Mask Trash in Atlanta

A discarded mask on the street in Atlanta

Photographing Atlanta's Mask Trash


How many of you have noticed all the mask trash?

My sister came up to visit and spend the night with me on Friday.

On Saturday morning, we took Bauer for a walk. 

"Look," I said to my sister. "A new genre of trash. Mask trash. Oh...and disposable glove trash." 

As we walked, we noticed lots of it. 

There's always been a considerable amount of trash on the streets around here but it's gotten much worse since COVID-19. 

It's puzzling. 

Lots of people are staying inside quarantining but the amount of trash on the streets is crazy. 

So, of course, I decided I'll photograph it. I'm not the only one.

I was going to start #masktrash on Instagram but it wasn't necessary - it's already there. 

I'm doing a little project based on all the trash I see when I'm out walking. 

Which is a good thing for me because I've been in a bit of a funk when it comes to my photography lately. 

As I've mentioned before, between the violence and the virus, I haven't been going out at night. I've talked to other friends around here who feel the same way. 

As a woman, I've always been extra careful about where I walk at night, especially if I'm alone, but when even men are telling me they're avoiding being out in the city at night, I know I should heed the advice and stay home. 

But...I feel super compelled to get these mask trash photos, so I'm doing something I don't usually do - daytime shooting. 

A mask along Highland Ave in Atlanta

I don't like the light in full daytime shooting, though when I was shooting a lot in college, I did most of my street shooting during the day since I didn't want to walk around alone at night in downtown San Diego either.  

My friend, Al, used to go with me when I really wanted to go at night. I only asked him because he liked photography and didn't mind waiting while I set up my tripod, etc. He'd get photos of his own. 

Most people don't like walking around with photographers, and I don't blame them.

We're always stopping and starting and setting up tripods and, all in all, it's super annoying if you don't love doing it yourself.

There are only a couple of people I ask to go with me when I'm shooting, and if you read my blog, you know one of them is my good friend Lauren. She's an amazing photographer, and I love going out shooting with her. 

It's always good pushing myself out of my comfort zone, so shooting during the day will make this a good project. I think I'll also limit myself to one lens only - my Nikon 85mm prime. It's one of my favorite lenses. 

It's a great piece of glass that opens to a 1.8 aperture, giving me that beautiful bokeh, fuzzy background. It's perfect for this project. 

Hopefully, soon I can get some new city and landscape images for the website too. 

I hope you all are surviving COVID and whatever else you might be going through right now!

Take care, and see you between the raindrops!


Susan And If you're ready to do a little redecorating, check out my other photos