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Georgia on His Mind



Chris Greer uses his Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 G2 lens to capture the beauty of the Peach State, for his stills and his upcoming PBS series.


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By Jenn Gidman
Images by Chris Greer


Chris Greer has traveled all over the world for his photographic forays, including teaching photography classes in Italy and Australia. Now that he’s got a family and a job as a professor at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Chris has cut down on the long-distance travel—but his nature and landscape photography is taking off more than ever.

Chris already has one photo book under his belt—2020’s travel guide Georgia Discovered: Exploring the Best of the Peach State—and another coffee-table-style photo book profiling Georgia due out in June. What he’s most excited about, however, is his upcoming TV series for Georgia’s PBS affiliate with fellow photographer Jason Clemmons. View Finders, set to debut in April, will shadow Chris and Jason as they explore some of Georgia’s most gorgeous locations, all while providing viewers with a bit of education on each site.

“The premise of the show is our search for fantastic photos, but along the way we talk to experts about why each location is so important in terms of its history and ecology,” Chris says. “It’s organic and unscripted. We want it to connect with the viewers, so they feel like they’re on these adventures with us. We’re hoping it takes off and even has the possibility to go national.”

For both his still images and videography, Chris has been using the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III VXD G2 high-speed zoom lens. “The 28-75 G2 is tack-sharp,” he says. “I’ve got several 60-by-40 prints shot with this lens on my walls and in galleries. The autofocus performs wonderfully and is very quiet, which is useful when I’m shooting video.”

And Chris uses the lens often for the upcoming TV series. “That focal length range is great for interviews and also for capturing the scenery,” he says. “Plus the lens isn’t overly bulky or heavy, which is a consideration while we’re filming. We don’t have a crew of people with us, so we have to carry all our own gear, including both our camping and photographic equipment—weight and space are at a premium. The 28-75 G2 fits nicely into that footprint without sacrificing anything in performance.”

Also part of Chris’ workflow: Tamron Lens Utility software. “This software has made a great lens even better, due to my ability to customize its functionality to meet my needs,” he says. “I’ll utilize it often when we begin filming Season 2 of the show, due to my ability to use the A-B Focus feature when changing focus in the middle of a shot. It’s smooth and creates a cinematic feel, which is very nice to have with such a portable lens.”

What’s most important to Chris is capturing a scene in a way that looks like how it was when he was there. “ I continue to push myself and innovate my photography techniques to capture the beauty of the world around us as authentically as possible,” he says.

Read on to see how Chris used his 28-75mm G2 lens to capture some recent photos in Georgia and other Deep South locales.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (55mm), F/16, 6.0 sec., ISO 50
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This was at DeSoto Falls in Alabama. The huge waterfall is usually the focus of everyone’s photos. But when I was there, I noticed this man-made spillway, with this one yellow plant emerging out of the rocks that caught my eye. This is actually a composite image. The foreground and where the plant is, where everything looks so smooth and silky in the water, is one image. For the second image of the spillway itself in the background, I used a faster shutter speed to freeze the water. Combining those two images added more depth to the final photo.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (75mm), F/9.5, 0.7 sec., ISO 100
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I would say about half of my photography is planned, and half of my photography is simply being in the right place at the right time. If I think the weather's going to cooperate and give me good light, I'll throw my gear in the car no matter where I’m heading. For this photo, I was running an errand when I spotted this pasture full of cows about a mile from my home. They’re always there, but that sky was special on this particular day. Plus, that low fog made for quite a scene. I walked along the edge of the field until I could place those two cows a bit closer to me, so they weren’t as enveloped in the mist as some of the others, just as the sky was coming alive.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (28mm), F/8, 10 sec., ISO 100
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My family was on vacation in South Carolina when we stumbled upon this long tunnel, with water dripping from the rocks. If you head far into the tunnel, it turns pitch black if you don’t have a flashlight or headlamp with you. My two kids were standing near the opening, where the warm sun was filtering in and reflecting off of the puddles and wet rock. I knew an image of the tunnel alone wouldn’t be terribly interesting, so I had my kids stand in front of the opening and hold hands. What I love about this photo is that everyone has a different take on it: Some say it feels spiritual, while others get a creepy vibe, like something out of Stranger Things.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (28mm), F/16, 1/3 sec., ISO 100
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We were filming a YouTube episode on some land in the mountains of northern Georgia, and the sunset kept getting better and better as it evolved. The horses that graze there had trampled this path down, and when I set up my camera, just one horse was in my frame, to the left of the path. Then the horse on the right started walking down the hill. I kept photographing the one on the left, just to ensure sharpness, and by the time the horse on the right was in the frame, I had everything all ready to go. Between the horses, the sunset, and the mountains in the background, this photo is the epitome of nature to me.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (61mm), F/16, 2.0 sec., ISO 100
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I was on my way early one morning to teach a photography workshop in southern Georgia. I took all back roads and was driving through parts of the state I'd never been before. There was a little fog, but the sky wasn’t doing anything too special. Then these trees caught my eye. It wasn’t the best place to pull over—there was a lot of traffic—but I did, and I walked right to the edge of the land there. I liked the way that one tree was positioned all the way at the end of these two symmetrical rows of trees. The bit of fog behind it created just enough separation.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (28mm), F/2.8, 0.5 sec., ISO 100
Click image to view larger

We were in downtown Atlanta filming some B-roll for the TV show and were on one of the overpasses trying to capture some of the traffic, which there’s always a lot of in Atlanta. The clouds were moody, with that dramatic skyline as the backdrop. I used a 6-stop neutral-density filter so I could slow my shutter speed down to about a 1/2 a second, then took several shots of all the cars to create a sense of motion.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (28mm), F/2.8 1/30 sec., ISO 4000
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This astrophotography image happened as we were filming an episode for the TV show in the Okefenokee Swamp, the largest blackwater wetland in North America. It’s massive, with more than 10,000 alligators swimming around in it. The nice thing about the Okefenokee for astrophotography is that it’s Dark Sky certified—meaning it’s one of the few places in the eastern United States where there’s almost no light pollution.

We paddled out to a floating platform in the middle of the swamp. This was November, so it wasn’t Milky Way season, and so the core wasn’t visible, but we were still able to photograph this portion of it, coming up over the swamp.

© Chris Greer
28-75mm G2 (38mm), F/18, 1/200 sec., ISO 100
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We have a cabin up in the mountains and head up there anytime we can. There’s this one tree, which you see here in this composite of two images, that I’ve photographed in almost every season. On this particular day, I thought the light at sunset might be perfect for a photo opp. I got there on the early side of sunset, so that the sun was still high enough to be illuminating some of those plants in the field, which is why they seem like they’re almost glowing. I stopped my lens down a bit to capture some of the beams radiating out of the sun and through the trees. Meanwhile, this bird kept swooping and landing on the branches, and I wanted to freeze it, so I upped my shutter speed and bumped up my ISO to make sure I captured it the way I wanted it.

To see more of Chris Greer’s work, go to https://chrisgreerphotography.com or check out his Instagram. Check out a trailer for View Finders here.





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