For a long time I have been mesmerised by the Atlanta skyline, but it took the acquisition of a new Canon DSLR, lenses and a strong and capable tripod for me to attempt to capture it.
February is probably not the ideal time to be out and about as the sun is setting. Think cold. Very cold. So cold that it made me re-consider my plans to visit the Northern Lights. After all, if I struggle to cope with the cold in Atlanta in January what will it be like in the arctic circle?
I had read about a couple of good locations to go when the sun is setting. One is Jackson Street Bridge (which I will talk about some other time) and the other is the parking lot at Georgia Tech. I decided to try the latter first.
The parking lot is easy to find and there is an elevator that takes you to the top floor, although I decided to drive to the top so that I could have the comfort and warmth of my car between the changing light conditions. A wise decision in hindsight. I had been holding out for a clear and sunny day but was hoping for a few clouds to roll in at the last minute, however I probably had the clearest sky of 2017 so far so decided to just go with it.
Along with my Canon SL1 DSLR I used two lenses for this experience: A Tamron 16-300mm and a Canon 10 – 18mm. Both have been really good on the crop sensor and although the Canon has resulted in slightly better quality, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Tamron’s instant zoom ability. As for the Canon SL1…what can I say? I don’t want to carry a huge lump around with me most of the time and I have found the SL1 to be small, light and very capable. In fact, the limitations I have experienced (so far) are as a result of my abilities and not of the camera at all. I know many people who carry a Canon 5D or a Canon 1D (both substantially heavier and at the top of the range of the Canon offering) but find that they are actually taking their Canon SL1 on most trips. Since I travel quite a bit I decided to take their advice and go for the smaller, lighter piece of equipment. After all, the only camera worth having is the one you have with you!
I thought that I might have to fight for space but it was actually the opposite situation – I was the only person there. In fact, this made me a little wary and when I saw people in the distance I had my keys in my hand ready to leap into action if there should be any trouble! Not sure what sort of trouble I was expecting but you can’t be too careful when you are female and out at night on your own.
Just after the sun went down, I was able to get some great shots of the evening sky. My fingers were so cold that I spent much of the time between shots jumping up and down to stay warm but the effect on the evening sky was beautiful and as the traffic increased the light trails became quite magnificent. This is definitely one of the best places to see Downtown Atlanta and the night view is wonderful to behold. They are developing the land next to the parking structure which could significantly alter the view so I would advise you to head over there before it is too late!