken in Chattanooga at Rock City.

The swinging bridge at Rock City.

My photo of the Rock City swinging bridge. I have a metal print of this hanging in my office that allows me to escape every day.

I confess—I have a fascination with bridges. And doorways. And fences. And with bends in the river and turns in the road. I enjoy the in-between-ness of the space, exploring boundaries and transitions.

From the Oakland Cemetery website:

The “Flying Dragon” fruit (Poncirus trifoliata) becomes golden in the Fall and hangs out near the bell tower at Historic Oakland Cemetery.

Maybe that’s why I love the Fall and Spring seasons so much. Standing at a threshold, my imagination engages, and I find myself drawn to both mystery and possibility. In these moments, I see the promise of adventure and the potential for newness and transformation. In capturing the moment on camera, I hope to give color, shadow, and form to the liminality.

Apples

Dave’s shot of our crop of apples from Mercier Orchards last Fall.

How will you embrace the mystery and possibility this Fall?  What are your favorite spaces, places, and activities?

Corn Maze

Dave’s shot of a sunburst at Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze from last year. We hang a canvas wrap of this print above our mantle every year to usher in the season.

Dave’s note: If you are looking to decorate for Autumn, prints of the above images are available. Just click on the photo!