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Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Donald Miller, Oct 20, 2003.
What kind of places are you looking to shoot at?
A couple of shots I missed last month traveling from NY to Austin Tx:
In Ga, Miss and La they have a vine that is locally called the vine that ate the South. I think its name is something like Kudzoo. At any rate, it covers EVERYTHING, and I mean it covers. It covers 40ft trees completely and a whole row of them, like a blanket of snow. It makes a beautiful scene that I realized I had no idea how to photograph it. It gives a very sensual appearance and you feel it is undulating when it's not even moving in the wind. In b/w I felt I could not capture the feelings it gives and in color, well, I felt it was a waste of a good scene.
We then drove to Beaumont/Port Arthur (Home of Janice Joplin) Tx where I wanted to photograph the oil fields in Pt. Arthur. I parked the car on the side of the road and the skys started darkening over the Gulf and a huge downpour started that got worse and worse. Rattling thunder and tremendous bolts of lightening We had to leave without the shot.
Perhaps you will get them.
just in case you're trying to find more info about the vine, it's spelled "kudzu"
On the Texas Gulf coast, Rockport and Galveston have plenty of shrimper fleets, oil rigs, old rattle trap buildings and other sorts of local color. Lafayette, Louisiana is the heart of Cajun country, and I would recommend visiting Breaux Bridge, the Atchafalaya Basin, and if you are really adventurous and want to see some real wetland living, go on down to Golden Meadow and Larose, then head back up the river to New Orleans.
New Orleans is very picturesque, and also very dicey, crime-wise. Be aware, talk to some locals, and don't just assume that walking four blocks away from Bourbon Street will be necessarily safe. If you are planning on doing big camera photography in N.O., I would highly recommend the buddy system. If you are using handheld cameras, be discrete and non-flashy. New Orleans is one of the few places around where getting robbed at gunpoint by a six foot tall transvestite will just generate a yawn from the police officer taking the report.
North of N.O. try the River Road and visit some of the old ante-bellum plantations on the way to St Francisville and Cottonport.
There are quite a few small towns in Ga. that still have old buildings still standing. Around Savannah theres a very large number of old architecture going all the way beck to one pre civil war fort I've been to.
The barrier islands all down the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have very interesting flavors to them.
Also consider Charleston, another vintage city. Haven't been there yet but I've heard good things about it.
Get in touch with me when you get into the Georgia area, I might be able to find some contacts for you.
glbeas has suggested some interesting things for Ga. If you come in to Altanta the architecture is not really exciting. Too new and modern for my taste, however, if you like a lot of glass buildings it might be just the ticket.
Depending on the direction coming from , between Columbus Ga and Atlanta there are several small towns that have some interesting old buildings. Eufala has some very old homes down main street, but lots of trees and funky lighting.
North of ATlanta there are many wonderful waterfalls. If you go to atlanta buy the book waterfalls in north Georgia, and you will find many wonderful places. I specially recommend Panther creek if you feel like doing a good hike while you photograph, a beautiful place with many wonderful opportunities.
I lived in Pensacola for a while. Since you've visited Panama City I won't be telling you anything you don't already know but that part of Florida, in the Panhandle, is pretty ho-hum. It's not the scenic Florida that most folks think of as being "Florida."
That said, there are a few exceptions. I thought P'cola Bay was pretty and there are some gorgeous, quiet views from the beaches and cliffs along Scenic Highway.
The old town area of P'cola around the harbor has some nice older buildings that would suit the themes you've been working toward. There are both some well maintained older buildings, some that are in various stages of refurbishment and some that are abandoned and decaying. (BTW, I was last there six or seven years ago so some things may have changed - but not much, I'd reckon; P'cola is a slow town.)
Mobile is somewhat similar to Pensacola in overall style. I don't think it's worth a special trip, but that's just my opinion.
BTW, didja know there are only two seasons along the Gulf Coast? Yup. There's Mardi Gras. And there's Gittin' Ready For Mardi Gras.
In Florida beware of looking like a professional photographer in a State park (eg, homestead sites) - I understand they try to charge a fee if you plan on selling your pictures. If you do come to Florida, you might wish to contact LF camera groups in the State ( currently two - Cental Florida & NE Florida LF groups) for members' suggestions/guidance.
Just wanted to make sure I am not scaring you away from New Orleans. It is a really cool town, sort of psuedo-european in the French Quarter. What I want to convey is that it is a city where you can go from safe to dangerous very quickly, often within the space of a few blocks without realizing it. Just be aware. If you confine your walking to the area between the river and Bourbon street, you are pretty much okay.
Those grave yards out on the way to the airport are areas to have a group of people with while photographing also. Not in the best neighborhoods.
If you find yourself in s. LA, then you may want to check out Port Fourchon. Its more a less a crap town, but there is a lot of fishing and oil field service things there, whihc might make for interesting photos. I've been meaning on going to Battleship Texas Monument here in Houston, which may prove useful to you as well. Galveston Island is also a possibility for coastline and old architecture. Its been about 6 years since I was there so I can't say exactly where to check out. Hope this helps.
With regard to tripods, I've photographed all over the Southeast for decades and have never had anyone challenge a tripod with one exception. I was taking a shot of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta and a security guard did not want me on the grass - as long as I stayed on the sidewalk, I was fine.
I've never been to Kansas, so I don't know what kind of humidity you're used to. In the Southeast, particularly along the coast and particularly in Florida, the water fills the air and causes a harsh glow to everything. At the same time, the brightness of the sun can cause extreme SBRs. It's not impossible to photograph, just different at some times of the year. The fall is usually the better time of year for lower humidity without a lot of rain.
The humidity combined with the flatness of much of the landscape means there are not a lot of the huge vistas seen in the west. As a result, I think you are wise to be thinking about structures.
In many areas, wetlands have gotten harder to shoot - lots of development along the water in many places. You might want to make a list of state parks and do a bit of research. You might also want to research guides in the area you choose. Some of the wetlands are reachable only by boat.
If you decide to come to NE Florida - Jacksonville, St. Augustine - , as Doug says, we have a LF group here. Let me know and we'll give you some suggestions.
Don, if you go over to the Atlantic side near the Jacksonville area, be sure not to miss the Georgia Barrier Islands - Jekyll(!), St. Simon's and Cumberland Island. There's also the Altamaha Swamp, on US 13 a few miles West of Brunswick, Ga. Also, if you're willing to go a few hours North of there, both Savanah and Charleston are inexhaustible sources for fine photographs.
If you get into Florida...
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park ("St. Joe Spit") southwest from Apalachicola has some high dunes and white sand beaches, with some good vantages from dune crossovers.. The spit is oriented n-s.
Apalachicola and Carrabelle are still to some extent fishing towns although rampant gentrification is "ruining" them and steadily turning them into versions of Seaside. Get 'em before they're gone. There's an interesting lighthouse (Crooked River Light) back in the pines just west of Carabelle on US 98.
Continuing eastward, eat at The Oaks at Ochlockonee Bay and the Spring Creek Restaurant at Spring Creek.
The character of the coast changes east of Ochlockonee Bay; it becomes wide salt marshes without beaches, and is a low-energy area of the Gulf.
In Wakulla County, be sure to go to Wakulla Springs and take the boat ride down Wakulla River. That's feasible for handheld photography only, but it's a great trip.
Continuing east on US 98, just after the bridge at Newport is the turnoff to the right to the St. Marks NWR. Here there's lots of wildlife, upland and marsh views, and a nice lighthouse at the end of the road. As for food/supplies, the nearest are a couple of beer joints at Newport; there's nothing in the refuge.