Moonshine at the Varsity

Moon and stars over Atlanta's iconic Varsity drive-in

The Varsity in Atlanta

Photography and Life

Photography is like life.

There are highs and lows, shadows and light, and deep versus shallow areas. And just like life, with photography, I'm always learning something.

I took some photos of the Varsity a few years ago, and I wasn't that happy with them.

I didn't hate them. They were good photos, but I felt they could be much better. They needed something. 

I had ideas at the time, but I didn't know how to execute, which is why I've been so intent on studying Photoshop in the last few years. Photoshop helps me bring my ideas to life.

I liked the foreground after merging a few of the photos. There was some movement from the light trails the cars left behind, but the sky was so dark blue in all the photos, they needed something else, something to give them a little more character and life. 

I was disappointed because earlier in the evening before I took the Varsity photos, the clouds were stunning:


The Olympic Torch near the Varsity in Atlanta


Things don't always turn out the way we want them to, eh? 

Kinda like life in general!

Lifelong Student

That's why photography renders me a perpetual student, and I love that.

As I was looking through some of my old Lightroom catalogs the other day, I realized I now had the skills to edit photos like these into the photo I pictured in my imagination. I could make the photo a little more magical and fun. 

I don't know about you, but I could use a little more magic and fun right now!

I re-edited this the way I wished it had looked the night I took it. 

One of the challenges of compositing photos is making them look believable even if the subject is clearly surreal or unrealistic. 

Due to light pollution, you'd never see so many stars in the sky in Atlanta, so in that way, the photo isn't real. 

Making the colors match up with the foreground is the tricky part. I'm still working on all the ways to do that. 

This is when my perfectionism kicks in. I could work for hours and hours and never feel like it's "good enough." But I'm learning to let that go, at least a little bit. 

Too often, perfectionism is an excuse not to take the hard steps and do something. 

Take the steps, even if it's only one every day. By the end of the year, that's 365 steps you might not have otherwise taken.  

So - here it is - Moonshine Over the Varsity. 

I got the light trails I love, and I added in some stars and the moon I had shot on previous occasions to liven up the sky. 

Here's to working on the things you love and not worrying about whether or not you're getting it "perfect"! Chances are, you're getting it right. 

And...if you're in Atlanta and you've never experienced the Varsity, you've got to try it at least once. It features the world's largest fast-food drive-in (currently closed due to COVID). 

There's also a huge walk-in counter where you'll hear the famous catchphrase, "what'll ya have?" And you better know! They don't like wasting time while people hem and haw at the counter. 

Okay - so, it's not exactly health food, but every now and then...   

Have a good one!

And, see you between the raindrops!


You can find this photo of the Varsity here