Sliding a little sideways (Atlanta Photographer)|Wheeltracks Photography

Ok, so I will be the first to admit, growing up I was a road racing fan. I never liked Nascar, quite frankly i think that might be one of the dumbest forms of motorsports. But, again that is just my opinion. A little harsh I know. But why am I saying this? I’m saying this because I absolutely love racing, I have all my life so far and probably will for years.

But why say this? I say this because I just recently realized how much i honestly love the idea of cars, racing cars and what have you. For over 8 years, I had a car that I modified, loved and made it something to be proud of. Granted I wasn’t done with what I wanted to do. But, I was so tired of riding first gear every day down the highway during rush hour for school. So I got a daily driver that was reliable. I also got into photography, which as you can see has become a passion and love of mine as well.

But, recently these past few weeks, as a result of reconnecting with someone whom I have not spoken to in years, it’s allowed that love for cars and wanting to build one to reignite. I never got to finish the one that I once had and I have always told myself that I would get another one, and do it all over again to finally finish where it started.

This past weekend I went to Atlanta Drag Way to watch  drift event at a car show called Nopi Nationals. The last time I went to this event, was back in 2005. Drifting was just getting recognized in a bigger way as it was only a “Demonstration” and not an actual competition as it was this time that I went. It’s so awesome to see how “grassroots” it is. I feel like its died off a little when it comes to mainstream, but the people who love it and enjoy the hell out of it still do it no matter what. That was exemplified here this past weekend.The event went on for two days; Saturday was practicing, and Sunday was Qualifying and the actual Competition.

Over those two days, I shot a ton of images, and came out with about 225 good ones that I have gun to distribute to the racers. You can check out some of the images below or go to my Facebook or Instagram (@davisonwheeler). If you’re  reading this and you were on of the drifters, you’re more then welcome to contact me via fb to get a link that I can send you with images more than likely of your cars.

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A little bit of Atlanta’s Skyline | Davison Wheeler |Atlanta Architecture Photographer


A few years go, I fell in love with a form of photography that I honestly really never think of. Most of you who read this,  know that when I First started, I was all about doing landscapes and scenery. I would do what ever I could to take images in that. Most of the images that you would see pop up on the early stages of my Facebook page, or this blog would be either pictures of my car, or landscapes that i thought were awesome.

Of course, as time went on, it definitely changed and I was a lot more conscious of what I was shooting and began to develop more of a love for shooting people. That definitely took even more form as time went on and I went to school learning so much more of the technical side. Especially when it came to that of photographing portraiture. However, as time went on through the photography program that I was enrolled in, we started to venture into the world of Architectural photography. One of the first images that I took of a building (the proper way) was with a large format 4×5 view camera that we had at our disposal at school.

I will admit entirely that I was INCREDIBLY intimidated with this camera. A lot of the way that you used it when you first began didn’t make sense. All of us in my class were stymied because it was so primitive. The few knobs that used to adjust the perspectives, zooms, orientation and what have you just seemed so simple, yet hard to grasp the understanding of how to use the camera.  I can’t even begin to tell how frustrated I became when we first started to learn how to use that thing, the assignments that they made us do were incredibly asinine! I only say that because they were some of the hardest things I have ever had to do with a camera. I had to take an object, one that would fit in the ground glass plain of the camera and make that object the same size in the camera that it was in real life. They did however teach me darn well how to use that camera in the long run. I actually ended up enjoying using it after a while.

As we went on through the program, we were actually finally able to use the “digital alternative” which was a DSLR (a Canon 5D Mark 2) and a tilt shift lens.  We had the option of between a 24mm, 45mm and a 90mm. The pickings were slim so we had to sign up early to get one of them. Had we not been able to use one of those we had to do a lot of correction in Photoshop which could have taken a while (honestly I didn’t mind doing it). A secret about most of my images in my final portfolio that were Architecture; 2 of the three exterior shots were taken with a normal wide angle lens and corrected in photos hope and one was taken using tilt-shift lens, but without a tripod.

I grew to love photographing buildings more and more. I got privileged at the time to be able to photograph inside The Glen hotel in downtown Atlanta and I LOVED the way I shot their conference room. To this day it was one of my favorite interior architecture photographs. That hotel was a key to me being able to get ahead on many of the assignments that I needed for that class and I am really thankful to the woman that allowed me to use the hotel a lot to do so.

Architecture-6By the end of the program, like I had said at the beginning of this post, I had grown to love taking pictures of buildings. In the next year, I am wanting add this type of photography to my business model and try and begin photographing more buildings in and around the Atlanta area and possibly in other states. When the light hits the building right, and the sky compliments the buildings well, the pictures can be nothing but spectacular. Below are a few more the ones that I have shot over the years.

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Photographing an Early Morning| Davison Wheeler Atlanta Commercial and Portrait Photograph

When I got started ( before I even considered doing this thing as profession ) all I really loved doing was taking pictures of landscapes. I thought I got really good doing it honestly. Black and whites were honestly my favorite and I think by the end of the first year I had gotten pretty good. I had probably taken a photograph at every county park around me. Once I had started school for it, my love for landscape photography kind of took a backseat. Not because I wanted it to. But because throughout school, the assignments were not really focused on that. Now, I will admit, I should have continued to photograph more and more landscapes during my free time, cause I always loved doing them. But, I had to focus on so many other things.

Fortunately about a year in, I was able to kind of use my love for it once again. We began to develop the knowledge of shooting infrared photography. This was a brand new love of mine. I enjoyed being able to use my love landscape photography (what I think I have eye for) and this new thing infrared photography. It was an awesome thing to learn. After I graduated school. I have been more focused on photographing people and shooting weddings.

For the longest time, I kept getting told by my mother that the sunrise on this particular part of a road was such a beautiful thing to see in the morning. She had always looked it on her way to school in the mornings. She always would say “you should take a picture of this, Davison! It’s so awesome!” I had planned on it for months! I had gotten so busy with other things that I had not been able too. But, the other day, I was able too.

I had rented a lens for a wedding the week before, and figured out I had a free weekend coming up. So, I woke up at like 5am on a Saturday morning before a race I wanted to watch started, and needing to return the lens. Drove the spot on that road, stayed in the car for about 30 minutes till I could see the way the sun looked.

I got out and set up my tripod, put my camera on it, set the camera’s settings at F16, put it on bulb and did about a couple of bracketing shots. Got where I wanted it to go when it came to the images on the camera and then went home.

I played around in Lightroom and Photoshop with it, to get the desired look that I wanted to get with the picture, and that was that. I will have to say I think it came out really well, and photographing this scenery honestly brought back the love to shoot landscapes that I once had. Hopefully look for more landscape photography from me.

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Little Red Corvette!-Atlanta Portrait Photographer|Wheeltracks Photography

A 1962 Corvette

A 1962 Corvette

So, a while back I had been asked by a neighbor from my childhood neighborhood if I was able to do senior pictures for her daughter who was graduating this year. I said of course! Well, originally we had planned not only to do your typical images that you see for senior photographs, but she was also interested in possibly getting photographed with one of her favorite cars as a kid. I said that is absolutely no problem! Unfortunately when we had scheduled the original shoot, the gentleman with the car was not able to come out that day for the shoot. So I was asked if we could do it at a later time.

Fast Forward to last Sunday and we did it! The car as you see above is a 1962 All red corvette. I can see why this was the Ariana’s favorite car when she was growing up and now as a young woman. The car is  beautiful.

Anyway, I go there about 30  minutes early so I could get all of my equipment out of my car and set up. I didn’t have to wait to long as a gentleman in a red ford with a beautiful corvette pulled up and asked “I am guessing your here to take pictures!” I said “yup!” and had him park on the other side of the road and offload the car and bring it to over where I was set up. Ariana and her family arrived a few minutes later and we got started.

The session on took about 45 minutes (including set up and photographing). It honestly didn’t take to long. I want to make sure that I go the car lit up just right and that the pictures were not going to be so blown out. We actually did the shoot about 5pm in the evening while the sun was still out in full force. To counter act that, i dropped the f-stop all the way down to about 16 so that every little light was let in. I had the shutter hovering around 160 fps, iso at auto just because it was super bright already and I used to external flashes. One external flash (the one that I had positioned on Ariana) had a soft box focused on her so that she would be light up correctly. The other external flash was off over to the right hand side of the car high up, maybe about 7 to 8 feet high and pointed down onto the car so the car would be illuminated properly. As I re positioned her around the car, I repositioned the lights, mostly just moving the flash that was aimed at her.

Above all, I think the shoot went great and I am incredibly happy with how all the images came out. I wanted to make it a point to not do very much editing to these images, and I didn’t have to. The way the lighting worked kept the colors looking great and her properly I have put all the images that I decided were the best finals down at the bottom for you to view. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment!

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Creativity in an already creative industry|Atlanta, Georgia Photographer

Being creative is one of the hardest things to do in photography. Being original is even harder. One can be creative, but how creative. A lot of that has to do with originality. However, originality in the business of photography is almost non-existent in this day and age. But what makes things original in this day and age?

Originality in the photography industry is a hard one to create. Take a railroad track image for example. For those who are beginning in the hobby of photography, later possibly a business, it is one of the most widely used. I was even looking on my Instagram account this evening (you can follow me at @davisonwheeler) and saw a leading lines image of railroad tracks! It was definitely a good picture, but it proves my point of how widely used, especially with leading lines. Also, railroad tracks are a very widely used backdrop and or theme for portraits of people.

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However, railroads are honestly just one of the many widely used themes. There are a lot of others. If it is Spring time and one goes to a public park and you walk around and almost at every “spot” in there, you will widely see many being used. I am guilty of it myself so this is not a “shame on you” type of thing. I go to any local park, Piedmont Park for example, and it is filled with photographers taking photographs on a nice sunny day. It’s a common thing for one photographer to be using a spot, and one move in to use it as well. Alas a lot of that has to do with the location that one chooses to use.

Choosing a location is critical when it comes to taking a photograph. Especially when comes to what we have been talking about through this article. With so many things having already been done, originality is hard thing to come by in this industry. Not only is the location critical, but it’s how you shoot at that location that can make all the difference, along with what you do with the particular image after the fact (in post processing and such). That’s where good and or bad locations come into play.

Deciding on a good location takes planning, scouting and a lot more before you actually begin to shoot. A photographer needs to be that game changer, that one that has no rhyme or reason to think about what anyone in the industry has done before or is doing at the time. Try and succeed at doing something different, without taking those ideas and copying, take those ideas and make them your own. Put your name on it.