Northern Georgia

Wolf Pen Gap, White County, Georgia. September 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 45mm lens on Provia 100F.

While there are a number of well known locales appropriate for landscape photography in this area I am always on the lookout for the quiet unknown locations that allow for the creation of unique images.

This spot along State Road 180 was encountered because we had traveled for the first time toBrasstown Baldto photograph sunrise but had left early, because the sky was overcast. As always in this game luck plays a big role.

Wolf Pen Gap, White County, Georgia. October 2000
Photographed with a Rollei 6008 Integral and Schneider 300mm APO Tele-Tessar on Provia 100F.

Another visit toBrasstown Balda month later produced some effective new photographs. This strongly backlit scene caused me to pull over quickly, not more than a few hundred yards from the spot where the photograph above had been taken some weeks before.

Minnihaha Falls, Rabun County, Georgia. September 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad ArcBody and 35mm Rodenstock lens on Provia 100F.

Additional Technical Notes: 

This was a challenging photograph from several points of view. Though shot in mid-afternoon the falls itself is in very deep shade. The light level was very low (8 seconds @ f/8) while the top of the frame was considerably brighter. A polarizer was a must to reduce specular highlights and a small amount of front rise as well as about 5 degrees of tilt were also required. 

I found this waterfall with the help of a unique little book calledWaterfall Walks and Drives in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Since the falls is on an obscure back road, on an unmarked hiking trail, the chances of coming across it or even finding it without detailed printed directions are slim-to-none. Consequently I highly recommend this book to anyone living, traveling or doing landscape photography in this part of the country.

Minnihaha Fallsis one of the most bucolic locations I’ve ever encountered. After a half-hour or so of photography I spent another 30 minutes just sitting on a rock, listening to the rush of the water, and enjoying the cool early-autumn mountain air. In the hour or so that I was there I saw just 2 other people.

During the last week in September some changes to the leaves had started but full Fall colour was likely still a couple of weeks away.

One thing to note about this falls, as well as several others that I’m visiting this month, is that they are onNational Forestland rather thanState Park land. This means that one is free to wander above, below or through the falls (carefully, of course). The ones in State Parks typically have walkways and observation platforms and prevent you from shooting away from these. Quite a restriction.

During my drive toGreat Smokyfrom Atlanta the last weekend of October I stopped overnight at the town ofDahlonega. This allowed me to do a late afternoon shoot at nearbyAmicalola Falls State Parkand the next morning, I expected, at theChestatee Overlookbordering theChattahoochee National Forest.

Amicalola Falls State Park, Lumpkin, Georgia. October, 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad Arcbody and 35mm lens on Provia 100F.

The lower part of the falls has been closed for several years due to weather damage. The upper section, viewed here from a footbridge, is a pleasant spot to view the scenery but a rather pedestrian location for photography. Possibly it will be more interesting when the colours change.

Woody Gap, Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia. October, 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 30mm lens on Provia 100F.

TheChestatee Overlookturned out to be a bust. Contrary to my usual practice I hadn’t had the opportunity the night before to scout it, and as I sat there in there dark, waiting for sunrise, I soon realized that neither the light nor the locale was going to click, and so neither would I.

I started driving northward and within a few miles came across this view. It was very pleasurable to watch as well as photograph because even though the wind was strong the cloud never seemed to blow past. It kept billowing and growing until this point, when the first pink rays of sunlight were able to illuminate it.

Branches and Lake, Macon County, Georgia. October 2000
Photographed with Rollei 6008 and 180mm lens on Provia 100F.

Though most places in the mountains in early October still had only spotty colour, this tree by the side of a lake was lush and intense in the strong morning backlight. Even the colour of the water is super-saturated by the autumn light.

Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald Sunrise #3, Union County, Georgia. September 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 45mm lens on Provia 100F.

For a complete section devoted to a portfolio of photographs fromBrasstown Bald, the highest mountain inGeorgia, clickhere.