Monroe, GA

Today I launched out on a leisurely motorcycle ride before the 90F heat would hit.  Something, I’m not sure what, led me in a different direction than I would typically go.  Three quarters of an hour later I landed in Monroe, GA, the county seat of Walton County.  It’s an old, charming 19th century southern town near Athens, GA (home of the University of Georgia).

Little did I know, Walton County (and therefore Monroe) has quite a history.  Walton County was created on December 15, 1818. It is named for George Walton, one of the three men from Georgia who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.  Another of the three, Button Gwinnett, is the namesake for the county I live in.

Like so many quaint, old southern towns, it has been successfully working to make a comeback the past few years.  And being situated between two Georgia population centers (Atlanta and Athens), it is well positioned for tourism traffic, yet rural enough to maintain it’s smallness.  I loved spending an hour or so walking Main Street and pondering the history of the old buildings and court house.

B&W just seemed period-appropriate.  Usually I avoid mixing color and monochrome images in the same post, but I couldn’t help but share the colorful mural!

Monroe, GA

Monroe, GA

Monroe, GA Courthouse

Walton County Courthouse – Monroe, GA

A Peek into Yesteryear – Monroe, GA

Posted in: Architecture, Cityscapes by Mark 2 Comments

Warmth of the Afternoon Sun

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.  ~ Samuel Smiles
A couple more from the recent Midtown walk.

 

Inside the Lines

Inside the Lines

Almost Boxed In

Almost Boxed In

Midtown ‘Walken’

Immediately fell in love with this storefront poster.  :-)

Walkens Welcome

Walkens Welcome

Architecture Midtown (ATL)

From a recent after-work photo walk to calm the brain and shift gears to shutter time.

Step it Up - Georgian Terrace Hotel

Step it Up – Georgian Terrace Hotel

Higher Vision - Georgian Terrace Hotel

Higher Vision – Georgian Terrace Hotel

Way Finder - Georgian Terrace Hotell

Way Finder – Georgian Terrace Hotell

Posted in: Architecture, Atlanta, Cityscapes by Mark 2 Comments

Two Wheels

My bud Carl and I had an opportunity to ride the steel ponies the weekend before Easter.  He drove down, trailer in tow, to pickup his amazing Indian Scout.  “Tyra” had been in storage at the Sisco garage since Thanksgiving.

It was a great day of riding.  Weather was cloudy and cool (perfect), so we made our way through Flowery Branch, Statham, Winder, and Lawrenceville.  It was a great riding mix of rural countryside and old town charm.

We decided to put our cameras to work in the back alleys of Statham and Lawrenceville.  A visual capture of the day’s experience only seemed appropriate.

I love the back alley grunge and colors, but at the same time, my taste rarely tires of B&W .

  • Color advantages – it’s a colorful world; it’s what our eyes see; colors evoke mood and emotion
  • B&W advantages – nostalgic yet timeless; it enhances texture; to my mind, it minimizes the “distractions” of color and therefore brings a more focused eye on the subject

Do you have a preference?  Why?

Carl on his Scout, Tyra (B&W)

Carl on his Scout, Tyra (B&W)

Mark on his GS Adventure, Heidi (B&W)

Mark on his GS Adventure, Heidi (B&W)

 

Carl on his Scout, Tyra

Carl on his Scout, Tyra

Mark on his GS Adventure, Heidi

Mark on his GS Adventure, Heidi

 

Posted in: Cityscapes, Motorcycle by Mark 2 Comments

Doors Wide Open

Your big opportunity may be right where you are now. ~Napoleon Hill

Doors Wide Open

Doors Wide Open

Posted in: Abstract, Architecture by Mark 2 Comments

In Living Color – High Museum of Art

Square Space

Square Space

Conga African Dance

Conga African Dance

Posted in: Abstract, Museum, People by Mark 1 Comment

People Musings at the Museum – High Museum of Art

From a recent visit.  It’s always a joy to visit The High.

L1003877-C1

Stairwell

Window Shopping

Window Shopping

Switchbacks

Switchbacks

Posted in: Abstract, Architecture, Museum, People by Mark 2 Comments

Reclamation and Restoration

During Kathy’s and my week long venturings through western North Carolina, we stumbled into a 75-year old picker’s property.  Only in the south could one be driving through the most rural of areas taking in the autumn beauty one minute, and then a local resident invite us into his home after having only met us with 2 minutes of passer-by conversation.  Kathy and I stopped to consider photographing a stream, when Tom rolled up on a 4 wheeler to inquire what we were doing.  I said, “Just taking photos of this beautiful property and stream, assuming you are OK with it.”  His reply:  “Sure, we don’t mind that kind of thing around here.  So …… you like taking pictures?  If you’ll follow me up the dirt drive across the road, I’ve got something to take pictures of that you won’t find anywhere else.”  I needed no arm twisting!  We followed Tom up the mile and half driveway, only to stop at a shack with a tin roof.  He proceeded to tell us he had just moved into it 2 days prior after “remodeling it” (take a look at the 1st photo below, and tell me if you consider this a “remodel”).

Tom proceeded to share the history of this old 1904 homestead – originally with no insulation or running water.  Literally a shack.  He had retrofitted it with plumbing, insulated the exterior walls and rafters, ran electric, patched to roof, and made it livable.  He asked to show us the interior.  So Kathy and I obliged (with some reluctance).  Low and behold, we make our way into what felt like a dungeon entrance and the interior was amazing!!!  Not perfect, not without dust and a definite rustic feel, but amazing!  He had repurposed old flooring from a nearby abandoned school to make his wooden floors.  He took some of the remnants of rafters he replaced from this very shack and built his own amazingly beautiful dinner table.  It must’ve weighed 200 pounds!  He bought the beautiful sink from someone in CA, which had an epic story of its own.  The wood stove in the back of the kitchen was beautiful, and he used it to cook meals on as if he were living at the turn of the century.  Tom’s living room showcased an ornate wood stove, simmering with a slow burning fire that gave the home an invitingly warm,  “you’re home” feel.  I could go on and on.  He did ALL of this with his own hands, and it was literally a diamond in the rough.

Kathy and I are grateful for Tom inviting us, complete strangers, to share in his gem and allowing us to witness the outcome of his hard work and passionate vision!

Tom's Cabin

Tom’s Cabin

No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

Retro Beauty

Retro Beauty

Roaring Fork Falls – Pisgah National Forest, NC

Roaring Fork is easily accessible.  A short, peaceful half mile walk along an old road bed to the falls capped off a relaxing and scenic day for Kathy and me.  Autumn colors were mostly gone, and is often the case in this region, the falls were surrounded by Rhododendrons (evergreen).  So in the end, I felt B&W was the best treatment for this image.

Roaring Fork Falls, Pisgah National Forest, NC

Roaring Fork Falls, Pisgah National Forest, NC

My Katie – Asheville, NC

Given Katie’s hubby (Evan)  is a photog, she’s an easy target …. rolls with the punches when asked to be photographed, and photogenic, too!  Love you Kate!

Katie #1 - Asheville

Katie #1 – Asheville

Katie #2 - Asheville

Katie #2 – Asheville

Posted in: Asheville, Family, People by Mark 2 Comments

Self Portrait

Taken near Roaring Fork Falls in the Pisgah National Forest, NC.

Self Portrait - Pisgah National Forest

Self Portrait – Pisgah National Forest

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