A Spring Break in North Georgia

Heeding the siren call of the cherry blossoms and dogwood trees, I braved plumes of pollen and dodged incoming traffic to capture a few spring moments in our community. It was nice to take a break from travel photography, and to relax behind my camera seeing just what I want to see and not what I want to show. I have new respect for photographers now that I’m trying my hand at travel blogging. Usually when I go on a journey I’m with someone, (hello family!) and I feel guilty for holding a day of sightseeing hostage so I can stop every few minutes to figure out what lens to use. When we do wander around together, I try to alternate camera days, but invariably the days I don’t bring it with me interesting clouds are dotting the horizon and when I do, the atmosphere is as thick as pea soup. And then there’s the gear. I’ve seen some amazing equipment out there, lenses the size of toasters and I’ve come to realize that big isn’t always better. For me at least, travel photography is much easier with a couple of small lightweight fixed lenses, a 50 mm and a wide-angle. Like everything in life there is a balance, and in this case it’s finding the sweet spot between enjoying the moment and documenting it.

When we moved to our community 20 plus years ago, it was mainly rural, and most people didn’t recommend moving “so far” north of the city. Like many urban areas the boundaries between these areas collided and suddenly we’re a northern suburb of Atlanta. The downside of being almost urban is the increase in development, traffic and sadly the loss of a historic building or two. Still, it’s a lovely place to live in the best of both worlds, close to the city, with a touch of the countryside.

An old repair shop, Holcomb’s Machine Shop.
Our little town’s main street, all grown up.
I drive past this charming old fireplace almost every day. I imagine it warming the hands and hearts of a family from long ago. Each time I pass it, I’m thankful that it’s no one has had the stomach to demolish this piece of local history.

I learned that this was the area’s original sheriff’s office. Today, it’s a modern bike and coffee shop, Whitetail Bicycles, catering to those who travel on two wheels instead of four.

I never expected to use my photo session as a sort of historic tour of our area. It was interesting how my experience evolved into a greater appreciation for the beauty in the unexpected, and how happy I was to share what I saw through my lens.

Take care, and happy spring (and a good autumn, Australia!)

e.

75 comments

  • Beautiful photos of a lovely community. For similar reasons regarding travel and photography, I found shooting with a bridge camera to be the perfect compromise and never leave the RV without it. I’ve captured some of my favorite photos on days where I didn’t intend to focus on photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m learning something new today, I’ve never heard of a bridge camera! (Just googled it, hooray! sounds like just what I need.) You’re a great spokesperson for this type of camera, Ingrid, because your photographs are always AMAZING! Thank you, and have a wonderful day!!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find beauty and you certainly proved that! Gorgeous images, I especially love the one of Main Street!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan, and I agree. I’m going to enjoy where I am more often because of it. And yes, two votes for Main Street so far! (I’m always happy when people choose a photograph that jumps out at them. Its so helpful because I have the hardest time being subjective about my own photos!) Have a great day!

      Like

  • Funny you mention Australia – heading there soon!

    As for the photos, they are truly lovely. I’m not a city person by a long stretch, though I did really enjoy Atlanta, back in the 80’s when I was there for a few days. Surrounding areas were beautiful as well. Savannah also struck me with its beauty.

    And funny again – your sentiments echo what a local professional photog told me when he with his toaster-sized lens stopped to chat with a mutual friend I was attending an event with. He also had a smaller camera hung around his neck. I told him I’d always wanted to learn more about photography, but never had the time. His response went something like this, “For me at least, travel photography is much easier with a couple of small lightweight fixed lenses, a 50 mm and a wide-angle. Like everything in life there is a balance, and in this case it’s finding the sweet spot between enjoying the moment and documenting it.” πŸ˜‰ And he took the small camera from his neck and told me to shoot with it that day. It was a Canon PowerShot, which I subsequently bought online. He said he really preferred it over his fancy equipment, as he was lighter and freer to enjoy and capture the moment/s. I’ve really no desire beyond using it, myself. It does everything I want, and more.

    Enjoy! Good to see you here again. xoB

    Liked by 1 person

    • Australia! I follow a wonderful photographer in Australia, lignumdraco.wordpress.com. He’s a great writer and talented photographer, and better yet a wonderful person to chat with, like you! And yes, I’ve read about the Powershot, it is a beloved and popular camera. I really should check it out..one of these days…. Take care, Bela, and enjoy Australia! Take some pics!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  • I could never do it professionally, Elisa. I’m just not that interested in the technical process. Just the end result, which has to be pleasing to my eyes. Shallow, huh? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Good to see you out and about purely enjoying life. I was doing the same in the Algarve just a week or so ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could never be shallow, Jo, just practical! Your photographs are always wonderful because they reflect what you’re feeling, and sharing your moment, and that is very nice for the viewer! I have a business idea – photographer caddies – like in golf. They could suggest the best lens to use and where to stand for the best angle, AND they could carry all your gear! Ha, we’d have to pay them well of course. πŸ™‚ Have a great day, Jo!!

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    • You are absolutely right! Puts a bit of pressure on the photographer…nothing worse than getting home and realizing that your pictures aren’t very interesting! Take care and have a great day.

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  • There’s no place like home, or being a tourist in your own town. Lovely documentary shots, Elisa.

    I think that often, one camera with one lens is all that’s really needed, particularly for travel/documentary photography. One learns to adapt to one’s limitations very quickly. However, if you’re on a dedicated photography tour, then go for as large a kit as you can carry.

    Enjoy your Spring. It’s been a rather wet Autumn here so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, love that – a tourist in my own town. I’ll do it more, I think! If I could have a do-over, I hope I would have discovered my interest in photography earlier – then I would be the one having fun out there with all the amazing equipment. And it’s raining in Australia! Funny, I never think of it raining there, autumn must be the season. Dark and stormy photography awaits! Take care,
      elisa

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  • I really enjoyed this tour, Elisa, and seeing through the eyes and lens of an accomplished photographer. The light you capture is magical. And spring is hopeful and evident here. I especially like that old fireplace standing so tall among the trees and blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  • My sister’s old stomping grounds! That northerner got acclimated pretty darn fast. And I know from visiting her…there are some true treasures along those beaten paths!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, nice to talk to someone who knows the turf. It’s so beautiful, and like you say treasures abound. Now if they could just do something about the traffic. πŸ™‚

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    • Ha, you are right about that. I’m guilty of dreaming of far away places, when really, the best things are right in your own backyard. Thank you, and have a great week!
      elisa

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  • Lovely images Elisa πŸ™‚

    Bridge Cameras…Good all round compromise kit but note that word compromise πŸ˜‰ If you’re looking for a small camera for travel it’s probably worth looking at a Compact System Camera like the Fujifilm X series or Sony or Olympus. These are closer to a DSLR. The optical quality of the lenses for these is usually superior – from personal experience I find that the Fujinon lenses are excellent. Take a look at their standard kit 18-55mm lens – I think it out performs my Canon 24-70mm L series!

    I agree with the sentiment that only taking small fixed length lenses is a good thing. I’ve recently gone back to my roots and bought a Fuji X-Pro2 with a 35mm f1.4 lens (50mm equivalent) – makes me think a lot more about composition than when using a zoom. That camera will be the backbone of my general photography now. I may add a 23mm f1.4 lens in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there, and thank you! I was just responding to a comment to someone who recommended a Canon 35 f1.4 II lens that I’d only heard good things about it, but that I have a Nikon body, which I’m not in love with (a D600). So I’m in that place where I don’t want to invest in any more lenses for now in case I switch to a Canon or the Fuji X Pro 2 that you mentioned. I’m so intrigued with what I’ve read about that camera and I like the idea of going mirrorless. You may have just finally nudged me in that direction….Thanks again and have a great week.

      Liked by 2 people

  • A fantastic set of photos of your little town. Unfortunately, we have a similar sprawl issue along the Front Range here in Colorado. New construction always seems to be going on somewhere. I always thought some of the best places to photograph is close to home. But, I can see your traveler’s eye in your photowork. Just keep doing it. πŸ™‚

    The other stuff … we’re pretty much in countdown mode here – days to graduation, days to the first horse show of the season. The new barn, structure-wise, is done. All that is left is the interior finish work on the barn level and the loft level. The only way between levels, for the moment, is by ladder – girls aren’t too sure about the ladder. I tell them don’t look down. Laurie is fine with going up and down on it (can’t we keep the ladder, forget about stairs). Andrea is so-so with it. I also did one of those same-day trips to your fair city last week – in at noon, out at night – for an afternoon conference on an ongoing project in North Georgia. My part was a 30-min brief on what the numbers mean (not much at the moment).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I understand the creeping sprawl, since populations will always increase, but I’ll never understand why traffic patterns aren’t studied and corrected before it all become so out of control. I guess I sound naive! And you have me beat in the busy department, your plans calmed me down a little bit because I felt like ours was a little out of control. Its not the activity, it’s remembering the details.

      There is SO much going on in North Georgia, I’ll have to let my imagine roam as to what project you’re working on currently. Nice to hear from you and have a great week!

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    • Niki, I love that little fireplace. Looks lonely sometimes, I’m glad we could send it some xoxo. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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  • Serious photography is overwhelming to me, what you’ve produced through your travels is truly beautiful. I have to say this walk through your local area is very special – each photograph tells a story, from the stunning Spring blossoms to the white picket fence and brick fireplace – a time to sit back and really enjoy your surroundings. Wonderful post Elisa – I haven’t been around as much as I like and have missed your beautiful work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do love hearing from you Mary, you write the most heartfelt comments, and I so appreciate them. I would imagine that you would be as talented and natural a photographer as you are an artist. Thank you, thank you, and have a wonderful week.
      elisa

      Liked by 1 person

  • Fabulous shots as usual Elisa, definitely makes me want to head back to the States for a photography trip!! So many places, so little time… Oh and I can’t remember if I mentioned, but I recently bought my wife a 35 f1.4 II L, which she loves and is the only lens she uses on our travels, so I can definitely relate to traveling light…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read only good things about this lens, but alas I have a Nikon. Funny, I’m in that place right now, where I don’t want to buy new lenses because I’m thinking about switching to Canon. So I’m stuck in the land of having a Nikon body and few lenses. I’ll figure it out – but thanks so much for the encouragement. Always appreciated!

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      • Hey Elisa, I also have extensive experience with the Nikon system from my time freelancing at La Trobe University (D3s, D4, D810 & most of the decent lenses) , so if you ever want another just a different opinion please don’t hesitate to get in touch… All the best!

        Like

    • Hi Gail! I would love it if you would do another 365 challenge – you’re so talented. Each day I looked forward to what you were going to do next. Come baaaack!!! πŸ™‚

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  • Looks like a very lovely town. Great photos! My experience with the Atlanta area would be our three trips between our still new to me home here in N. GA. and Florida. Aaaaccckkkk!!! Traffic nearly killed us! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so funny! Our daughter is going to school in Los Angeles, a fun place to visit and see her but the TRAFFIC. But funny, in the last four years, I do think Atlanta is catching up in the worst traffic ever department!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Superb gallery as always Elisa. Enjoyed the lovely wander through your backyard.
    I have just upgraded to a full frame body and am in the process of shortlisting lenses. Finding the right balance between price and weight is proving more difficult than I imagined. The 50mm is a no brainer.

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  • If you hadn’t stated that the bike shop was once the Sheriff’s office, I would have guessed something like an early gas station. I love your posts, and always look forward to them. — YUR

    Liked by 2 people

    • It might have been a gas station in one of its former lives. It funny, there is very little history online about our little area, so I don’t know for sure. Oh noooo…does that mean I have to go to the library? Guess I’m a little gun-shy – ha, no pun intended! Thanks for the nice compliment, it’s what keeps me coming back – all the nice people out there. Have a good one!
      elisa

      Liked by 1 person

  • Spring is long gone, but these are gorgeous photos, Elisa, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Otherwise, I hope you are enjoying the summer, wherever it have brought you. πŸ™‚

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