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The Fernbank Forest, Atlanta’s largest urban forest, has reopened after a two-year ecological restoration project. Invasive species were removed to allow native plants to flourish. This 65-acre forest supports a diverse ecosystem and includes trees that are up to 300 years old. Although the Fernbank Forest is open to the public, access is through the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and well worth a year’s membership. Yesterday was the first time that I had walked in these woodlands. I was in awe of this beautiful and pristine hardwood forest.

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This is the first picture I took on November 9, 2016.  I had spent a sleepless night in utter shock and disbelief over the outcome of the presidential election. At 5:30 am, I grabbed my camera, leashed up Nathan, and headed out to walk, hoping the fresh air would ease my heavy heart. The morning was quiet and peaceful, yet provided little solace. I was able to lose myself in a moment of beauty when I saw the delicate shadows of leaves dancing upon the leaf sacks above.

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Although this presidential election has divided our country in many ways, there is probably one thing that we are all in agreement about; it will be a  relief that the campaign for the next president of the United States is over!  It has been a brutal campaign and, like many others, it has taken an emotional toll on me. I recently attended a reception and lecture celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. At that event, Ambassador Young told us that we, as a city and country, have come a long way. He said he remembered watching the Ku Klux Clan marching on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta many years ago. He reminded us that no matter what the outcome on election day, that we will persevere and overcome because we are a great city and a great nation with people who care and who are good.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

yellow-leaves

This morning was the last time this month that I will be walking Nathan in the dark. Sunday, we gain an hour and hopefully a bit more time to linger in the morning. After a very hot summer and early fall, Atlantans are finally enjoying crisp, cool mornings. The leaves are at the height of their color and the landscape is a feast for the eyes. I always walk Nathan through a wooded area in our neighborhood which traces the path of the old Atlanta-Decatur Trolley Line. At one point during our walk I glanced upwards and saw these delicate, yellow leaves fluttering in the light cast from a neighboring street light.

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to see the movie, Don’t Blink, a documentary about Robert Frank. Frank is one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century and is most famous for his book, The AmericansThe book contains photographs from his 1955 road trip across the United States when he photographed people from all walks of life. In the documentary, Frank said that he mostly photographed people because that is what he found most interesting. Although I am also drawn to photographing humanity, on occasion I stumble upon a scene, devoid of people, that has enough visual interest to shoot.

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patriotic-kids-1Over the past two weekends I had the pleasure of photographing the Oakhurst Fifth Avenue 5K and the Decatur High School Homecoming Parade in my community. I was drawn to photographing the young boy with the flag because he stood so tall and radiated great pride in holding what is a powerful symbol of America. In the lower image, no words are necessary to explain what this girl is feeling as she holds her hand over her heart during the performance of our national anthem. At this time during the presidential race, when the American people are being bombarded with disparaging remarks about our country, it is reaffirming to see the gratitude and pride that our citizens feel for the place we call home.

poet

This young man is a poet who is traveling across the United States with his typewriter. He composes haikus for anyone who is willing to pay a modest fee.

This is one of two images that was chosen for the Airport Show and the Arnika Dawkins Selects exhibition which opens this coming Friday at the Atlanta Photography Group (APG) Gallery.

As a result of my participation in the Airport Show I was interviewed by Spencer Sloan from APG.  To view the Q & A visit the link below.

http://www.atlantaphotographygroup.org/blog/2016/10/5/q-a-beate-sass