On Friday night I solidified my plans to arise early to shoot the sunrise at a new location. (Holiday weekends and arising early don’t go together for most people, but for photographers who know when ‘good light’ is available, its a sacrifice we often make.) One of my favorite outings is to ‘discover’ places that are close to home that most people who live in the Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek or Milton area drive by but don’t take the time to explore.
The Jones Bridge section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is one that I have driven by many times, but have never explored. I knew from a friends Flickr photostream that Jones Bridge offered an old, half torn-down bridge which was my intended subject for the morning.
Scout the Location Online
There are three sites I visited Friday night, the National Park Service (NPS), Google Maps and Flickr. While looking at other photos of the bridge/park on Flickr I learned that on the east side of the river is Jones Bridge Park, one of Gwinnett County’s parks.
Before I left Saturday morning, I reformatted my memory card, selected three lenses (Nikon 18-200mm, Nikon 35mm and Tamron 10-24mm), circular polarizer filters, and reviewed my ISO, auto-focus and file format settings on my camera. I attached the tripod mount to the bottom of the camera and checked to make sure I had the wireless remote control in my bag. Lastly, I brought a LED flashlight for my hike. Knowing that I would arrive in the dark, I wanted everything to be ready to go when I took it out of my car.
When I arrived at the park around 6:30 am, I was pleased that the gates were already open (yeah!), parked my car and gathered my equipment from the trunk. It was still dark and I was glad that I had my flashlight. I reviewed the park map and began my short hike to the bridge. While the bridge and the morning sun provided some good shots, I had not found anything that I was crazy about.
I decided to drive (several miles) to the park on the east side of the river. By the time I arrived and explored the east side waterfront area, the sun was providing full light, typically not what I desire. I continued to shoot photos of the bridge from the east side and with the help of my circular polarizer filter, was able to capture my favorite image of the morning (featured to the right). In this image, the sunlight highlights the rusty half-bridge as the lush green foliage and deep blue sky reflect in the water below.
View all six photos from my Jones Bridge set on Flickr.