Dodge & Burn: Keeping Cool in Atlanta

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Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light.
With record-breaking heatwaves this past week, many of Atlanta’s youth are having to cope with a weather system that seems intent on disturbing their summer fun. Because the Atlanta-based young adult generally has little to no money for bourgeois luxuries like air conditioning, he or she must be resourceful in the quest for the cool. One favorite pastime in the effort to beat the heat is mixing water with parties. Cookouts featuring water-gun fights, setting up giant inflatable pools in parking lots, or hanging out in the Mattress Loft pool until it becomes uncomfortably warm or sticky are all things the young people of Atlanta do to keep cool.



The benefits of mixing meat, fire, cheap beer, and municipal water are not only good for the soul but very cost effective in these trying economics times. With just a few people putting in their spare dollars, entire cliques can be fed and faded, all the while throwing copious amounts of water at one another. One person’s access to their apartment complex swimming pool can easily become twenty people’s access to a decent afternoon by the water. In most instances security can be warded off with a ten spot or a few puffs.



Heat, as we all know, is counter-productive to the young bohemian’s mind. Southern heat breeds lethargy, fatigue, and unproductive laziness, especially when mixed with various herbs and spices. So it behooves the young people of Atlanta to find a temperate alternative. Like a lizard dipping its tail in a birdbath, so too the young creative must be dipped in water from time to time. As the heat drags on into the dreaded dog days of summer, let’s keep cool and try to consume something other than water with barley and hops in it. And let me know next time you hear about an awesome pool party, I’m always down.

These images come from various out and about experiences for me. I used either a 35/1.8 or a 50/1.8 Nikkor lens for all of them. Because of the shallow depth of field, these lenses make for very dynamic gonzo-journalistic shots. This can be seen in my recent Flickr sets, as well. I also utilized a pre-fab filter I developed to give the purplish hues each image has, and created the “light leaks” with a color burn overlay.
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