Atlanta 2015...I

Atlanta is the capital of, and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia, with an estimated 2013 population of 447,841. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5,522,942 people and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County and a small portion northwest into Cobb County. Atlanta was established in 1837 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil War to become a national center of commerce. In the decades following the Civil Rights Movement, during which the city earned a reputation as "too busy to hate" for the progressive views of its citizens and leaders, Atlanta attained international prominence. Atlanta is the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States, via highway, railroad, and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport since 1998. Atlanta is marked by rolling hills and dense tree coverage. Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.

Did you know that the state capital was moved to Atlanta from Milledgeville in 1868? Now, you know!

During Day One of my visit back to Atlanta, I found myself starting my day on Auburn Avenue, home to many black businesses, organizations and the childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Once I got to Dr. King's childhood home, there was already a long line of people waiting for that tour. In that same area, I visited the original and new Ebenezer Baptist Church. I was honored to be able to photograph inside Ebenezer Baptist Church because of the fact that Dr. King and other freedom fighters walked through those very same doors, and up those same very steps. That was truly an honor! From there, I walked across the street towards The King Center and Patrick Morelli's "Behold" statue in the court way of The Center. The statue depicts Kunta Kinte raising his daughter Kizzy, as seen in the movie, "Roots". It's a very powerful statue and deserves your attention when in Atlanta. Also on Auburn Avenue, I stopped by the historic Cox Brothers Funeral Home and Madame C.J. Walker's Beauty Salon and Museum. It was closed when I got there, but I do plan to go back because of very interesting things I saw peeking through the window that I would love to photograph. Up the street from Madame C.J. Walker's Museum was the Free Prince Hall Grand Lodge and SCLC W.O.M.E.N. Building. I also stopped by the landmarked Wheat Street Baptist Church. Other highlights included: Georgia State University, The World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium and The Center For Civil and Human Rights. While photographing various buildings and sculptures around the Center, I dropped, yes dropped my 70-200mm lens. That was definitely a photographer's nightmare. But when I got back home, I put it in the shop, but bought a new one. Now I have two! Yaaay! Back to my trip. After dropping that lens and knowing that I couldn't use it for the remainder of the trip, I had to be more creative with my shooting, which I did. I then walked over to Centennial Olympic Park and photographed some waterfalls and a few more sculptures. As I walked towards the Olympic rings water fountains, a "dancing water" show was beginning to the tune of Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall". I found it very interesting, and captured a few photos of the dancing water. Next stop was the CNN Center, where I got great photos inside the atrium and looking up at the Omni Hotel. Next door was Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, where I photographed a cool statue of Dominique Wilkins. After returning back to my room at The Aloft Hotel for a breather, I came back out later for some night shooting. It was a great night for shooting, too! It was still hot. yet mild. The streets were crowded, and people were still milling about, but not in the way of what I was doing. The Jackson Street Bridge, down from the King Center is thee spot to go to for that "Atlanta" skyline shot. There were at least 10 or more photographers there to capture the moment as well. I got there at the right time, because the "blue hour" was coming upon us, and there was heavy traffic on the expressway, which made for great "light trails". Another photographer told me of another great spot from the 18th Street Bridge, which I drove over to, to capture a different view of the skyline. I finished the night on Marietta Street back near Philips Arena to get the "ATLANTA" letters with the skyline for another different look. A short walk took me over to the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons football team. While there, I was able to grab night shots of the Dome, and shots of the construction going on for Mercedes Benz Stadium, new home for the Atlanta Falcons. It's about 11:30 PM now, time to head back to my room to eat, edit and get ready for day two.