Big surprises for Georgia botanical lovers

International Gardens at Armstrong Atlantic State University

The International Gardens at Armstrong Atlantic State University is a surprise to many.

The main garden is located behind the administration building called Burnett Hall. It encompassed areas on both sides with a evergreen graden, and many floral varieties. The walkways of the main quadrangle are lined with greenery, flowers and trees as well. The International Garden has a serene pagoda style structure with a small fountain, benches and an arbor in between Hawes & Solms Hall. Be sure to see the Ginger Garden in front of the Learning Commons. The best times to visit are the weekends and any time the college is on break. Map of AASU

Nesting woodstorks and egrets a wonderful experience

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May is a wonderful time at Harris Neck NWR. Woody Pond is the home of nesting woodstorks and great egrets. Throughout the refuge there are also other sites- baby alligators, anhinga, red-winged blackbirds, white ibis and even hummingbirds.

To see stills from the field trip, visit my G+ or Flickr pages. 🙂

 

Savannah photographic field trips

Great blue heron fishing along the Diversion Canal  down the embankment of Wildlife Drive.

Great blue heron fishing along the Diversion Canal down the embankment of Wildlife Drive.

Savannah has a vast variety of playgrounds for photographers. If wildlife photography is your passion, there are many refuges, sanctuaries and state parks within an hour’s drive or less. The images here are from a recent trip to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, located just over the Savannah River on SC Highway 170. There are seven trails that are accessible by foot or bicycle along the main Wildlife Drive which can be driven by car. Habitats include marshland, hard woods and open water. During this short trip there were coots, herons, ibis, black birds, finches and alligators. There are so many species enjoying the spring weather it is hard to keep track.

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Common gallunile enjoying a diet of water plants along the John Hill Canal at the Savannah NWR

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American alligator has moved from an endangered species to thriving. During this field trip there were four visible ‘gators along the canals at the SNWR but many more were unseen but audible.


Some things to keep in mind for photography field trips are not only bringing the right equipment but the smaller things to make the trek more enjoyable. These items include bug spray, water, and a hat.

This trip was a quick trip for me even though I thought I would be fine for the two hours I would be at the refuge, I realized afterward that I did need a few items. The temperatures here in May are still mild. The hotter days are still to come, but that doesn;t mean that being out in the open under the sun can not only wear you out it can dehydrate you. Water and a hat are essential even for short trips. Bugs at present are not bad- just wait for the sand gnats, no-see-ums, and mosquitos! Hiking through higher grasses and weeds and being in the hard wood areas, you may still have to deal with ticks, so don’t forget the bug repellent.

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. So along with the longer lenses, filters and other photographic tools, pack a small cooler with water, maybe a snack to stay energized and your protective gear. I tend to also wear old clothes and comfortable, supportive shoes for the hikes along the trails. Happy trails!

Blood Moon Excitement

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This celestial occurance coincides with the final night of my Advanced Creative Photography class. It is in this course that my students go from the default Evaluative light meter setting to the more precise Partial/Center-Weighted and Spot meters. The blood moon or total lunar eclipse will be a great opportunity for them to try their hand at using that handy spot meter and the applied zone system techniques on this rather exciting subject matter.

For more on how to shoot the moon, check out the archives for the article regarding the Super Moon.

Blood Moon Excitement

Applying the Zone System in Color

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My private Advanced Creative Photography class met this morning for their second field trip. Applying the Zone System with color was a bit harder becuase we do not tend to see tonal value as we look at a colored object. The use of a color zone chart helped them to see how hues can changed based on the light. In the shadows, hues are darker but in the bright sunlight, they can be much lighter. Comparing tonal values is also helpful when a photographer wants to convert a color image to B&W. Too many hues with the same tonal value results in a flat B&W image.

Creative Photo field trip update

The Creative Photo field trip to Emmet Park/Upper Factors Walk scheduled for Saturday, February 8, 2014, will begin at 8:00 AM as planned. If there is rain we will go down to the covered portions of Factors Walk/River Street. Don’t forget your tripod, camera manual and plastic bags.

Leon delays classes

Savannah winter storm - icy camelia

A thin film of ice covers a camelia in southeast Georgia, the result of winter storm Leon (Jan. 29, 2014).

The results of winter storm Leon created many school closings for the last few days. Georgia Southern was one of those and caused the delay of the Digital Imaging Basics class on Tuesday night. The class will officially start tonight with the second class taking place next week.

Creative Photography will begin next week on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:30 PM as scheduled. Due to the colder temperatures, the field trip scheduled for Saturday, February 8, may have a delayed start time of 9:00 AM. Students are encouraged to be prepared for the winter conditions and have spare charged batteries and winter wear such as gloves, warm jackets and hats to preserve body heat.

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