Day Destinations

Back by popular demand: Day Destinations!

You have a free day. You’re itching to shoot. Where do you go? Join us to learn about four places that allow you to drive to, shoot, and return home in one day.

1. Wade Sheldon will speak about photographic opportunities at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia, two hours northwest of Athens ( Sixteen separate gardens are maintained on the property, including 3 feature gardens – the Manor House Gardens, Japanese Gardens, and Waterlily Gardens. Photographic opportunities abound throughout the year, including daffodils in the spring, water lilies and flower beds in the summer, Japanese maples in the fall, and sculptures and architecture throughout the year. It’s one destination where you are certain to use every lens in your bag!
Wade is a marine scientist at the University of Georgia, specializing in scientific computing and environmental informatics. He bought his first camera after graduating from college, a Canon T-70 film body, and has been hooked on photography ever since. He currently pursues a wide range of photo subjects semi-professionally, including promotional and event photography for Cedar Theatre, Bear Hollow Zoo, Athens for Everyone, and various non-profit groups and scientific societies, as well as landscape and general nature photography. Wade’s photos have appeared in a variety of technical publications and regional magazines, including the UGA Research Reporter. You can view some of Wade’s recent work on his website at

2. Sandy Ellis will share about Callaway Gardens, just over 2.5 hours away in Pine Mountain, GA. (
Sandy says, “I have always loved photography. In the 1970’s I got a degree in Journalism at the University of Georgia. During that time I took photography classes and fell in love with it. I spent hours in the darkroom developing my own black and white photos. I had found my passion! As much as I loved photography, I found it difficult to make a living so I went back to school and became a teacher. I had to put photography on hold. I retired from teaching in May 2010 and immediately dove back into photography. I am shooting all digital now and love enhancing my photos in Photoshop. I do about 6 art shows a year where I have a booth and sell my work. My work has been in several juried shows including OCAF, Southworks, and The Lyndon House Arts Center. I like to photograph landscapes, flowers, insects, and wildlife. I especially like to photograph birds. Every winter I travel to Florida to photograph water birds and to St. Augustine in the spring to photograph nesting birds. My favorite thing to photograph lately is my grandchildren!” More of Sandy’s work can be seen at

3. Beth Thompson is taking us to Whiteside Mountain, approx. 2.5 hours the other direction in Highlands, N.C. (Whiteside Mountain)
Beth is a native of Athens, GA. She has lived in Helsinki, Finland; Columbus, Ohio; Paris, France; and New York City. Beth studied at Parsons Paris and The American University of Paris. She holds two B.F.A.’s from the University of Georgia: one in photography and one in digital media.
Beth has created a Possible Perceptions series, simultaneously blogging about an 18th century explorer of the Southeast, William Bartram. With his book Travels as a muse and guide, Beth has written 60 blog posts and created over 100 Possible Perceptions from photographs she has taken of the Southeast. Beth has exhibited this body of work at Aurum Studios, the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia, the Madison County Library, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens.
Collected internationally, artist Patricia Hamalainen from Helsinki, Finland, says: “No doubt about it in my mind, Beth’s work is brilliant and unique – brainy, a-complex, but approachable.” You can see more of Beth’s work at

4. Judy Glenn is also taking us northwest to Berry College (2277 Martha Berry Hwy NW, Mount Berry, GA Berry College is a wonderful place to photograph eagles, deer, swans, and other wildlife. Berry is almost 3 hrs away if traveling during the day. That comes down to around 2.25 hrs if you leave Athens before sunrise.
Berry became home to “Ma Berry” and “Pa Berry” in the spring of 2012. The pair have had 9 eaglets since that time (B8 and B9 should be leaving the nest by May). The nest can be found in the parking lot of the Steven J. Cage Athletic Recreation Center. The are two live cams where you can watch the eagles: A neighboring lake, not far from the college, is one of their favorite feeding place as there are more coots than you can count. Muskrats can also be found at the lake.
Judy is passionate about photographing wildlife, especially hummingbirds. She researched and designed the Hummingbird Trail for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Milledge Ave. in Athens, and gives talks and trail walks for the garden. Her website will hopefully be up this year. Until then, her blog shows her work and most of her social media:

5. This is you. What is your favorite photo day trip destination? We’ll leave time at the end for you to share.

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