Despite a few colder days in Atlanta this past week and a very rainy Sunday, I think it’s safe to say it’s finally Spring. If you couldn’t tell by all of the trees and flowers blooming, the birds and critters certainly made it known by their presence.
Lately, I’ve been singing in my head “Changes in Latitude…..Changes in Attitude.” You know, that song by Jimmy Buffet where he sings about “…..taking off for a weekend last month just to try and recall the whole year….” We’ve had a lot of changes happening lately and one that I alluded to in an earlier post (For the Love of Photography – “More to the Story”) involves our recent move. With a slight twist of Jimmy Buffet’s phrase, we’re changing our latitude as we move from our condo on the mountain and we’re changing our attitudeas we quickly adjust to living in a house again!
To say, I’m excited about the move would be an understatement. Life in a condo has its positives, but having a little extra elbow room, green grass under your bare feet and being able to crank up the music without getting a complaint letter…..well, let’s just say it’s “priceless.” But, there is one thing I will miss about our condo. I’ll miss the spectacular, every changing view where each day is unique offering up a different perspective from the day before. I’ve stretched my photography skills with this view….skills that I will continue to use for many years to come.
And so, today, as we officially close the chapter of “One Vinings Mountain” I thought it only fitting to share a few of the views from our last few weeks of “living above it all.” Enjoy!
“Life is a journey, not a destination…..you are the artist, paint what you will!”
Yes, I’ve been away for a while. Life has been life and extremely busy. But, I’ve still managed to take a “few” photos here and there. Today, I’m sharing one from the other night. As the sun was beginning to set in the West, a full moon was rising in the East.
It’s a little transparent because of the sky, and I suppose I could have cropped out a little of the foreground. But, this is what I saw and captured, so I ran with it!
From a weather standpoint the first week of January has been somewhat of a roller coaster. The beginning of the week we found ourselves wearing flip flops, but ending the week bundling up in layers of long johns, gloves and snow boots!
The local Atlanta weather forecasters had the entire city on “Blizzard Alert,” with everyone racing to the grocery stores wiping out all of the milk, eggs and bread. But, as usual, we only ended up with a little ice in the trees and a dusting…..not as pretty as the snow that the suburbs had, but pretty enough to give our little town of Vinings some glitter in the early dawn hours.
The coming week looks like Mother Nature is going to do an about face and the temps will be gradually rising to above average highs. I suppose I should keep those flip flops handy!
I believe there is something magical about a camera. Whether it be the light it captures and how it frames the subject, or the way it translates what it sees to what is seen after the photo is taken……the camera in and of itself is magic.
A few months back, I challenged myself to 30 Days of Shooting in Manual Mode (TV and AV). There were a few days when I was in a hurry and only had time to shoot a lamp or some books on a coffee table……but, I did it! Some shots were similar from one day to the next, some I failed at and into the trash bin they went. But, others were different and magical because I took the time to stop and adjust my settings. Since then, I’ve been consumed with only shooting in manual mode. So what did I learn? A LOT! And, I continue to learn every time I pick the camera up.
Here are a few things I have/am learning by taking control of my camera (note, my settings for each photo are included in the captions):
1. Use That Tripod —- Photos will be sharper….especially when shooting early morning sunrises or night time city lights. In the photo on the left I was in a hurry and while I like what I captured with the settings, the city lights are not as crisp. While, in the photo on the right I used the tripod and the clouds and buildings are a little more crisp.
Buckhead, Atlanta Sunrise Settings: AV f/7.1; TV .6, ISO 250; Focal length 220mm
Buckhead, Atlanta Sunrise Settings: AV f/9; TV 1/1600 sec; ISO 400; Focal Length 102mm
2. Change your perspective — The same subject can have multiple personalities…….move around a little to see what it tells you. In these photos I played around with the exposure too! I took these photos of the Sidney Lanier Bridge (Golden Isles in Georgia) from different angles, but on the same side of the bank.
Sidney Lanier Bridge, Golden Isles Georgia Settings: AV f/29, TV 1/250 sec.; ISO 500; Focal length 170mm
SidneyLanier Bridge, Golden Isles Georgia Settings: AV f/22; TV 1/1000 ISO 500; 100mm
Sidney Lanier Bridge, Golden Isles Georgia Settings: AV f/20; TV 1/500sec; ISO 500, Focal400mm
3. Keep that camera with you — Ok, so your family and friends may get a little irritated with you always schlepping your camera around, but trust me it’s worth it when those unexpected moments occur. Plus, it’s a great way to practice shooting in Manual Mode. My husband and I were out on a jeep ride when he spotted this Georgia Brown Eagle sitting on a rooftop. If I didn’t have my camera (and the big lens) with me I wouldn’t have been able to catch this guy hunting and eventually eating his dinner.
Georgia Brown Eagle Setting: AV f/40; TV1/100sec; ISO 800; Focal length 400mm
Georgia Brown Eagle Settings: AVf/40; TV 1/100; ISO 800; 400mm
Georgia Brown Eagle Setting: AV f/29; TV 1/25 sec. ; ISO 1000; expo +.3
Georgia Brown Eagle Settings: AV f/40; TV 1/25; ISO 1000; Exposure +.3; Focal Length 400mm
4. Magic Lantern — Use your camera to get the look you want instead of waiting to edit in Lightroom or Photoshop. It’s truly amazing how you can control what your camera captures. With just a few adjustments up or down you can transform the visual completely. Both photos below are nice, but with the one on the right I slowed down the shutter speed and opened up the aperture just slightly to show more of the city lights (and, yes I used my tripod)!
Atlanta Skyline at Dusk Settings: AV f5.6; TV 1/8 sec; ISO 640 focal length 32mm
Atlanta Skyline at Dusk Settings: AV f/11; TV 10 sec.; ISO 640; focal length 55mm
When you’re ready to try your hand at Manual Mode here’s a great Photography Cheat Sheet I found over on Pinterest. It’s very easy to follow.
I’ll admit, shooting in Manual Mode can be daunting and it’s not something you want to try your hand with during a special event like weddings, birthday celebrations, etc. But, you will find (just as I have) that understanding “manual mode” will open up a whole new world of photography.
My husband and I live in a condominium which has a panorama skyline spanning from Buckhead to Mid-town to Down-town to the Atlanta Airport. It is a spectacular view that changes daily and often times with each passing moment.
Depending on the time of year, you can experience some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets, each one unique in their own beauty.
The cooler temperatures of the Fall bring some of the most mesmerizing sunrises with vibrant colors of the sky and mist hovering over the Chattahoochee River which seems to almost mirror the brushstrokes of the clouds.
Sunrise coming up behind Buckhead
In the Summer, the shifting angle of the sun oftentimes will paint the city with a soft, muted pallet as it begins to set.
Pink Sunset over Atlanta
But to me, even more unique and spectacular are the storms as they roll in. In a matter of minutes the weather and the view can change:
Sunny skies turn dark and gloomy;
Or, showers and rainbows will cover a portion of the city while the rest of the skyline shines brightly;
The dry, humid summertime weather can also bring heat lightening dancing across the city;
One weekend morning, I was up early and decided to have coffee on the balcony to watch the sun come up. Looking Eastward (towards Buckhead) as the sun was beginning to make its appearance the sky was turning a pinkish/orange color. When I looked West (behind me) the clouds were starting to build and I could tell we were in for a little rain. In a matter of minutes this was my view……..a sunrise rain shower:
“When life seems to be so ordinary, I step out on my balcony to see what I can see; And, take in all it’s beauty whether sun or brewing storm may be.”