Sigma Infrared Location Scouting around Atlanta Pt. 1

Star Court Mall

Satellite Blvd looking very moody after the rain

A circus tent looking every eerie early in the morning

Star Court Mall in IR

Hello everyone! So last week I decided I was only going to shoot my infrared Sigma DSLRs. Normally I have all sorts of cameras to produce colorful work, but I thought it would be a good choice to go all IR in hopes of getting a specific vibe. The spooky illustrative kind of mood that usually always comes out when I shoot these cameras. I’ll always have the main cameras for my favorite pretty portraits, but these Sigma Foveon cameras really do excel in liminal spaces and landscapes.

These photos are mostly from early in the morning and the emptiness of the locations adds to the feeling being from a movie.

Which is easy since I live in metro Atlanta, and almost every single corner, street and downtown has been used in some way for a movie or tv show. These are my takes on the spots that are literally in our backyard, the same spots they’ve used for Stranger Things, Love Simon, Doom Patrol, Dynasty, and many more.

Gear Used: Sigma SD10, Sigma SD14 x2, Sigma SD15–All these cameras have easy to remove dust/IR filters, and each produces slightly different, almost randomly generated raw files that have a large amount of ways to convert in post. I’ve used these Sigmas as “alternative” cameras to my normal ones and have been plugging away for a good decade plus now.

Sigma SD14 IR | Location: Gwinnett Place Mall / Star Court Mall

This was the initial spot that I wanted to shoot in infrared. Every time I stroll by (I live like 10 minutes from this dead mall) I always have a nice conversation with folks with out of state tags that are making Youtube videos or just wanted to stop by on their Stranger Things location tour. It’s a neat interaction, bringing the shared experience of a ginormously popular streaming show out into the real world. The internet can be a mean place, seeing folks happy in real life gives me hope for sure.

The plans I saw for this mall’s future look pretty nice. I mean this county has like almost 1 million residents, and we have the traffic to show for it, so it would be good to have another cool hangout greenspace just up the road.

Yes, the mall now is pretty much abandoned, dilapidated and with a sad mood that hangs over it, but it sits in very valuable commercial land off Pleasant Hill. The place with some of the best Asian food in every direction. Gwinnett Place will probably be torn down soon and replaced with one of those generic live/work/play type of things you see in many cities in America, so go make your pilgrimage to Star Court while you can. 🙂

The show used a couple of entrances to GP. The more visually appealing one (for IR) has the trees and steps, but the one for the main show is in the back (the one closer to Golden Corral) and leads into the food court. I remember as a kid we used to enter this mall on the lower entrance as it made going to difference places convenient. You had the escalators right in front that took you to the top level of the food court and Babbage’s where video games were crazy expensive. The other entrances we used were the ones next to Macy’s and Parisian. Those led right to the arcade, where we’d get lost in the sounds and sights. I still remember heading there with friends to play Street Fighter 3 and buy a copy of The Dark Knight Returns. There’s something about malls for sure that encapsulated my childhood. No social media back then, hardly anyone even thought about taking pictures other than at the glamour shots, and it was simply fun to walk around. I don’t get the same feeling at Lenox, the Mall of Georgia, Plaza Fiesta, or Pendergrass Flea Market. The time of the enclosed mall has passed, but I think I can speak for all immigrant refugees that going to the “rich” mall as a kid was a treat. Even if we couldn’t afford most of the clothes, it still felt like a privilege to visit the mall.

Left: Infrared Image Straight from Camera Right: After processing and figuring out which creative way to get the colors “right”

Left: Infrared Image Straight from Camera Right: After processing and figuring out which creative way to get the colors “right”

Left: Infrared Image Straight from Camera Right: After processing and figuring out which creative way to get the colors “right”

Posted in Photos and tagged , , , , .