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Stone Mountain sunset hike

Twice a year, the sun sets behind downtown Atlanta and it's cityscape architecture. Looks like the best day for these shots will be Sat., Oct 20. The sun will set at 6:57pm so you'll want to be up at the top of Stone Mountain and set up to shoot by 6:30.

An entry fee is required to enter the park. You can plan to take the gondola up to the top (additional fee) but plan ahead as it shuts down around 5pm. You'll need to consult the Stone Mountain State Park web site for the price of the ride and operating times. If you do take the gondola up, you'll need to plan on walking down the mountain and then to your car. As we near the date, we can probably arrange to drop off some cars at both locations so that we can shuttle people back to their vehicles. If you choose to hike up the mountain, budget yourself 30-45 minutes, dependent on how in shape your are. It's about a half mile hike but with[masked] ft elevation climb.

You'll need as long a lens as you have. A tripod is a necessity. A cable release and a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter are nice to have's. You'll need to bring a flashlight for the hike down and bring a jacket along as it gets cool up there.

Given the time of year, you might even want to make a day of it at the park, taking in the fall colors.

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  • Carl F.

    I estimated about 2 dozen photographers up on the mountain for the shoot. Sorry but only recognized one person from the SPS group. I hope everyone got the images they expected.

    October 22, 2012

    • Ken R.

      There were a bunch of scattered all over. Good time and good photos. Thanks Carl!

      October 22, 2012

  • D'An Holmes G.

    Got my exercise on the hike up and down and some cool shots too!

    October 21, 2012

  • Justin H.

    I had a blast! Its been awhile since I've truly enjoyed a sunset.

    October 21, 2012

  • Carl F.

    I'm here and ready to head up. Where's everyone?

    October 20, 2012

  • Carl F.

    I'm planning to be at the park around 3pm to scout out the foliage. I'll head up the mountain at 5:30. You can meet me at the bathrooms near the parking lot/trail before then. Make sure to bring a flashlight and jacket for the trek down.

    October 20, 2012

  • Venkat

    Any one want to car pool from Alpharetta?

    October 19, 2012

  • Justin H.

    The Highland games will also be going on that day! Check it out http://festivals.stonemountainpark.com/mini-section/default.aspx?id=40

    October 19, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Not much change in the weather from what I saw listed Monday. Looks to be excellent for the images we want to get.

    October 17, 2012

  • Leah T.

    The Stone Mountain website says that the gondola ride is open until 7pm on Saturday, so if you get your shots and get packed up quickly enough, you may be able to catch a ride back down. However, if you choose to go on Friday or Sunday, the gondola does close at 5pm.

    October 17, 2012

    • Carl F.

      Thanks for the update Leah.

      October 17, 2012

  • Carl F.

    The current weather forecast for Saturday is very favorable, Details for Saturday, October 20
    Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 40s.
    5% cloud coverage, 61% humidity. 6:57pm sunset.

    October 15, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Someone brought to my attention that a lasershow will be taking place that evening, in fact, I think it's the last of the year. Traffic is probably going to be a bit hectic so plan accordingly. In using "The Photographer's Ephmeris", I concluded that this day would be best for the setting sun against the majority of downtown buildings. This by far not the only day to go. I would say that you have about an 8 day window, +4 or -4 days, to get a shot. Friday or Sunday nights should be just as good. The sun will transition about 1degree or so each day.

    September 17, 2012

  • Judy

    Carl, do you recommend the use of a filter for sunset photography? If so, what type?

    September 6, 2012

    • Carl F.

      A polarizing or UV filter will not be of any help. If you have Neutral Density filters, those can be beneficial in creating long-exposure images. I was thinking of trying that if we have some nice clouds.

      September 6, 2012

  • MARI

    Is the shot up top taken from the mountain and if so what lens was it? I'm trying to get a better idea of what the view is so I bring a lens I'll be happy with. I don't own any telephotos so I'll be renting one.

    September 4, 2012

    • Carl F.

      Yes, it was taken at the top. I setup using a[masked]mm lens and will place a 1.4 teleconverter on it.

      September 4, 2012

    • MARI

      you weren't kidding when you suggested the longest lens possible :D Thanks!

      September 4, 2012

  • Christina D.

    Sounds awesome!

    September 4, 2012

    • Carl F.

      Let's just hope the clouds cooperate. I liked getting the no clouds images but some nice cirrus clouds would be a beneficial.

      September 4, 2012

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