August 29, 2011

The Value of a Photographic Society

I am a member of four photographic societies. Each has helped me become a better photographer in different ways.

The Photographic Society of America has on-line critique groups, which helped me learn skills quickly because as part of the group, you critique everyone else's work. Each member critiques your photographs and all the information is compiled and posted in pdf files for review. It is helpful to see if other members agree or disagree.

The Roswell Photographic Society of Roswell, Georgia is one of my favorites. It meets twice a month, which helps me stay connected to members. The first Monday of each month there is a critique. The third Monday of the month a speaker teaches about photography. In the beginning I attended the critiques but didn't submit. After a few months, I added my image to the collection. These critiques are anonymous, which may motivate you to submit your work. Now, I place in the critique judging. This club also has several juried shows during the year.

Women in Focus is an Atlanta based photography club that meets on the second Wednesday each month. This club also has periodic critiques and an annual juried show. I like this club because there are only women in the group and this provides a less intense environment for the beginner. It is also smaller in size, so it is easier to get to know fellow photographers. This group has an artists' choice show, which is a perfect place to begin showing photography in Atlanta.

Atlanta Photography Group is a group based in Atlanta that has a gallery they support. The club has many juried shows in the gallery each year. They have an open review on the first Wednesday of the month, where you show and explain your work in front of the club and listen to advice from members. This group has a speaker each third Wednesday of the month about a photographic subject. I haven't attended these meetings, but enjoy the shows and recently was juried into In Your Dreams. The competition is stiff here, so beware, but pat yourself on the back should you get in a show.

If you don't live in Atlanta, search the web for a society near you. If there isn't one, consider starting something informal via This is a great way to connect with people that have similar interests and become a better photographer.

August 23, 2011

Unsolicited Advice is Fun at Art Festivals

I really enjoy meeting the public at art festivals. I actually take notes in my receipt book during a show. People see my art and get to talking and one thing leads to another. I thought I'd share some notes from my past shows.

A lawyer asked me if I had copyrighted Big Flower, Little Bird, so I did the very next day. I recommend doing this yourself without a lawyer. If you happen to use Etsy, then look back in your bills and find the first time you listed that item as the "first use." I also recommend only copyrighting images that you are selling. No need to copyright an image that might not sell.

Recently, a birder recommended the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds. This is definitely a super reference book to take on your adventures.

A browser recommended I apply to the Marist School Holiday Traditions art show on November 5, 2011. I have another obligation this year, but thought I would share this info. At a different art show, a customer recommended the Norfolk, VA Stockley Gardens Art Festival, which is Mother's Day weekend.

Several vendors in Virginia were using a Light Dome tent, and they highly recommended this tent. I would love a new waterproof tent!

At the Sunflower Farm Festival, a customer told me that Panola Mountain State Park in Georgia has a night hike the night of the full moon each month.

So, please leave a comment with great advice you received at an art festival... or if you are in the mood, leave me some unsolicited advice.

August 19, 2011

Take your Boat to Florence Marina -- Georgia State Park

Now I want a boat! Just to take it to Florence Marina! I can't believe something so beautiful and relaxing exists so close to my home. This Georgia State Park is part of Eufalla National Wildlife Refuge. I saw beautiful wading birds, spanish moss and peace.

There is a map on page 2 here of the entire refuge, which includes Florence Marina for perspective. Enlarge and print this map before you go. You can view it in your computer by right clicking on the map and select rotate clockwise.

The marina is on the north end of the refuge on Lake Walter F George off of the Chattahoochee River. I saw lots of wildlife here. The US Fish and Wildlife site says that wading birds migrate to here November - February.
Florence Marina State Park
218 Florence Road
Omaha , GA 31821

August 18, 2011

Providence Canyon Georgia State Park is a Must See

Notice the Trail in the Canyon
The three mile rim trail at Providence Canyon could convince you to take up hiking. This was the quietest place I have been in a long time. Talk about peaceful! I will include an image from this park in my upcoming photography show at REI Perimeter, Atlanta.

Don't get out of your car until you reach the visitor center because part of the rim trail is along the street as you drive in and that will spoil the views. The signs at this park say to wear hiking boots, bring [lots of] water and [easy to carry]  food. I would add to wear a hat and bring a friend. Be sure to sign in as you enter the canyon.

Children will especially enjoy this park (not for anyone with a health issue) because there is immediate enjoyment and lots to explore. The dramatic landscape is appealing and condensed into a small area. And, there were several abandoned cars along the rim hike (not removed because it would cause too much damage to the environment). The walk to the canyon floor is a short hike and canyons are close by.
Abandon Car
Another couple walked into canyons 1 and 2 and said that it was very muddy and the path was over grown. This could be a great project for Friends of Georgia State Parks. If you purchase an annual park pass, you automatically become a member. Admission to the parks is $5, so the $50 parking pass pays for itself quickly.

Here is a link to a detailed map of the park. Print this map before you go, so you have a color version.

8930 Canyon Road
Lumpkin , GA 31815
Unidentified Plant
Rare plum leaf azaleas grow here, but I didn't see any blooming on 8/17/2011. But I found this plant on the left. Do you know what this is?

I preferred the drive down to Columbus, Georgia on 185, exiting at 1A; this seemed like less time on back roads. After visiting Providence, be sure to leave time to watch the sun set at Florence Marina State Park. These parks are about 16 miles apart and are about 2.5-3 hours south of Atlanta.

August 08, 2011

Folly Beach is an Enjoyable Listen

Sunrise on Folly Beach
 I am just back from Virginia Beach. I drove to the beach with Dorothea Benton Frank's Folly Beach playing. I selected this book because I visited there last February and the word beach in the title jumped at me. Folly Beach is located in South Carolina near Charleston; I attended SEWE there.


The story flips back and forth between the present day life of Cate Cooper and a play about Dorothy and DuBose Heyward's life and the writing with George Gershwin "Porgy and Bess" in 1934.

The best part of the book is Frank's language and narration. I like the historical fiction mixed in. (Read a little Folly history on this site.) It is easy to see, hear, touch and smell life through Cate Cooper. Who definitely got an eye full, finding her husband dead at the very beginning of the tale. She later discovers his life wasn't the only thing he took from her, an interesting novel in our current economy.

The Road to Folly Beach View
But the real story here is a delightful romance between Cate Cooper and John Risley. This is a down to earth book with Southern etiquette, tips about being a mom and dating questions all told through great descriptive writing. I'd love to cook all the recipes in the book! The ideas of melting syrup and butter together for pancakes and eating a delicious pecan pie (but maybe the recipe is on the back of the karo bottle) bring on hunger pains. One of my favorite lines in the book is, "Sometimes I wonder if women ever do anything else besides grocery shop, cook, eat, and clean up the kitchen." Visit the author's site at