Chris Greer is an outdoorsman whose passion for the camera has him manipulating shutter speeds to capture light as it fleetingly embraces his targets, whether a white-water stream on a mountainside or a moss-laden tree deep in the swamp.
Greer is rarely without his camera when he leaves his home in an Oconee County subdivision.
“It’s a marrying of the two and it gives me an excuse to be outside and explore out-of-the-way places I otherwise wouldn’t give a second thought,” he said.
The result of his extensive travels across the state to photograph the cities and rural lands of Georgia has resulted in a unique travel guide: “Georgia Discovered: Exploring the Best of the Peach State.”
The book, released this year, has already generated good feedback, said Greer, a professor of technology at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.
“I wanted to curate not only the best parts of Georgia, but also some of the hidden gems that people who might have lived in Georgia their entire lives weren’t aware of,” he said about travel spots that run the gamut from privately owned vineyards to public hiking trails.
Greer, who grew up in Memphis, Tenn., received his doctorate from the University of Tennessee, and then took a job with Georgia College, where he and his wife lived for almost nine years. About eight years ago, the couple moved to Oconee County to start a family.
He commutes to Milledgeville for his undergraduate classes and conducts his graduate classes online.
The seed for the travel guide may have taken flight on a drone.
Not long ago, Greer was working on a digital textbook of photos and videos as an academic project featuring the state parks of Georgia. For this project, he began using a drone equipped with a camera.
“The more I did it, the more I realized how interesting and unique a perspective it was from the aerial photographs,” he said. He placed the photos on an Instagram account and soon built a large following.
An editor for Globe Pequot in New England became aware of the photos and sent an e-mail to inquire if he would be interested in making a book of aerial photos of Georgia. Their discussions routed the book into a travel guide.
“There was nothing like it on the market and so even though I have little kids and a day job, I was like I might not ever have an opportunity like this again,” he said.
For the next nine months, he spent his free time traveling across Georgia capturing images for the book.
While Greer has extensively traveled the mountains, a place “dear to my heart,” he also found incredibly scenic locales along the coast from a “magnificent” place called Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island to the untarnished wilderness of Cumberland Island.
In the Okefenokee Swamp, he found a desolate place the park ranger told him “had never been touched by mankind — it’s absolutely inaccessible,” Greer said.
“To be able to fly that camera into a location that before you could never get a photograph is really neat,” the curious explorer said.
The book can be ordered from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, among other book outlets.