MFer Photography: Blog en-us (C) MFer Photography (MFer Photography) Fri, 17 Aug 2018 11:59:00 GMT Fri, 17 Aug 2018 11:59:00 GMT MFer Photography: Blog 120 88 Film Friday Vol. 5 We went camping, rafting and hiking in North Carolina. I have a feeling our Boy Scout days are coming to and end. This may very well have been our last outing. We have had a wonderful experience with scouting but as the boys get older, they are required to do more things on their own and my son is losing interest. Our time and energy seems to be shifting to other things. Camping, hiking and paddling will always be a part of our life. It was before we joined scouting and it will live on well after.

]]> (MFer Photography) camping family film film Friday hiking polariod scouting Fri, 17 Aug 2018 11:58:47 GMT
Canyon #2 I managed to get another hike knocked out on my Canyon Climbers Club card. The first one was Tallulah Gorge, which I have done twice. The second one is Amicalola Falls. I have been coming here for years, mainly because it is easy to find and close to the famous Burts Farm pumpkin patch. Back when there were no cell phones and GPS this was easy go to spot to explore. I was astounded to find out that my husband, who was born and raised in Georgia, had never been here before. After exploring so many other waterfalls over the years, I became jaded and felt Amicalola was overrated. Now that we have had so much rain I have seen it with fresh eyes. It really is quite breathtaking. It definitely needs to be seen after a rain and not during a dry season.

I should get canyon #3 knocked out in October.

]]> (MFer Photography) Amicalola Falls hiking mountains north Georgia mountains travel waterfall Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:43:55 GMT
Fainting Goats and Eagles Rest I am torn over the feeling that Summer is almost over and Fall is oh so close. I love love love fall but I feel like I have not had a full Summer yet. Maybe it is because I have spent more time in the mountains this summer than ever before. Usually I reserve the mountains for Fall and Winter when the bugs are gone and the views are better. The wildlife in much more abundant this time of year and that makes for great mountain hiking.

I keep a running list in my yearly planner of places, goals and random things I would like to do. Eagles Rest has been on the list for quite some time. I don't even remember now how I first heard of it. It is in a really strange spot. This is probably why it is not a more popular hike. Located at the end of a very long dead end residential street that pretty much just ends at a cellular tower. No real parking lot, just kind of pull over where you can. Equipped with a compost toilet shack and a few gorgeous overlooks, there isn't much but what little is here packs a punch. It is tick season and there were lots of them around this spot, so bring bug spray. This year has been bad. I thought with the cold winter it would have killed some off but nope. Worse than last year and last year was terrible. The trails are also overgrown and narrow so zip off pants would be ideal for hiking around the area. I am not about getting chiggers again. That said, we didn't venture too deep down the trails.

Not too far way is the Fainting Goats Vineyard. Complete with 2 fainting goats, Ronnie & Reagan and their protectors, Teddy & Rosie, both Great Pyrenees. My husband and I may not be the most eloquent wine drinkers but we certainly are adept vineyard critics. The winery itself is situated on a hillside overlooking grapevines and sweeping mountain views. It was a little busy the day we went and I did not get that personal vibe we usually get from talking with a sommelier. Not that the service was bad, or cold, just that part of the draw for us has been the unusually colorful wine stewards we meet on our wine explorations. Even though we did not get that experience we did get goats, music and the most amazing cheese board ever. That alone will bring me back.

Our goat friends were hanging around close to where we were sitting up until I was ready to go up and say hi. I should have done that first but my cheese board won out over the goats. Next time!

]]> (MFer Photography) fainting goats Georgia goats hiking mountains north Georgia mountains vinyard wine winery Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:38:50 GMT
Film Friday Vol. 4 Black Rock Mountain State Park.

This park has the highest elevation of any of the parks in Georgia. My go-to mountain state park with the best gift shop, hands down. They carry lots of the Wander North Georgia shirts and hats, which are the best! The park is located close to many other cool markets, places to eat and outdoor adventure locals. It is a great spot for a base camp to explore the nearby area. 


]]> (MFer Photography) film Friday polariod Fri, 10 Aug 2018 15:16:12 GMT
The Kayak Ranch Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas has garnered many imitators since its inception in 1974. Southwestern Community College in Bryson City, NC installed the Kayak Ranch out in front of the campus along Highway 74. A collaboration between the outdoor leadership program and the fine arts department leaders at SCC. Bryson City is the home to the famous Nantahala River and the many outfitters ready to help you get down the runnable white water portions in the area. This is the best place to dip into whitewater kayaking and a fitting tribute to the booming industry of the area.

This roadside attraction is worth a detour. For obvious reasons, this has to be one of my favorite stops. I find most unusual roadside attractions on the Roadside America website. I have the app but it is not the greatest. I tend to map out my options before I set off on a trip. Atlas Obscura is another good place to poke around for interesting attractions. Most of these places are not worth being a destination on their own. I try to stack up a few things to break up any road trips. I mean if you are going to have to stop and stretch your legs, might as well make it fun, right?

]]> (MFer Photography) kayak ranch kayaks paddling roadside attraction travel Wed, 08 Aug 2018 14:08:23 GMT
Whitewater Rafting Unguided What I learned...

My son is better at this than we are. He is 4 out of 4 for staying in the boat.


I can raft the Nantahala River without a guide.

Stay in the middle when you see the takeout after the "bump".

You can avoid the bump but there is still a bump, might as well get a big bump!

My wetsuit rocks!

When in doubt, stay in the middle, apparently.

Less weight in the boat = you will get not stuck on rocks.

Fall into the boat, not out.

Our first mistake was not lining up in the middle, or straight going into the final rapid (Class III).

You see that rock? Yeah, we were supposed to be on the left of it, not on top of it. This caused us to nose dive, hard.

And this is where is all went wrong...

Some how I managed to save my hat! Sarah and I both caught the rope thrown to us. I managed to get out mostly unscathed, Sarah has a sore behind but that did not stop us from doing it all over again a couple hours later.

Nothing makes me feel more alive than whitewater. I absolutely love rafting. I think it might be more fun in the kayaks but it was cool to knock rafting without a guide off the bucketlist. You are never too old to live out your dreams.

]]> (MFer Photography) boyscouts paddling rafting whitewater Tue, 07 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Mayfield Dairy I have driven past this place a million times and ever since my daughter was little I kept telling myself we would take a trip up the road to Mayfield Dairies and do a tour. They have a little gift shop and cafe serving their famous ice cream. I just learned that the plant is closing. They have already stopped doing tours. Luckily my kids got to tour during a field trip in elementary school but sadly I never made it. The ice cream parlor closes for good the end of this month and the rest of the plant this fall. The middle school is not far from the dairy so I decided to surprise Brody with ice cream after open house as a summer-is-almost-over treat.

I am sad I never got to see the inside but apparently it made an impression on my son because he told me all about it. I don't even remember him going on a field trip here but apparently both my kids went. They were able to see exactly how the ice cream is made and packaged. There is even a mechanical cow you could milk. Maybe when it shuts down I can take a peak around.


]]> (MFer Photography) Mayfield Dairy roadside attractions Mon, 06 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Film Friday Vol.3 Birthday weekend Polariods. Since these were taken, I have fixed the light leak!

I kinda like the finger print on the last one.

Things I have learned about these old cameras and film:

*turn that dial to dark when shooting outside

*the red slider button does not engage the shutter on my Pronto!

*waterfalls are terrible subjects for instant film

*lighting is everything

*watch your contrast when composing

Just some tips :)


]]> (MFer Photography) film Friday fim hiking mountains polariod sunflowers waterfall Fri, 03 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Anderson's Sunflowers It's no secret that I love and have always loved Sunflowers. Seems that was a 90's thing. Now it is an Instagram feed clogging thing as well. As all good things that get over-saturated by social media, they seem cliche these days, #sorrynotsorry but I still love them. They are tangible symbols of sunshine and happiness. As much as the PNW is glorified on the gram, I could not live in rainy conditions day in and day out all year long. Even Costa Rica has a dry season. I need sun in my life. Sunflowers are natures little light bulbs, literally buzzing with life.



]]> (MFer Photography) garden portraits sunflowers Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:57:13 GMT
Forward Warrior 2018 Last year I caught the end of Forward Warrior, this year I took my husband to check out the murals after they were all finished. I missed the energy of watching the artists in action but I enjoyed not having a crowd around.

This one ^ was done last year but I did not see it completed until this year.

^ This one my daughter painted one of the flowers, it too was not completed yet.

My biggest regret in life is not buying a house when I had the chance years ago in Cabbagetown. What would have cost me $30,000 would not be worth almost 750k. Yep, you read that right.

I wonder if this is for these neighbors?

With Living Walls, Forward Warrior, Art on the Beltline and Flux, to knew a few,  Atlanta has a thriving street art scene.

]]> (MFer Photography) art Atlanta Cabbagetown forward warrior graffiti murals street walltraveled Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:43:28 GMT
Seeing Red

I was playing around with some infrared waterfall pictures I took last weekend. Sometimes waterfalls get lost in all the foliage with this process. I decided to play around with the hues instead of my usual channel mixing. I absolutely love how these turned out.

The others below needs to be more toned down but I still like the feel of them as well.

Amicalola Falls never looked so good!

]]> (MFer Photography) Amicalola Falls hiking infrared mountains outdoors waterfall Sat, 28 Jul 2018 18:34:51 GMT
Film Friday Vol. 2 Volume 2 of film Friday is brought to you by Polariod, Amazon Prime and my birthday! No this is not an #ad. I just have been obsessing over my old Polariods and my family had picked up on it...I may have mentioned that I wanted some for my birthday. I did get a neat little album and some round frame film I have been ogling for a while now. In addition to film, my daughter also bought all of us the waterproof LED lights I have had on my Amazon Wishlist for like forever! Now I can kayak at night and watch all the sunsets, stargazing and moonlight paddles I want!

Birthday dinner at Fishtales on the Lake while watching the sunset.

Maiden night voyage. Complete success so long as you do not count that we paddled all the way to the tunnel but were foiled by a enormous tree that fell over the lake completely blocking the entrance. I really wanted to do that in the dark.

I really like the round frames. My fave is the last one of my daughter and her bestie.

]]> (MFer Photography) birthday film film Friday instant film kayak lake Lake Lanier paddling polariod Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:48:30 GMT
Wade's Garage

I shot Alonzo Wades salvage yard in every medium I had available to me. Film, Digital and Infrared. I feel like of all the IR subjects I have been playing around with this summer, this was the quintessential setting.

I can't wait to go back and shoot the rest of the yard.

]]> (MFer Photography) infrared school bus graveyard urbex Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Summer Reads

I have included in this list 2 books that my son and I read together as part of his summer reading requirements for middle school. He had to read 3 books. One was required for all of 7th graders, Hatchet, and 2 others of his choice so long as one was non-fiction and one was fiction. He read the non-fiction book on his own so it is not listed.

In order from top left to bottom right:

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This was in my wheelhouse. Both my son and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have come to love survival and adventure stories and this fit that category nicely. It touches on more than one of my worst fears. I am pleasantly surprised that our middle school chose this book for the children to read. If you are a fan of Wild, A walk in the Woods or Into Thin Air, this is a quick read and perfect for you at any age.

Odd & The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. I picked this book for my son to read because I absolutely loved The Graveyard Book and Coraline, as did my son. Neil is the Tim Burton of writers. We loved this book as well. It was a super quick read and we both appreciated the Marvel comics references.

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. Ok, Ok, I know I am always raving about Backman books but this does it. I have to admit I am a fan girl now. I just have loved every one of his books. Beartown tore my heart out and this follow up stomped it into the ground. I haven't had a book hangover in a long time. I felt empty when I was done. All my emotions were spent. In this era of #metoo I feel like this should be required high school reading material. Backman creates rich characters full of conflict and humor and are totally relatable. If you haven't read any of his books you need to now!

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. This is not my normal genre. It showed up on so many must read lists and kept getting compared to Gone Girl and the Girl on a Train. I figured I would give it a shot. It fell flat. I found myself unable to relate to the main character and honestly, she made me mad. I just wanted to smack her. It did have a twist but it did not live up to the hype. Shallow reading.

The Girl in the Spider's Web and The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye both by David Lagercrantz. These books follow Stieg Larson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, which I was excited to learn about. I loved those books (and the Swedish Movies...and US version). I really loved The Girls In the Spider's Web but felt like the other had too many characters to follow and not enough action. Either way if you liked GWTDT, I would recommend reading these as well.




]]> (MFer Photography) books reading review Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Happy Birthday To Me! Today is my birthday.

Here is the recap of how I spent the weekend forcing my husband to go on adventures.

I had a whole birthday bucket list. I had a lot more on it but kept it low key since my daughter had her wisdom teeth pulled and I was concerned about leaving her.

I knocked another hike off my Canyon Climbers Club card. Amicola Falls is by the the most popular waterfall in North Georgia. I have been here several times but this was amazingly enough my husbands first trip here. With all the rain we have had this was hands down the best I have ever seen it look.

After the hike was a stop to what is now probably my favorite Vineyard. Fainting Goats was amazing. The Patriot and the Old Glory were the best and OMG the cheese plate! Wine infused goat cheese. Of course they had fainting goats and a view. So darn pretty!

Next up was Eagles Rest. We saw 2 black bears in 2 separate places. One was just a baby carrying a Gatorade bottle in it's mouth. I tested "The Greatest Little Privy" and found it not to be anywhere near great.

Our final stop on Saturday was the Anderson's Sunflower Farm.

Saturday was wrapped up by a super long wait at KFC to get Ariana some mashed potatoes.

Sundays adventure was to originally to join the Park Paddler's Club but the nearest park was too far away and Ariana was not doing so well. We got a late start and I wanted to be home on the early side. Instead I forced my husband to go Plaza Fiesta (another first for him) and seek out a Raspado and possibly some treasure.

We found a Mexican Circus there! I really wanted to go but $80 and time was not on our side. Can't win them all.

Next stop was to check out the L5P art festival and seek out my favorite vendor, Forged and Foraged. Sadly they were only there on Saturday so we popped into the Transporter and scored a vintage Colorforms set for $5. We were getting hungry so next stop is my fave pizza joint in L5P, Cameli's, another 1st for Shane. I told him, "see what you are missing out by staying home and cutting the dang grass all the time". We both got a monster slice and a $5 dollar Mojito, Shane got the $5 Margarita.

The last adventure was meandering over to Cabbagetown to see the new Forward Warrior murals. Yup, you guessed it, another 1st for Shane. But we did stop in for the good jukebox and best Bloody Mary in town at 97 Estoria, which was not his first time there.

Today I was greeted with a decorated cubical, card and some cute new earrings along with lunch from RW's.

So far so good.

Happy Birthday to me :)

]]> (MFer Photography) 2018 birthday forward warrior hiking mountains murals vineyard waterfall wine Mon, 23 Jul 2018 16:08:23 GMT
Film Friday! I have dug out my Grandpas old Polaroid cameras. I have a Sun 600 and a Pronto! Land Camera in heavy rotation. I also have a gifted Vintage Land Camera but have not been able to figure out how to load and use it and that film is too expensive to keep ruining packs. Hoping Polariod might make some more film for those since they started making some 600 and SX70 film again. It might be a lot to lug around but it is worth documenting special moments on film. I am hoping to make this a regular Friday segment.


In honor of my last post, here are some gems from the School Bus Graveyard.

]]> (MFer Photography) film film Friday Polariod school bus graveyard urbex Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:11:20 GMT
School Bus Graveyard A last minute decision to explore the school bus graveyard with my bestie. I am still shocked she has never made it that far up 985 before. I called the owners but unfortunately played phone tag and wasn't able to get inside but now I have a cell number for next time...and there will be a next time. This place is awesome. My love of graffiti and decay all combined into one.

I have been eyeballing and trying to explore this place for years. As luck would have it, I was contacted by the Wades themselves about access. What incredibly nice people. I mean, they have to be cool to operate such a fun place for so many years.

Arriving right at noon, aka the worst time for photographs, but with luck on our side we had mostly overcast skies and missed the brunt of the rain. That was the extent of the luck though. A flat tire 40 minutes from home and a wobbly spare made this quick trip and all day affair.

Not exactly the way my husband wanted to spend his free morning. My hero <3

I absolutely love this place. Flat tire and all.

]]> (MFer Photography) abandoned art junkyard mfer photography murals school bus graveyard urban exploring urbex Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:34:55 GMT
Comic Con I seriously do not know who enjoys these things more, me or my son. Being a boy mom has definitely been my calling in life. Well at least it allows me to live the childhood I wish I could have had. I really think I use my kids to be able to act like one and not look like a creeper. How did I become a comic book nerd? I mean I read a few when I was a kid but not like I do now. My overly-enthusiastic boy and being inundated with Marvel movies  inspired me to read comic books. This is normally what Dads do but, like everything else, I go over the top.

That face right there says it all. The first thing we saw was the Optimus Prime vehicle. Pretty darn cool. I am not a huge transformers fan but this guy is. I can appreciate the draw but I feel like we have jumped the shark as far as the movies are concerned.

This R2D2 was by far my personal favorite of the day. I need one of these in my life.

I think this guy was my sons favorite.

We really could just wander around and just look at the csoplayers and be just fine with that. I managed to keep my spending down. I did pick up a few fun items.

We didn't get any autographs. The only person I remotely was interested in was Ray Park aka Darth Maul. I really enjoy looking at the artwork and finding obscure, lesser known graphic novels. This was Atlanta's first Comic Con. Bottom line...I would go again.


]]> (MFer Photography) Atlanta Comic Con cosplay. Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Showing off the Peach State My friend from New York and her kids visited Georgia for the first time. They liked it so much that they made sure to stop by again on their way back home. We visited a couple of my favorite North Georgia spots and even explored a new waterfall. It was incredibly hot, but that's Georgia. I wish we had more time together but we sure did make the most of it.

If you are going to go to the Mountains, the first stop should be Tallulah Gorge. This isn't terribly far from home. I wish we could have hiked the gorge floor but it was July 4th and the 100 daily passes were gone 20 minutes after the visitor center opened. #oneday

After walking up and down the 1000+ steps at the gorge we needed a break. What better place than my all time favorite "Goats on the Roof".

Look at that face! This is the reason why I believe these guys are the best four legged creatures on the planet. They kill me.

A GOTF first, we watched it literally rain down pee on a picnic table full of people from a goat on one of the ramps above. Luckily they had the umbrella up or it would have been disastrous.

After filling up on the biggest bowl of ice ream ever, not to mention a heck of show watching them make it, I got my future read by Pappy and we headed to the next stop.

Black Rock Mountain State Park.

We managed 2 overlooks and stopped in the visitor center before we moved on to the final leg of our Independence Day journey.

Our last stop was Minnehaha Falls. I had never been there before. It is a bit of a hidden spot on Lake Burton but a super easy hike. Arguably the prettiest falls in the area. I will be back again.

]]> (MFer Photography) goats hiking Mountains North Georgia mountains outdoors Tallulah Gorge travel waterfall Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
52 Lists... That's A Wrap! I have finished the 52 weeks for happiness journal that was gifted to me by my lovely daughter. This has been a fun project and I am going to miss my weekly lists. You can see a recap of all my lists here. This final list is to list the happiest moments of the last year. For the first time I was able to fill up more than 2 pages in my journal. Narrowing this down to only 5 is so hard. There has been so much fun this past year. I hope you have enjoyed following along. I have some ideas of what I am going to do in its place so stayed tuned.

Without further adieu, here is my very last 52 Lists post.

1. Costa Rica. Hands down the tippy top of the most happiest moments of the last 52 weeks.

2. Universal and Orlando family trip! Oh what fun did we have!

3. Raising this guy. Gosh we miss him.

4. Christmas in NYC and visiting my dad. I also reconnected with my childhood BFF and had more memories with her this year as well.

5. Gary + Jennies wedding (and all the activities and visits with Pete + Laura)

Above photos by Reagan Powell

Here's to 52 more weeks of happiness!




]]> (MFer Photography) 52 lists Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT