The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Monday, March 31, 2008


Last Saturday the Fayette Photo Club met at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. It had been a while since my daughter had been to the museum. She went along – not to take photos – but to wander around and of course hit the gift shop. I admit she was not the only one who hit the gift shop! They had the cutest cuff bracelet with frogs on it – it had to come home with me.

An aside to the museum – but the trees in Atlanta are so pretty right now. On the way home I spotted on Freedom Parkway a group of cherry trees on the side (sort of near the Carter Library) – very pretty! We also got a glimpse at the damage caused by the tornado that went through Atlanta a couple weeks ago. As we neared the intersection of Freedom Parkway and (I forget – but the street that takes you to the King Center, Boulevard?) you get a great view of the Atlanta skyline. We saw places at the Westin and other buildings downtown where the windows that had been damaged have been temporarily covered with what appears to be plywood. The Westin looks like they painted their plywood black to blend more with the windows. This intersection is not far from Oakland Cemetery. The club had a field shoot there last September. The grounds at Oakland also suffered a lot of damage from the storm. I was driving – so I took no photos. When I am a passenger riding through Atlanta – I always take photos.

The night before was spent trying to decide what to bring with me. I could not decide about the tripod or monopod – so I decided to take both. Funny thing is – both stayed in the car! If I had not brought them – you know – I would have wanted them. Then I was thinking about lenses. Did I really want to carry my photo backpack? Would I rather place a lens in a tote and just swap things from my backpack into the tote and my wallet also into the tote? What I came up with was leaving all of my photo equipment in the backpack where it is safest (great padding) and put my wallet in the backp ack. I was glad I did not leave a lens at home – although I did not use one (50mm) I used the other three.

It was a good day for photos. The weather outdoors affects the lighting in the museum so much that you do hope for a good day. The ceiling in the center of the museum is nothing but a giant skylight. One of the draws for me to bring the photo club here was the architecture of the building. The museum has such an interesting structure – all these circles, the stairways, the atrium, the ceiling, the floor filled with fossils – it is all great subject matter. It is almost as important to visit to see the building as it is to see the exhibits it houses. Check out the website for information on visiting.

It is hard to miss the Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit in the main atrium of the building. As you approach the ticket takers the atrium is right in front of you. You can see the 'bones' of the Argentinosaurus. When you look over to the floor below you can also see the Giganotosaurus, the Anhanguera (there is one in flight and one perched on a rock on the wall), and a flock of pterosaurs. The Argentinosaurus is the largest dinosaur ever classified. The Giganotosaurus is the world's largest meat-eating dinosaur. It is larger than the more well known T. Rex.

I remember visiting Fernbank when this exhibit was being constructed. If you visit this link: you will be taken to a page to select live dino cam shots of this exhibit. Once when I was there with the kids, I called a friend in New York. She saw us on the internet waving to her. What is really cool is that she took a screen shot of her computer at that moment. I have it saved on my computer now. It shows me with the two kids standing the in atrium. We were easy to spot since my daughter had on a bright red shirt that day.

Of course I started out with the Lensbaby. It was great. On my Flickr page I have a couple that I took with the Lensbaby – one close up of the head of the Giganotosaurus. The other is an overhead shot of the flock of pterosaurs. Both of these photos were converted to black and white using Elements. Then I switched to my Tamron 14mm. This lens allowed me to get almost all of the dinosaurs in one shot. It worked wonders on the large atrium. I took photos from each level with it. Some of my favorites were from the upper level looking over the edge to the exhibit below. Before we left I took some with the Tamron 18-250mm zoom. My favorites are a toss up between the Lensbaby (with and without the wide-angle attachment) and the 14mm.

I took a total of 116 photos on Saturday. When I upload photos to the laptop I pay attention to how many there are – and I wonder – OK, out of all of these how many am I really going to like. So far, out of these I have quite a few that I like. I am still spending spare time playing around with them in Elements. This morning I solarized a photo I took of the entrance (on the inside from the upper floor). I like this look for some photos – it is different. So far, I have only put three photos on Flickr. Maybe I will put a few more there.

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