October 26, 2010

Vogel State Park is Worth the Drive

We really enjoyed Vogel State Park this past weekend. The park is located in the northeastern corner of Georgia. There were the usual park activities, and we had time to partake because we spent both nights in the campground. Here is the view of the park from the paddle boat in the video in the middle of this post. It's just 2 minutes. Go easy on me this is my first video.

The park was so pretty in October. I love the easy hike around the Lake Trahlyta; we clocked the walk at 1.44 miles. The park bulletin says to pronouce the lake's name Tra - lee- ta. Halfway around you will find the waterfall in the video. There is a path to the left of the damn that made the descent easier, but it wasn't that hard and children would like climbing near the falls.

The Vogel State Park and Lake Trahlyta were built by the civilian conservation corps beginning in 1934. The park has a nice layout and is reached by a mostly four-lane highway drive (GA 400 and then Hwy 19) from Atlanta. I drove my oldest home, so he could spend the night at a friend's on Saturday, but drove back to the park so we could continue our adventure. I did this because I really wanted my oldest to be with us Friday night. I think this is part of adapting family needs and kid needs.

The putt-putt course is perfect for a family activity and has a gorgeous view of Blood Mountain. The campsites are pretty close together, but that must be on purpose to fit as many visitors as possible as the park accomodations were sold out. The cabins are further apart and cabin numbers 33, 34 and 35 were right on the lake and out of the way.

Oh, and the park hosts giant Rhododendron bushes all around the lake. They bloom around the 4th of July according to the park staff. I can't wait to go back and see these!

Vogel State Park
405 Vogel State Park Road
Blairsville , GA 30512
(I am visiting, photographing, and blogging all of the GA state parks in one year. This is park number 5 out of 48).

October 22, 2010

What Inspires Me? Country Music

Beautiful things, especially. I love Baccarat crystal in the light, a pretty sunset and a smile on my child's face. But at the last photography talk, a woman asked me what inspired me for my photographs. I didn't have time to answer her because the speaker was about to start, but I have been thinking.

One of big enjoyments is country music. An employee got me to start listening to Sara Evans several years ago. It took a while to learn the players and decide which musicians and singers I like the most. But the country market is small and well defined, so it didn't take long. One of my favorite things about the music is there are days when I hear a song and I am back in my grandfather's car driving around with him.

Many of my photography titles are country music titles. I remember thinking of Brad Paisley's "Little Moments" when I captured this magnolia shot to the left. His song, Little Moments, is an endearing song about a man loving a woman even with all the mistakes she makes. I thought of the song because the flower was beautiful in itself.

The song in my head right now is off of Zac Brown Band's new CD titled You Get What You Give. The song is titled "Let It Go." It's a perfect song for today's world. The CD is a nice peaceful relaxing work (even the breakup songs). Check it out.

Let it Go
by the Zac Brown Band
Spent the night with a friend of mine and a handle of good whiskey
We picked guitars and talked about how the glory days we missed 'em
And it didn't take too long to find the truth inside that bottle
Cast a-sea so long ago was a message from my father.

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go

Looking back now on my life I can't say I regret it
And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma woulda had it
But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it
And when a pony he comes riding by you better set your sweet ass on it

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go

Like a sweet sunset in Georgia let it go
And like the fear that grabs ahold ya let it go
Let it go
Let it go

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can't
You gotta let 'em go

I will be looking for this image this weekend. It's a great thought that I need to remember, recall and act on. Hopefully, with this song playing in my car, it will be close to top of mind! And, it is Fall in Georgia, so I will also be looking for a Coat of Many Colors image to do justice to Dolly Parton's beautiful lyrics I blogged recently.

What inspires you? Please comment and let me know.

October 16, 2010

Atlanta Photo Alliance Strikes Gold or at Least ROY G. BIV

What an amazing collection of images presented by the inspiring photographer who took them! Jay Maisel confessed that 2 or 3 of his images were altered and bore the initials A.I. on them at the end of his presentation. He must have shown us 500-750 striking, thought-provoking works in the course of his three hour presentation.

I thought I would pass on some of the tips that resonated most with me. And, I like his quotes…

“The light in Brooklyn is just as good as the light in Florence” began Maisel, and he presented many images taken at home, on his street, from his building and of his family in NYC. I found this book of his on amazon, but have not looked at it.

And, speaking of something very close to home, Maisel showed us a partial picture of the FedEx logo. I see it everyday many times. And, I was shocked. Here is an image I took, and a link to info about the creator of this very cool logo. Study this before clicking the link and try to guess what is really cool about the logo that you may not have noticed before. Here's the link, but use your eye first. (Doesn't the logo stick out?)

His big themes for the evening were gesture and color. He said there has to be a trigger for getting you to take the image. Gesture is the motion of a person or object that makes you think to take the photograph or presents it in a unique way for you to push the shutter. Maisel had many people shots that illustrated this. The image of his daughter not wanting to be photographed in hair curlers is an example. Can you picture her face?

Throughout the talk he interwove images with a screen, fence or curtain in between the subject and the camera. Sometimes the atmosphere (rain, smoke, fog or snow) was the screen. In these shots the device often became the subject. To the right the fountain underneath became the subject through the water. His photographs are magnificent and intriguing to figure out. I couldn’t look away. I like this mysterious element of his work. His art was so beautiful. I did think of the Slumdog Millionaire movie while watching his presentation. If you haven't seen this movie rent it.

Cartier Bresson was there on some level. Maisel said, “Try to find a stage and people will come.” He stands in front of a vibrant background waiting for a new subject to fall into the frame. He said that he does this a lot on 42nd street because there are so many folks. And, for photographing people he recommends a big smile and positive, outgoing attitude. He also suggested using your brain and avoiding certain people that look like they might not want their photograph taken. Maisel referred to Paul Graham's color event, like the decisive moment. Click on his page and you will see immediately what Maisel was referring to.

Maisel recommended studying art, not just photography. During his talk he referenced complementary and monochromatic schemes from the color wheel.

He said walk 180ยบ around the subject just to check that you really have the best view. Jay Maisel recommended hearing Duane Michals speak if we had the opportunity. I recommend hearing Jay Maisel. Three hours was short! He carries a 28mm - 300mm lens on his camera and always has the camera with him.

October 10, 2010

Georgia DOT Wildflower Project

You've seen this sign if you live in Georgia. Here are a few images from Highway 41 near Griffin, Georgia. One of my favorite activities is to take photographs through the sunset. It is amazing how much the meter needs to be adjusted as it gets darker.

October 05, 2010


My framer says, "Your flowers look like they are moving." Here is one titled "Flying" from today, October 5th, 2010. unaltered.

Birthday Bliss!

So what do you do for fun on your birthday! I used to have a big party each year... and then got too old for that.. or it some how seemed self-centered to host a party for myself. Anyway, today is my big day.
So, it's 2010... and what did I do today for fun? Of course, my work is fun for me!

Here's "On the Edge"  below from a pretty Zinnia garden on Mount Vernon Road. Above is "Yellow!" I have applied the poster edges filter from photoshop to both images. This is one of my favorite filters. Let me know what you do fun for your birthday and try out this filter on a simple photograph without lots of detail. I like it because it makes the image appear sharper.

October 01, 2010

Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors Brings Fall Inspiration

Many years ago, I took my children to Dolly Parton's Amusement Park in Tennessee called Dollywood. On the way out of town, I stopped at a used CD store and picked up several of her albums. We listened to them on the way there and back home. While we at the park, we had lots of fun and learned quite a bit about music too. I bought the Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton and was delighted to find Shania Twain's version of Dolly's song "Coat of Many Colors" on the CD. The lyrics below and a video of the women together above will inspire you and me both in some fall art.
Coat of Many Colors

Back through the years
I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together

Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read

About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
So with patches on my britches
Holes in both my shoes

In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told 'em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly PartonThis wonderful song is a sweet thought about wealth and what it is. And, brings to my mind images of hiking in the Smoky Mountains. Take a walk outside with your camera in the next weeks of fall colors and capture some.