Photographers: Atlanta is your canvas

From rooftops to Marta stations, there are a ton of different ways to catch a view of the Atlanta skyline. Photos by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

From the towering skyscrapers to the lively streets, Atlanta is a photographer’s paradise. During the day, the buildings stand still as life moves constantly around them, creating the perfect picture of the everyday hustle in Atlanta. At night, the conglomeration of lights from hotels, businesses and sporadic cars on I-75 glimmer throughout the city like a sea of diamonds. If you are searching for a place to take breathtaking photos of the city skyline or want to experience the overall inspiring sensation of the city, exploring Atlanta is crucial. So tell your friends, grab your camera, gas up your car and head for the jaw-dropping locations the city has to offer.

 

Jackson Street Bridge

LOCATION AND VIEW:

 

Address: Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Located only eight minutes by car from Georgia State, Jackson Street Bridge is a well-known tourist site to take stunning landscape photos of the Atlanta skyline. “The Walking Dead” fanatics know this view of Atlanta from the renowned scene of the main character Rick riding a horse on I-75 towards downtown. If you are a ride-or-die fan, you definitely want to have your picture taken at this famous location. Jackson Street Bridge is also a popular location for proposals, pre-prom photoshoots, and even wedding ceremonies.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Easy

Jackson Street Bridge is a road in Atlanta, so the difficulty is minuscule. Although it is simple to walk onto the bridge from a nearby street, it can be unsafe if you are not paying attention. Be mindful of traffic approaching and stay on the sidewalk to ensure safety from passing vehicles.

PARKING AND PRICE:

Jackson Street Bridge has parking accessible on the streets nearby. It is not an actual business or tourist attraction, so there are no parking decks or parking spots made specifically for the bridge.

Recommended time for taking photos: Sunrise or Sunset

 

King Memorial Transit Station Platform

LOCATION AND VIEW:

Address: 377 Decatur St SE & Grant Street, Atlanta, GA 30312

Another close option to Georgia State is the King Memorial Transit Station. A part of the Marta railway, this historic location has a gorgeous view of the Equitable, portions of Georgia State and miles of skyscrapers in the distance.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Easy

The station is a simple scenic location to access from Decatur Street. You do not have to ride the train to enter this location.

PARKING AND PRICE:

Parking is an ongoing issue at The King Memorial Transit Station. There is no public parking and it is recommended by the Marta Guide to only utilize open spots for quick drop-offs and pick-ups. However, the station is only a 15-minute walk from the Georgia State Atlanta campus and is free to enter.

Recommended time for taking photos: Daytime, as a safety precaution.

 

The SkyLounge at the Glenn Rooftop

LOCATION AND VIEW:

Address: 110 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

The SkyLounge rooftop is known for its elite, professional atmosphere and extraordinary 180-degree view of Atlanta. Outside the completely windowed walls, you will see marketable destinations like the CNN Center, the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel and The Westin.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Moderate

Accessibility to the SkyLounge is only available to guests 21 and over because it is a bar. The staff recommends calling prior to coming in case of an ongoing private event. The SkyLounge also has a strict code of conduct and dress code requirements that must be followed for entry.

PARKING AND PRICE:

The SkyLounge sits atop the Glenn hotel, so a small $5 fee is expected to ride the elevator up to the top for pictures. Parking is available for $6 down the street at 98 Cone St. NW and for $10 at 104 Marietta St. NW. More public parking options can be found online at Park Whiz.

Recommended time for taking photos:  Any time of day

 

The Sundial

LOCATION AND VIEW:

Address: 210 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

In comparison to The SkyLounge, the raved-about Westin hotel also holds a restaurant at the top of the building. The famous spinning restaurant, the Sundial, holds a superb view of the city and is an old-time favorite of Atlantians.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Easy

The Sundial can be entered from taking the elevator in the Westin lobby to Level 72 of the hotel. However, if you are afraid of heights, I do not recommend this location. The elevator opens to an all-window view of the city and takes you up 72 floors to the Sundial. Unlike the SkyLounge, the Sundial is open to all ages.

PARKING AND PRICE:

Parking for the Sundial is located at the Central Parking Systems deck at 218 Peachtree St. NW. Additional parking is available at 171 Carnegie Way. It is $8 to ride the elevator to the top of the hotel and parking prices vary.

Recommended time for taking photos: Any time of day

 

Mount Wilkinson (Vinings Mountain)

LOCATION AND VIEW:

Address: Mount Wilkinson Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339

Located in Vinings, Mount Wilkinson, more commonly known as Vinings Mountain, is an essential spot for a complete Atlanta skyline photo. 981 ft. up, you will get a complete view of downtown Vinings and the entire skyline of Atlanta in the distance. While the skyscrapers are miles away, the shining lights from the buildings are visible at night over the trees.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Easy

While this location is about a 25-minute drive from Georgia State, accessing the mountain is simple. Townhomes and apartments sit on the mountain so a variety of roads are accessible for picture-taking.

PARKING AND PRICES:

The mountain does not have designated parking spaces for commuters. This location is a quick place to take a few pictures of the skyline, jump back into your car and continue on. This is not somewhere you would typically spend an entire day.

Recommended time for taking photos:  Night-time

 

Georgia State “M” Deck Rooftop

LOCATION AND VIEW:

Address: Gilmer St SE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Our very own Georgia State car deck rooftops provide an aerial view of downtown. Students utilize these parking decks every day without realizing the hidden treasure of parking at the very top. While it is a grueling walk down the stairs you can always opt for the elevator in “M” Deck. This view is an unbeatable advantage to going to a university in a large city.

DIFFICULTY TO ACCESS:

Rating: Moderate

If you are going to an 8 A.M., you are basically guaranteed a top floor spot. However, keep in mind around noon the car decks start filling up and only a few top floor spots are left.

PARKING AND PRICE:

Luckily, you are already at a parking deck so finding the right spot is up to you! As for pricing, Georgia State students can access the parking deck for only $7 without any parking permit or budget card, $5 with a Georgia State parking permit and $3.50 with a parking budget card.

Recommended time for taking photos: Sunrise or Sunset


From rooftops to Marta stations, there are a ton of different ways to catch a view of the Atlanta skyline.
Photos by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Wake-up call!

Georgia State parking decks are inexpensive and the perfect location for photos. Freshman Serena Phengphachanh enjoys the view so much she makes catching the sunrise at the top of the car deck at Georgia State a part of her daily routine before her 8 a.m. class.

“It makes me feel more motivated to start my day,” Phengphachanh said.

“I don’t want the first thing I see to be a PowerPoint. It makes me appreciate waking up a little more and I feel like it gives you a chance to gather yourself and wake up. And it’s just a nice view.”

Phengphachanh recommends this daily dose of Vitamin D because it will put you in a better mood and your mind will be in an ideal place to start the day. Whether you have an exam or a lengthy assignment due, this breath of fresh air is sure to wake your brain up on a positive note.

Having something to look forward to every morning as a commuter or on-campus student will make the gruesome early class a lot less daunting. So sit back, sip a cup of coffee and listen to the calming sounds of the city.

Atlanta is an asset, so take advantage!

Atlanta is a city full of astounding views for little to no cost, so take advantage of the nearby locations. Whether you decide to visit all the locations, or even just one, the different angles of Atlanta will leave you planning to revisit these photogenic sites for another photo shoot. Plan a photography day with friends and pack a lunch, make a road trip playlist, and do not forget your camera!

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