Ninja Maniacs

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of covering another UNAA Ninja competition in my hometown of Palmetto at LIVE Training Center. The UNAA is not affiliated with the NBC show, American Ninja Warrior, but it’s all the same people that turn up at these events to prepare for the big show. These are professionals at the top of their game and watching them perform is both exhilarating and humbling.

Anyway, I shot stills and video all weekend. The video is a quick 2-minute recap, and these are just a few of the 1500 stills. The rest can be found at the Live Training Center Facebook Page

Highlight Video

Some of the fun and stars of the Ninja community show their stuff.

Morgan Wright

Morgan Wright (aka-Moose Morgan)

Here Morgan Wright (aka-Moose Morgan) put on a perfect pouty face after an early end to stage two. Don’t be fooled by the tomfoolery, Morgan is a ham of a character and a fan favorite on the show. I can say he’s pretty much the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. No surprise that Morgan placed number one in his category.

Ashley McConville

Ashley McConville

At 19, Ashley McConville just returned from her debut on American Ninja Warrior 2019 in Atlanta. I’ve watched her perform in many events and it’s obvious she’s a rising star. In the spring I watch in amazement when she surpassed the men in a super-human feat of rope climbing. She knows how to bring the house down.

Kyle McCreight

Kyle McCreight

This year, Kyle McCreight was picked from a lottery as a walk-on for ANW Atlanta. Kyle McCreight is a regular at LIVE Training and arguably one of the most aggressive competitors in the sport. If I didn’t know better I would swear he’s the real-life Spider-Man.

Jason Kotzin

Jason Kotzin

Jason Kotzin is another amazing performer that had his debut on Season 11 of ANW in Atlanta. Jason seemingly came out of nowhere to captivate the audience and rival competitors alike. He places second overall and he has the battle wounds to prove it. He features prominently in the video above.

Caleb Bergstrom

Caleb Bergstrom

Speaking of rising stars, look no further than Caleb Bergstrom. His father is a show veteran and this year he competed with his sister in Atlanta. Now that Caleb is old enough to compete on TV, look for him to be a top contender. That aside, Caleb coaches many of the children in the juniors events and is a great role model.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Longboat Key Public Pier

Docks are kind of a big thing here; everybody seems to have one. Dock Life is the new Salt Life; only you don’t get wet.

Daily Image
Longboat Key Public Pier

Not that I know the first thing about docks or salt. I’m one of three people that doesn’t have one. Most of the docks in Florida are private, and they have No Trespassing signs posted. That’s a shame, but I suppose it makes sense.

more images featuring piers

Anyway, some of the best are public, like this one in Longboat Key.
It’s next to a couple of restaurants so you can dock the boat and have dinner. Near my home is a commercial marina with a couple of hundred yachts. It’s also next to a restaurant, appropriately named the Dockside Grill.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Hollow Cypress

multiverse

Check out this amazing video by Hiroshi Kondo

Daily Image

The hollowed out Cypress tree is along a path I was exploring recently. I’m pretty sure this is a nightly meeting place for gnomes.

Hollow Cypress
A gnome home in Hillsborough River State Park

The fun thing about a path through the woods is you see different things in each direction. I walked about a mile-and-a-half in one direction but missed this completely, then found it on the way back.

see the daily gallery

The little stubs grow up from the roots and are known as Cypress Knees. It’s thought their purpose is to provide stability to the swamp floor or, extra oxygen to the Cypress during times of flood. These are the best guesses of the scientists, but no one knows for sure. However, if you look closely, you can see they are actually sleeping gnomes. And I didn’t need science to figure that one out.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Lower Path

There are two paths along the river; one higher up and one lower down at the bank. The alligators prefer the lower one.

Daily Image
Lower Path
Along the lower path in Hillsborough River State Park

The problem with the higher path is there is too much growth to get a clear shot of the river. So every fifty yards or so I’d make my way down here to set up for a photo. It’s amazing how the sense of hearing becomes heightened at such times.

A sign between the upper and lower paths

see the landscape gallery

I’ve been in Florida for a while, so I’ve become familiar with some of the animal sounds. I also carefully scan the water and banks all around to ensure I’m not disturbing them. Alligators don’t want anything to do with us, and if you’re mindful and steer clear, there will never be a problem. With this knowledge and care, I spent much of my time on the lower path.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Rainbow Chair

Where there are rainbows, there must be rain. In Florida at this time of year, you can count on it every day.

Daily Image
Rainbow Chair
A view of the beach at Fort DeSoto Park

Look close, and you’ll see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge under the rainbow. I used a wide angle lens, so the bridge seems far away. Here is a panorama I took on the same day.

see the street gallery here

I took this about five years ago at Fort DeSoto Park. Looking at it now I wish I’d used a smaller aperture so the foreground would be sharper, but I like the photo anyway. Sometimes I try not to sweat the little stuff if I like the image. Technically the picture is a bit subpar, but I like the shot anyway, and in my mind, that’s what counts.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Bradenton Causeway

The Bradenton causeway has advantages over the beach. You can park at the water’s edge, and there aren’t nearly as many rules.

Daily Image
Bradenton Causeway
The causeway in Bradenton Florida

At this spot, you can generally see horses in the water. But I was here on a Monday, and they weren’t. The causeway isn’t fancy, but if you want to spend time at the water without the parking hassles, this is it.

more palm trees in the gallery

Many people prefer the beach with its powdery white sand. However, a lot of the locals come here. Just drive up, pull out a lawn chair and Bob’s your uncle.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Lone Oak

Whenever I drive these roads, I have my eyes peeled for lone oaks. They add a natural aesthetic to the interior landscape of Florida.

Daily Image
Lone Oak
An oak tree along highway 35A in Central Florida

Much of the state is agricultural and along the highways are pastures with these massive trees. They provide shade for livestock and, lucky for me, are not shy about posing for photos.

more images featuring trees

There is a theory in science that consciousness is present in all things. It’s tricky to know what to make of that given our limited understanding of the subject. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel the presence of something when standing near these great living creatures. It makes me wonder what we’ll eventually learn through science and if, it will validate that sixth sense we sometimes have about certain things.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Path Metaphor

A winding path is a metaphor, but in photography, it’s a leading line — kind of like a leading lady, only more mysterious.

Daily Image
Path Metaphor
A path through the woods in Hillsborough River State Park

We are influenced by symbols all around us. For me, a leading line like this describes something to come or, returning home. Anyway, whenever I find something with direction, I look for ways to incorporate it into the scene so that it hopefully resonates at an emotional level.

more landscape photography in the gallery

I took this photo inside Hillsborough River State Park, which is just north of Tampa. It is somewhat typical of the parks we have in Florida, lush, full of vegetation, and with lots of trails that lead to mysterious places. Metaphorically speaking that is.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Venice Visit

Here is a picture from the other day at the pier in Venice, Florida. Isn’t it interesting how so many places are named after a city in Italy?

Daily Image
Venice Visit
The beach at Venice Florida

I suppose it’s no surprise; it just makes me wonder what we’ll name places on Mars should we ever begin to colonize there. If there are no bodies of water, Venice may not be high on the list. You never know.

beach gallery

These are the kinds of silly things I think about when I have nothing better to do.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr

Shop Local

I was somewhere off La Rambla watching other people shop. Not something I’m fond of, shopping that is.

Daily Image
Shop Local
A customer talks with a shopkeeper in Barcelona

There are a lot of things I’m not fond of, but having a camera turns the most hated activity into an artistic endeavor. Like taking pictures of shoppers, suddenly I can go shopping with my wife and have a good time.

more European shops from the gallery

But nowadays the only place it seems you can take photos of shoppers is in Europe. Here in the states, shopping is in a mall and the last time I took my camera, the mall cop and asked not to take photos. He said I could use a phone, but not a camera. If that doesn’t sound ridiculous, I don’t know what does.

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram
Flickr
Tumblr