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Photographers and Artists

My New Home?

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My New Home?

Postby Savannah_Alan » Wed 14 Dec 2005 05:49 GMT

For the second weekend running, I've been up to the North Georgia mountains looking for a house to buy.
I've been struggling for years here in Savannah to find any decent scenery (apart from architecture) to photograph. In contrast, the area I am looking at (Dahlonega/Suches) is even beautiful in the dead of winter. I've had to force myself to ignore the photo ops and concentrate on the job on hand.
This shot was taken in Suches, which is a very small valley town at 3,000 feet in the Blue Ridge mountains and right on the Appalachian trail. I was flying about looking at property at the time, but couldn't resist this one at sunset.

(Click on image for a larger version)
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(Nikon D70s. Tokina 12-24mm Zoom at 24mm. F5.6 at 1/60 sec)

Ahh, you can keep your city offices - I think I'll come here and grow a beard :wink: .

Alan.
Last edited by Savannah_Alan on Sat 17 Dec 2005 22:38 GMT, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SSue » Wed 14 Dec 2005 22:42 GMT

Beautiful pic Alan. Hope you find your paradise soon.

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Postby Kay » Thu 15 Dec 2005 07:26 GMT

Wow!

I couldn't see this yesterday as our connection was very poor. Even when it was on it was so slow it was like running on candle-power. I'm glad I came back for another look.

This is a definite pic of the week! BTW, your Thanks Giving one was last week's, thanks. This week I've used an old photo of mine to fill the space.
Next week I've got some more images to go with an article for the Tate so yours will need to be queued in. Typical! Some weeks I've nothing and then I'm spoiled for choice! :P

It certainly looks like a beautiful place to stay. Good luck!
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Thu 15 Dec 2005 15:46 GMT

Thanks Sue and Kay :D .

It really is a beautiful area up there. For some reason, I seem to be having a rash of job offers which would take me to cities (including a very lucrative offer to go to work in Malibu), but I'm turning them down because I'm being pulled to this area.

I may live to regret it, but somehow the thought of being poor in Dahlonega seems nicer than being wealthy in Malibu :? . My brother thinks I'm crazy - maybe he's right.

Anyhoo, here's another photo taken at the same time. It was in RAW format, so I've only just converted it. Which one do you guys prefer? The one I choose, I'm going to have blown up to poster size. I have found a place that does a really excellent job of it for only $9.90 each one!

(Click on image for larger version)
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(Nikon D70s. Tokina 12-24mm zoom at 12mm. F22 - 1.6 Sec.)

Alan.
Last edited by Savannah_Alan on Sat 17 Dec 2005 22:41 GMT, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Dave » Thu 15 Dec 2005 16:33 GMT

At first I thought I definitely preferred the second one, Alan - the brightness of the clouds gave it a bit of "Wow!" factor.

But now I'm not so sure - the more subdued colours in the first one give it more of a sense of remoteness - almost bleakness. Maybe if you cropped the little bit of road off the second one it might help recapture something of the same impression.
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Postby Kay » Thu 15 Dec 2005 16:47 GMT

This is like playing "spot the difference" :lol:

Both are great pics. On balance I think I prefer the first. It's a very minor point, but in the first the hills in the middle of the background look higher and more attractive. There are other little things too which somehow make the first more attractive IMO. Of course, if I hadn't seen the first I would still be very impressed by the second.

Dave has just set it up on his computer so we can flick between the large versions easily and the more we discuss them the more we prefer the first one.

It'll be interesting to hear the others' views. :D
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Postby Dave » Thu 15 Dec 2005 16:54 GMT

Kay wrote:This is like playing "spot the difference" :lol:


One of the key differences is the zoom - 24mm in the first, 12mm in the second. I think that's a major part of why the first is that bit more atmospheric. In the first, you've got a fairly wild-looking landscape, with menacing branches thrusting in from the left and some buildings doing their best to hide behind some rising ground, and brooding hills looming up in the background. In the second, with the wider view you can see that it's all a bit more civilised: the branches are anchored firmly by the trunk of the tree, which lessens their dynamic impact a bit; the buildings are outbuildings of a larger house, which is served by a metalled road and set within fenced land; and the hills look a lot further off.

Kay's right - out of two impressive photos, the first is the more impressive on balance.
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Postby Kay » Thu 15 Dec 2005 17:00 GMT

I may live to regret it, but somehow the thought of being poor in Dahlonega seems nicer than being wealthy in Malibu


And we'd rather be poor in Thailand than be rich in the rat race. Go for it, Alan! Go and live where you think you'll be happy and enjoy the scenery. :D

I'm looking forward to seeing more pics of the area.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Thu 15 Dec 2005 17:33 GMT

Great to have such insightful thoughts on the shots. I think you're both right. Certainly the second one has more impact because of the colour, and I like the fence on the left of the second shot, but the first does have atmosphere.
A minor point, but the horses are positioned more in the "golden third" than in the second shot also.

I may go back and post process the first shot again, to see what I come up with. The first shot was taken as a jpg, while the second was taken as a Nikon RAW file, which permits greater flexibility in post processing.
I may also take Dave's suggesting and play about with some cropping.

And we'd rather be poor in Thailand than be rich in the rat race. Go for it, Alan! Go and live where you think you'll be happy and enjoy the scenery. Very Happy

I'm grateful for your support on that front Kay. There's just something about the place - the scenery, the nature and the wilderness - that has a tangible soothing effect and just makes me feel better. I can spend my free time hiking and photographing the endless mountains, waterfalls etc...
It was only when I got back to this area, that it really brought it home to me what a struggle it has been to find interesting subjects for my photography here. Up there, every turn I took seemed to produce another photo opportunity - multiply all of those by the four seasons that they get up there and I'd have no reason to moan about having nothing to photograph again!
That's not to mention that the North Georgia mountains boast the best motorcycling roads in the state :D .
I can still do my real estate up there and that particular area has quite a bouyant real estate market due to people wanting to get away from Atlanta for a while.
It may be a struggle to survive, but I really think I should give it a go.

Anyhoo, thanks for the comments on the photos - much appreciated and very interesting.

Alan.
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Postby SSue » Thu 15 Dec 2005 22:33 GMT

Not being a professional in any way, and just simply enjoying what I see and feel from a photo, I prefer the second shot best. It's most probably the artist in me that just loves the sky. It looks like fire in it. I'm a sucker for a beautiful sky. :roll:

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Postby ruggie » Fri 16 Dec 2005 11:30 GMT

How about trying the second one in portrait format?

Image

This also gets rid of the barrel distortion from the wide angle lens, but seems to lose some of the depth and mood. Postprocessing could help (reduce saturation in the hills to make them recede) if done very delicately. Quite a long job, but worth it if you're going to print a poster.

There are endless possibilities with these two images. Don't rush into print until you've had time to experiment!
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Fri 16 Dec 2005 15:41 GMT

Yes, I'll play around with different crops and also further post processing. Where is the barrel distortion evident? I most often correct this on interior and architectural images, but usually on lasdscapes, unless something is very close to the lens, it is not at all apparent.

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Postby ruggie » Sat 17 Dec 2005 16:48 GMT

Now I stop to think, it can't be barrel distortion because it's the horizontal centreline of the image - that really is quite a bowl-shaped valley :oops:

In the end, I think I'll vote for the first image. The only problem I have with it is (at the resolution you have posted) what appears to be a little stony bridge over a stream. It needs toning down to stop it standing out and distracting my eye from the real flow of the composition.

Might be an artifact of the scaling down - Could you email me the full sized image? (I'll PM you with a suitable address, rather than stick it in the public domain)
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Postby ikennedy » Sat 17 Dec 2005 22:21 GMT

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Postby SSue » Sat 17 Dec 2005 23:39 GMT

Brilliant photos.......thanks for sharing. :D

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