Northern Georgia in December

There are so many benefits to going south in the winter.

I love the outdoors and I love being outside.

In the late fall, this can grow increasingly difficult. The weather gets cold and snow falls on the ground.

Now, I’ve adapted in my life, because I love snowboarding. It’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world and I’ve even tried snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Both of those things I do not enjoy nearly as much.

But, still on a day-to-day basis it gets difficult to interact with nature unless you make the big commitment to go all in on a day at the ski hill.

That’s why I love going south to Atlanta to visit my sisters’ families during November and December.

The last two years I’ve spent at least two weeks in Atlanta during those cold months and every time I at least do a few outdoor hikes.

It also gives my sisters an excuse to pack up their whole families and drive somewhere interesting to go on these hikes.

For this particular hike, I traveled with my sister and my parents from Roswell, Georgia, which is in the northern suburbs of Atlanta to Helen, Georgia.

Helen is a tourist trap through and through.

It’s a small town right on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains.

It’s one of those towns where you walk down mainstreet and it’s only tourists and all of the buildings look like they were built in Switzerland a couple hundred years ago.

Yep, not real life by any means and all the shops sell tourist items like pulled taffy candy, glass-blown items and various knickknacks.

After spending a few hours strolling around, looking at things and eating lunch, we headed up into the actual National Forest.

The place we went was a popular hiking spot in its own right: Anna Ruby Falls.

I mean it had it’s own road leading up to the falls, which helped the naming rights because literally the road only led to the falls and ended at the falls.

Once you get to the end of the road, you have more than four miles of paved and wooden bridge hiking trails that lead you up to two twin falls, plunging more than 150 feet.

I’m not sure how much we actually hiked. If my memory is right, it was only about a mile of stairs and trails to get to the falls, but you can take another trail that leads beyond the falls to another campground.

According to USDA Forest Service website, it’s 0.4 miles of trails to get to the falls, but I believe that was just to the base of the falls and we climbed higher than that. There are also some of these hikes in the northern Georgia mountains that connect with the Appalachian state trail, but the website doesn’t mention that.

For photographs, I really wanted to get a shot of the water all blurring together and in a continuous stream of motion. I didn’t want to freeze frame it.

So, because I flew on a plane to Georgia, I didn’t have my tripod with me.

I had to make due with what I had, which in this case was a wooden railing.

From there, I cranked my Fstop as high as it could go and my ISO as low as it could go and was able to move my shutter speed to 3 seconds.

It still resulted in a photo that was a little overexposed, because it was during the day, but 3 seconds was good for me.

I’ve actually read about a filter that darkens cameras, so you can take long exposure shots during the daylight. It was pricey and clunky, but if anyone is curious about it I’m not sure how great this article is, but it will get you pointed in the right direction.

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/10/08/daytime-long-exposure-photography-tips-for-smoothing-water-and-blurring-skies/

It looks like it is a 10-stop filter, which would really let you photograph like it’s night time. That would be awesome. Anyway, hope you all enjoy the photos!

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