The Town of Spectre (part 2)

As promised, I wanted to post a series of photos I shot while at the Town of Spectre, located on Jackson Lake Island in Millbrook, Alabama. These are the remaining buildings of the set from the movie Big Fish which was released in 2003. 

My wife, our dog Dexter, a couple other friends and I went and camped there the weekend of the 4th of July. I had heard lots of great things about this little island and was excited to see it in person. I had heard that the land owners were incredibly nice and accommodating and all of that was absolutely true. We were greeted at the gate by and a gentleman who we ended up chatting with for a few minutes. He asked us where we came from and showed legitimate interest is us, something that you rarely find in meeting people these days. We payed for camping ($10/person per night) and headed in to find a spot. 

This place is perfect for us because there aren't any defined camping sites (yet), so you just set up camp wherever you can fit. I believe this will soon become a popular destination, and when you go there you'll feel all the feelings...there is something special about this little island. 

These buildings were constructed for the outside alone, and they are literally just shells. The inside is a combination of dirt floors and the occasional gift from the permanent herd of goats that live on the island. 

I wanted to create a very moody and dark scene for these photos because that is what you see and feel about this town at the end of the movie. I used a 10 stop ND filter made by Vu Filters combined with the Fujifilm XT1 and the 16mm f1.4 lens. I was fortunate to have a nice cloudy and windy day so I slowed my shutter speed down a 20 second exposure to capture the movement of the clouds and trees. Obviously at an exposure that long you'll need a tripod and I was set up on my Roadtrip by MeFOTO, which is perfect for packing light but giving you the support you need.  

The images were shot in RAW and brought into Lightroom for minor straightening/cropping then I opened the images in Silver EFEX Pro (a free program with lots of B&W control) to convert it to black and white. There were a few stray cars/campers in some of the photos, so I had to go into Photoshop and remove those before making my final tweaks in Lightroom. 

aaron coury photography town of spectre big fish 9.jpg

Thanks for checking out my photos and trip to Jackson Lake Island, and if you're ever close, make time to stop by this magical place. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about this series. Have a great day! 

 

Davidson-Arabia Mountain

I love Arabia Mountain in Conyers, GA and I think its a super underrated spot in Georgia. It's a 20m drive from where I live, so Cleo and I visit often. Last week we packed up our bikes, because there are some great trails, and our cameras and headed out. After a quick ride, we went and scouted our spot to watch and capture the sunset. Here are a few of my favorite images. 

The New River Gorge, West Virginia

My wife and I decided to make a little pit stop last weekend in West Virginia on our way home from visiting our relatives in Ohio for the holidays. We didn't really need to be back in Atlanta the next day, so we decided to stay the night at a cheap hotel and go check out the amazing New River Gorge Bridge. I'd been there once before about 10 years ago and remembered it being one of my favorite places I'd visited. 

Once we saw the bridge and started crossing it, all the memories flooded back. I knew we'd made the right decision. 

This was the first view we got of bridge after we parked. It seemed to go on and on and the rolling fog at times made it just disappear. It was so beautiful I decided to shoot a little time lapse (which I have yet to have time to put together. no worries, it's on the agenda for next week.) I took this shot with the fujifilm xt1 and the 10-24mm. 

This was the first view we got of bridge after we parked. It seemed to go on and on and the rolling fog at times made it just disappear. It was so beautiful I decided to shoot a little time lapse (which I have yet to have time to put together. no worries, it's on the agenda for next week.) I took this shot with the fujifilm xt1 and the 10-24mm. 

Once I shot about 10 seconds worth of time lapse material (250 shots) we made our way down to another path that opened up to this beautiful view. As you can see, the fog was coming in pretty thick about this time. So we set up shop for a while and soaked in this moment (literally, because it started raining). After the blanket of fog had come and gone, we got in our car to head down to the bottom of the gorge. There are lots of places to stop along the way with different angles/views of the bridge, but most of them were covered by trees. Below are a few shots we took on the way down. 

There is nothing like a thick layer of fog to add a nice mood to photos. 

We could have stayed at the bottom of the gorge for hours. The rolling fog created new scenes every minute. I set up on the smaller bridge and shot another time lapse of the larger bridge. Then we walked around for a while shooting all angles. Our last stop before we left was a little pull-off with a few beautiful waterfalls. Overall, this "pit-stop" has now become a favorite spot. We'll be returning for a weekend once we get some color again. Hope you enjoyed following our little adventure! 

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