Failure to Launch

I was invited to help with photography for the John Hunter Regatta at the Lake Lanier Olympic Rowing Course in Gainesville, Georgia this past weekend.  It was my first time experiencing a rowing regatta and it was a lot of fun.  This was a special treat because I was able to get in close on the teams while they were preparing for races as well as when they were on the course.

One of my favorite moments over the weekend was the scene above.  I was watching teams launch their boats and saw this one from Northwestern University.  They brought the boat down the ramp and went through the same routine as other teams – Lift overhead, filp the boat, reach out and in, then get the oars set and the rowers into the boat and they were off.  Or so it would seem…


The next thing I knew, the boat was upside down and the team members were swimming.  It happened that just as the Northwestern boat was passing by the end of the dock, another team was in the process of dropping their boat in and the oars got tangled and capsized them.  The second team ended up with their boat sideways but they were able to pull it back out without going into the water.


After a fair amount of effort to get the team out of the water and then haul the boat up on the dock, they picked it up and all that water dumped out on their heads.  As it turned out, the Northwestern team was able to re-launch and participate in the race but I bet it was very uncomfortable rowing out there soaking wet!


John Hunter Regatta 2017
Lake Lanier Olympic Course
Gainesville, Georgia

Featured image:
Nikon D7100
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G
85mm @ f/10 –  1/400 sec – ISO 400

River-walk reflection

It seems that the time-change has extended the hours of the River Walk along the Chattahoochee in Roswell.  Joyce and I went out around 5PM yesterday to walk along the river with the thought that we would be pretty much alone.  That was not at all the case.  The walkway was still very much in use and there were parties in the pavilions along the river.  It seems that, since this was a nice, warm and sunny day, everyone had the same idea.  I guess the fact that we just made the spring-ahead time change had something to do with it since there was no hint of the sun setting anytime soon.

We spotted this Canada Goose along the way.  I just loved the reflection in this scene.  Of course, within a couple of minutes, all the other passers-by saw it as well and the geese swam off due to all the close attention.  Oh well, at least i got a decent shot before that.

Chattahoochee River Walk – Roswell, Georgia
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
210mm @ f16 –  1/20 sec – ISO 160


It is amazing how a bit of water can make an area so attractive.  This is a scene you see often when walking across the new board walk along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell.  The wild life is always around in this marshy area that borders the river and separates the roadway from the main waterway.  Birds like these geese feed here and seem to be pretty much at ease with all the human activity nearby.

It is sad however, that there have to be signs all over this area to tell people not to feed the animals.  During the summer you often see people with their kids out giving bread to the ducks and geese.  Of course, this makes them dependent on humans and causes incidents where wild animals react the way they are meant to which scares people who interact with them.  Then you have trouble and it is our fault, not theirs.  Just remember to enjoy nature from a distance and keep the wild things (and the people) away from harm by not trying to turn them into pets.

Roswell River Walk
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

Right in my own backyard

So, this bird is majestic and absolutely amazing.  I have to say though, I am a bit disappointed.  This is one of the pair of eagles in captivity at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  It does not make her any less beautiful but, I was hoping to see her wild cousins that frequent the area.

We had heard that the wild eagles were in the area and seen other photographers images so, Joyce and I made the trip over yesterday.  Well, it was a very short trip as the Nature Center is only 15 minutes or so from my house.  Anyway, it was a beautiful day with the temperature around 72° so how could it be bad?

We met up with a fellow photographer who comes to the center all the time.  He had seen one of the wild eagles just a short time before we met up with him.  That one had gone off to hunt along the river and unfortunately, didn’t return while we were there.  At least now I know where to look for them so, maybe we’ll get lucky next time!

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f13 –  1/20 sec – ISO 200

Like Water off a Duck’s back

Well, actually it’s a Canada Goose but you get the idea.  This is a shot from one of our walks on the Roswell River Walk near the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  The boardwalk cuts through a wetland area between the street and the river which attracts lots of water birds.

Geese and ducks wade about here most of the time and we were watching as this one was preening.  With its neck turned backwards, the goose kept pushing beak through feathers and splashing in the water.  The day was overcast, foggy and cold but it was fun to watch and a nice place for a walk.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f6.3 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

Chattahoochee fog

Last week offered some interesting weather to try to photograph.  The week started with the rainy, foggy weather you see here and ended with ice and snow.  Oh well, it’s supposed to be into the 70’s this week.  This is change of seasons in Atlanta – the season changes every day!

This view is actually from the new River Walk boardwalk near the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  It is a very nice walk which I expect will be great to explore as the seasons actually change over the year.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
22mm @ f/16 –  1/25 sec – ISO 400

Shootin the ‘Hooch in Helen

Summer-time in Atlanta means finding a way to cool off. This is one of the favorites.

On our way back from visiting Georgia’s highest point at Brasstown Bald, Joyce and I made a stop in “Alpine” Helen, Georgia. This little town is a favorite mountain spot for many Atlantans to visit especially during the summer and fall seasons.  In the Fall, Oktoberfest is the big draw since Helen has been made to look like a Bavarian village and is its biggest claim to fame.  In the summer, the big thing to do is tubing down the Chattahoochee River which flows right through the middle of town.

Brasstown Bald_2016 Jul 31_0083

The tubing business is so dominant here during the summer that you can hardly cross the street without seeing another bus full of tubes and/or people being carted back and forth.

For folks in the Atlanta area, we think of the Chattahoochee as a major river, our main water source and the topic of never-ending debate over who owns the rights to the use of the liquid that supplies numerous communities downstream.  In Helen, the “great” river is more of a stream.  These are the headwaters of the river and it is easy to cross and only knee-deep in many places.  That makes this a great place to enjoy a little cool refreshment with kids of all ages.

The Alpine City of Helen
on the Chattahoochee River
Helen, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
62mm @ f/6.3 – 1/640 sec – ISO 100

Hiding under a Bridge

Why do we both fear and crave dark, closed off spaces?

What is it about the underside of bridges that can both draw you in and scare you away?  There is shade from the sun but also dark shadows which could hide unknown dangers.  You can look out at the world passing by and somehow be shielded from it.

When you seek out a cool, protected spot to relax and enjoy the day, are you hiding?  The fairy stories of old spoke of Trolls hiding under bridges waiting for unsuspecting people to pass by so that they could jump out and attack them.  Why is it that we both fear and desire the cave-like environment that is present here?  Maybe it is the unknown that we feel both frightened and thrilled by.  But, how can we ever know anything new if we don’t risk the unknown?

It seems that the feelings we get from a place are mostly in our heads.  Where ever we go, we bring our emotions with us.  If we are cowardly hiding from the world a spot under the bridge is a cave that shuts others out.  If we are bravely seeking adventure, it is a mysterious land to be explored.  Or if you are like me, it is simply a break from the heat and a place to stop and watch the world float by on a lazy Saturday morning.  The place does not create our emotions, we project what is in our minds onto what we see.  So you decide if you will be the coward, the hero or the happy wanderer.

Daily Prompt: Cowardice

Under the Bridge
Along the Chattahoochee River
near Roswell Riverside Park
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7000
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro

#Atlanta #ATL #ChattahoocheeRiver #RoswellRiversidePark #Roswell #Georgia #bridge #river #shade #trolls