That little town — more a hamlet, really — is called Deepstep, and I’ve marked it for a stop since. On the way home from Augusta (part 1, part 2), I finally had the opportunity.
What a great little spot.
The gallery’s only eighteen photographs, but absolutely a worthy addition to the newly revised Middle Georgia group. Those galleries cover everything from Pine Mountain in the west to Sandersville in the east, Madison in the north to Dublin in the south.
Indeed, I’ve rearranged pretty much all of the Georgia galleries:
Two different photographic opportunities have meant additions to the Automotive gallery recently: some motorcycles in Columbus, and some BMWs at an event in Hampton, a suburb of Atlanta and home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
All of these were taken with Leica’s superlative APO 90mm macro (yes, I know, I go on and on about this lens — it’s that good), and almost all are just details — a lens that long in a crowd means leaving the big picture aside in favor of the minutiae. Luckily, that’s a strength of the camera system, and one of my favorite ways to use it.
The Harley logo wasn’t one I was familiar with — and it’s great — but the BMW is fantastic in its retro glory, complete with copper screws.
Meanwhile, speaking of BMWs, they hold their Ultimate Drive Experience yearly in the Atlanta area, and Gerald and I are in regular attendance. It was my first time seeing a number of new models, including the new M2:
Didn’t like this until I saw it there; it’s a shortened M4 but wide and swollen in all the right ways. However, the undisputed star of the show was the new XM. Like many modern BMWs, it’s better in person — exuding presence:
I wish I’d somehow been able to better convey its stance, its proportions, and what I imagine it would look like coming up behind you. Then again, $160k and 664 horsepower will do that. Speaking of horsepower:
Nuthin’ like a carbon fiber engine cover in a three-ton machine. That said, for both Gerald and I the far-and-away favorite wasn’t the XM but rather the iX:
The iX is a little ungainly from some angles, but its battery-powered, carbon fiber goodness is both fast and efficient. Plus, it sports one of the best BMW interiors going right now, and that’s saying something. (Ventilated wool seats for the win, folks.)
These events usually boast parking lots filled with classics, but either the late Sunday afternoon or thunderstorms kept the older items safely garaged. However, there was a sweet and very bright red i8 gracing the scene:
If you’re in or going to be going to Columbus anytime soon, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The food was superlative, the service excellent, and the ambiance simultaneously upscale, casual, and fresh.
The second — and no less tasty — stop was the Ma Rainey Museum of the Blues. This period house downtown is small but demonstrates a remarkable comeback from the (literal) wreckage they started with in the ’90s. I’d originally wanted to return to the Columbus Museum, but it’s being renovated; Gerald’s suggestion here was pitch-perfect.
Inside, Gerald and I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Xavier, a guide who was knowledgeable and enthusiastic; he absolutely made us want to explore more blues history. (I’m also going to be listening to some Ma Rainey on Tidal.)
Meanwhile, gallery of Columbus photographs is deep and varied, spanning almost fifteen years and 180 items — check it out.
As is typical in July in Georgia, it was hot yesterday — but not so much that I didn’t spend a few minutes wandering around with the camera and superb 90mm. Especially since I was down on MLK, an area of downtown Macon I don’t frequent as much as, say, 2nd St.
Some detail shots (as usual):
Side note: I was completely unaware that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell had teamed up for Bright Star, a musical set in the Appalachians. (I presume, unfortunately, that the 2020 season at Theatre Macon might not have shown.) It probably won’t surprise that I enjoy a musical now and than — and am a big fan of both Martin and Brickell — so was glad to find it on Tidal.
It’s hard to understate how much downtown Macon has changed for the better in the last fifteen years: new residents (and lofts), new restaurants, new shops, a high-end hotel, and more — all without losing its feeling of an historic Southern city.
On the subject of Southern, I’m glad to see the completion of the new Cotton Avenue Plaza, a pocket park that replaces not only an awkward intersection but one that had, at its center, a Confederate celebratory statue. Something everyone can share is a big upgrade:
Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a gallery post without some of my signature detail photographs:
The downtown gallery (2022–23) is now up to 132 photographs — check ’em out. (Once you’ve followed the link, click on any photograph for a larger, captioned version.) And, if you’re interested in the city’s downtown evolution, see also the 2020–21 and 2008–2018 galleries.
I had the occasion to have lunch downtown yesterday, a day of simply beautiful spring weather — which I absolutely used as an excuse to take the camera for a spin.
The vast majority of the time, I use what I call my standard lens: 35mm. (Some would argue that 50mm is the “standard,” but I really prefer the wider angle of view due to its additional context.) This time, however, I was using Leica’s superb — and, sadly, no longer available — 90mm macro. The detail, the color, everything about this lens excels:
It’s sometimes a challenge to be creative in an area you’ve photographed often, but I enjoy trying to spy new details:
Spring is beginning to blossom here in Middle Georgia, which means it’s time to restart the traditional Sunday drive and photostroll. This week’s destination was the small city of Jackson, seat of Butts County, and home to a typically pretty downtown square:
The courthouse, as is often the case in Georgia, takes center stage:
No, I usually don’t make political commentary. Why do you ask?
Anyway, there are several examples of my architectural studies, including these:
I didn’t realize that Jackson was the filming location for Stranger Things — a stand-in for Hawkins, Indiana:
Named for the city in Ireland, Dublin in Georgia is an hour or so southeast of Macon. It’s my third trip there, and, like last time, I enjoyed Gerald’s company.1He seemed to enjoy the trip, rain notwithstanding, but apparently the creative juices didn’t flow. (Sorry, man.) Details here.
It has a photogenic downtown, too:
The Welcome Park includes a clock and bell complete with clover, reminding visitors that the name is, in fact, a tribute:
As has become typical, my favorite — “best” is debatable, of course — shot is a close-up that’s almost an abstract. In this case, a turquoise box car in the appropriately-named Railroad Park:
Just off the main drag we found an item thankfully not yet painted over:
. . . Which may, in fact, be a holdover from a bygone era. In fact, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call this subject out:
The only people of color depicted here are Native Americans, relegated to viewing (probably from afar), and two Blacks, very much shown “in their place.” (Dublin still prominently features a Confederate memorial, as well.) Let’s hope that this small city continues its journey into the 21st century, one step at a time.
See the updated gallery here. As always, once in the gallery, click on any photograph to start a slide show.
He seemed to enjoy the trip, rain notwithstanding, but apparently the creative juices didn’t flow. (Sorry, man.) Details here.
The small city of Milledgeville, on the banks of the Oconee River in nearby Baldwin County, is a favorite for photography. In this case, Gerald and I stopped on our way home from Sandersville, and spent some time wandering the historic district.
I especially liked this gate:
We were these the day after (part of) the Deep Roots Festival, which meant some street decorations lingered:
Sandersville, seat of Washington County, was the photography destination this past weekend. Gerald and I wanted to get out and enjoy this beautiful stretch of fall weather, and this small city — with its National Register-listed cemetery (more on that tomorrow) — hadn’t yet been explored.
There was a pleasant little park off what I’m calling Courthouse Square (it doesn’t seem to actually be named that):
The Washington County Courthouse is a beautiful and historic building, like many here in Georgia:
Last weekend, Gerald and I took a summer road trip and photostroll through southwest Georgia — with stops in Andersonville and Americus.
Andersonville is a sobering place: “The deadliest ground of the American Civil War.” Further:
Nearly 13,000 men died on these grounds, a site that became infamous even before the Civil War ended. Their burial grounds became Andersonville National Cemetery, where veterans continue to be buried today. This place, where tens of thousands suffered captivity so others could be free, is also home to the National Prisoner of War Museum and serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war.
National Park Service
We just visited the National Cemetery section of the park, with its closely-spaced Civil War graves, memorials, and reminders that it’s still in use today.
Later, we headed just down the road to the small city of Americus:
Both galleries — Andersonville and Americus — have been updated with new photographs. The new items start with “2022,” and remember that clicking on any photograph starts a slide show for that gallery. Thank you!
As promised, I returned to Madison, Georgia, to complete the gallery my camera battery didn’t permit last time. Special thanks to Gerald, who accompanied me around the beautiful downtown historic district and on the lovely drive from here to there.
This round is mostly details, taken with my stunning new Leica APO lens. (Introduced in this Macon post.) The whole line has been discontinued, so I am incredibly glad to have gotten one while they’re still available — every single photograph shows just how good this lens is. I’ll try to do it justice:
I’ve revamped the gallery with the new shots mixed in with the old. Several are improved versions of shots taken last time, meaning those were deleted in favor of the new ones.
132 Madison photographs have been posted in all. Peruse and enjoy; remember to click on any individual photograph to start a slide show, and if you’d like, click “buy” to get options for fine art prints in a variety of sizes and finishes. Thank you!
FedEx pulled up around 8:30 this morning and dropped off a new lens. (It wasn’t due ’til Tuesday — bonus!) Given that it was an absolutely beautiful morning, I shelved my plans for the day, picked up the camera, and headed downtown.
Verdict? It’s so a keeper. See for yourself:
Wound up with sixty new items posted. However, the downtown Macon gallery was getting almost too big — confusing, even — so has been separated into three parts: