Stone Mountain Park was Roy’s refuge, relief, workout facility and subject for much of the final 30 years of his life. It was a woodland buffer from the grind of urban life, all the fine particulate matter in the air and the bureaucrats downtown. Those of us who knew him would give anything for another of those walks together through Stone Mountain Park on a breezy day. Post full-time retirement he walked there every day that he could, taking pictures in all seasons and all weather. His second blog Stone Mountain Meanderings is worth your time if you didn’t catch it first time around. This photograph of Stone Mountain Lake at the beginning of 2009 evokes Monet and his water lilies in its painterliness. They were both old men with beards who were familiar with their subject matter, and the brief moments in an average day when nature and weather combine to focus the eye, the hand on the canvas, the camera’s lens.
Roy Burke got serious about his photography in 1983, took a class, and learned that art and its equipment with the same devotion and obsession he brought to music, fluid mechanics, wildflowers, watersheds and rural roads. Shooting film at his peak, Doctor Flowers would return from his annual Spring trip along the Eastern Blue Ridge with hundreds and hundreds of slides to go through. But everyone has to start somewhere, and the rose picture above, taken in Dekalb County in 1983, was digitally archived by him years later as Dekalb Co GA Rose first picture. He considered it his first ‘real’ photo. There were thousands more to come. The double exposure self portrait below was shot from the same roll of slide film.