Candy Clouds

Rick Bridges, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Urban 0 Comments

These cotton candy clouds appear almost everyday at this time of year here in Florida. The skies are clear in the morning, cotton candy at noon, thunderstorms in the afternoon and sunsets at night. It’s a pattern that repeats itself each day with minor variations. So I headed down the street one day to catch the cotton candy part of the day.

Candy Clouds

Candy clouds near Bradenton Florida

This is an example of how I can go to the same place time and time again and get different results. Some of it has to do with the clouds or time of day, but just as much is my state of mind. I see the same old thing in a new way. Sometimes what I see is more in my mind than what’s really in front of me. I take the picture and idea and work on it until I have a new picture of a familiar scene. It’s a challenge, but there are infinite ways of portraying any one thing. So I have a lot of options ahead of me.

more cloud shots

Lets face it, we live in a complicated world. We do many things to counter that. We dream about things constantly throughout the day, at least I do. I like taking a scene and turning it into a dream. It’s the same thing as a dream, only I make a picture of it. And from that I temporarily escape from the real world, if just for bit.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

When I Was Young

Rick beach, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Sunset 0 Comments

When I was young I remember playing late into the evening during the summer. The days were long and it gave my friends and I an opportunity to stay out late, it was a good feeling. It’s strange because I never really thought about it until recently. I suppose this image reminds me of that just a little. I took this at dusk and the children were squeezing every last minute of fun out of the day, like I did when I was their age.

When I Was Young

I was young I played until late during summer

We lose that when we grow up, but at times we can glimpse portions of it. I get that magical sense sometimes when I go on vacation. I have no responsibilities and the evenings are for having fun. Maybe we all need to play a little more. Maybe play connects us with something important we’ve lost.

abstract images from the gallery

In the meantime I keep taking pictures of people and scenes at dusk and sometimes it reminds me of long lost memories. And then I think the only way to get those back is to go on vacation. And then I never get anything done. But pretty sure I’m happy in that world.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Sky on Fire

Rick Florida, HDR, Landscape, Manatee County, Nature, Sunset 0 Comments

I have this place I go to take pictures but I go there so often that in the back of my head I think I’m repeating myself. But with the sky on fire like this, how could I possibly repeat anything? I could come here every day of the year and the images would be different; which is not so much my doing as that of mother nature herself. The display of clouds changes completely from one day to the next.

Sky on Fire

A view from Emerson Point in Palmetto Florida with the sky on fire

As a photographer who is interested in art I think about these things a lot. I think about scenes and what they mean. I try to extract a little perspective. It’s an exercise in self discovery because to interpret something as abstract as an image of clouds requires imagination, vocabulary and some self awareness. And therein lies the heart of the matter.

images featuring the sky from the gallery

Self awareness is about as ephemeral an idea as they come. But I find just a little bit goes a long way. That’s because the ideas and thoughts about self awareness are best described in metaphors. Bingo, images make good metaphors. So if you think about it, we’re not interpreting the image, rather ourselves through the image. So, in the case the this sky, it’s really just a metaphor for something within.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Blue Thunder

Rick alaska, Landscape, Nature, travel 0 Comments

I visited the Hubbard Glacier on a cruise over the summer. We arrived in the morning and the first thing I noticed was a sound like thunder as the ice breaks off the edge of the glacier. I’ve seen plenty of pictures but the noise that accompanies it something unexpected when first there.

Blue Thunder

Blue Thunder from the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska

To be honest I was found it difficult to get a sense of scale. We were about a kilometer away from the wall of ice which was taller than the ship. Our ship rose about thirteen stories above the water. So when these columns of ice broke off it created massive waves. I felt safe because we were a far enough back and we were in a big boat. But I cannot imagine traveling through here on a small craft.

Of course much of the ice is below the surface. That too gave me pause and again I was glad to be on such a large ship. Just sailing into this area we grazed chunks of ice as big as a house. I suppose ice that size is of little consequence to a large ship, but I shudder to think how a small vessel could ever navigate here.

landscapes from the gallery

We stayed here for a few of hours to observe the glacier. I was glad that we had an experienced captain who knew the area. I’m sure he sails here all the time, but it was a first for me and even as a passenger I found it a little unnerving. Having said that, once we returned to the open sea I felt a little less concerned. I was left with an impression of this massive field of ice, it is beautiful, spell binding and not to be trifled with. This is the raw force of nature in all its glory.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Moonset Over Three Bridges

Rick Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Night Photography, photography, Urban 0 Comments

This is from the other day when we had a full moon that set within minutes of the sunrise. For me, a full moon rising or setting is just as captivating as a sunset. But of course sunsets are easier since they happen every day. For a full moon you have to look up and remember the date, know the time when it rises and then hope there are no clouds. All these conditions combine to ensure I almost never capture it, …save for the other day. The weatherman on TV mentioned it would be good viewing which prompted me to get off the couch and get outside.

Moonset Over Three Bridges

Moonset Over Three Bridges – Bradenton Florida

In order to make the moon look large I used a telephoto lens. I’m standing by a bridge pointing west as the moon was just about to set. Below it is three other bridges; the first is a train bridge, the second is a car bridge, and the third is the original bridge built over hundred years ago thats now a fishing pier. The telephoto lens makes them appear stacked and close together yet there is a good deal of distance between the first two bridges.

Manatee County gallery

 

Now that I managed to get a full moon I think I want to do it again. I just looked it up and the next full moon is on September 16th 2016. The moon will rise just after sunset (where I live in central Florida). In that case I’ll be pointing east so I have plenty of time to think about a composition. Hopefully the weather will be good. Now the wait begins.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Patiently Waiting

Rick beach, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Sunset 0 Comments

It seems almost anywhere I go along the water there are herons close by. They are attracted to fishermen as they wait for any scraps or bait. With this heron patiently waiting I setup and shot the image using a low angle. Even though I was holding a camera between him and the fishermen he stood his ground watching me with one eye and the fishermen with the other.

Patiently Waiting

A heron patiently waiting on the pier in Florida

Herons are patient, single minded and determined. I sat here for about thirty minutes and he was still there when I left. They are territorial so I suspect this was his pier and he wasn’t about to give it up to some guy with a camera or the fishermen.

He was watching the waters right below the pier. It’s the perfect vantage to spot fish and then swoop down for the catch.

other images with herons

Herons add atmosphere to an image, I think it’s something to do with how they carry themselves, its hard to put my finger on it. In any case, they never seem to mind having their picture taken, so for the time being I will continue to include them whenever I can.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Beyond the Shoreline

Rick beach, Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Nature, Night Photography, Sunset 0 Comments

The other night I showed up at the beach at dusk. Sometimes when I’m taking photos things just happen and its good to be ready. In this case a woman was posing for photos on an adjacent pier about a hundred meters away. Her friend was taking pictures of her with his phone. It was getting dark so I set my ISO way up and took this shot.

Beyond the Shoreline

Gazing beyond the shoreline is a metaphor for looking onto the unknown.

The waters edge is a like a boundary into another world. For me, looking out over the water is like looking into the unknown. Standing at the edge of what we know and gazing beyond is an idea I sometimes think about.

If I’m honest I can find the unknown in my everyday life. Often I’m presented with challenges to overcome. When that happens its like looking into a gulf of uncertainty. I may know how to navigate but I’ve never been THERE before; there are risks. So the unknown is part of life, if not why be born in the first place. When we choose to go beyond what we know we are crossing out beyond the shoreline.

Images with Waves

So for me this image is a metaphor for gazing into the unknown of my own life. I suppose that’s why I get a little apprehensive when I look at it.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Summer Evenings by the River

Rick Bridges, Florida, Manatee County, Night Photography, Urban 0 Comments

This water is normally choppy but just after sunset the breeze dies down and the water becomes like glass. That’s when I see all kinds of opportunities for compositions like this. It’s amazing how much difference an hour makes in the look and feel of a place like this. I love summer evenings by the river.

Summer Evenings by the River

Summer Evenings by the River in Bradenton Florida

The spot where I’m standing is popular for Pokemon Go. Quite a few people show up here at night, more so than just a couple months ago. They create a festive atmosphere even if they are concentrating on their mobile screens. I haven’t tried the game myself but I have a feeling its just the beginning of a whole new wave in gaming. I should open up a hot dog stand here. I’ll have an app that they can use to buy the hot dogs even though they are standing right in front of me. It’ll be a big hit.

An hour or so earlier there were afternoon thunderstorms. After the storms move away they left small cloud remnants that collected the colors of dusk. You can see a little of that action going on here in shades of pink as the sun recedes well beyond the horizon.

night photography

I love how long the evenings are in summer. Pretty soon it will be autumn and it starts getting dark early again. But now its fun to be outside until well after dark; taking pictures, playing Pokemon or selling hot dogs with my new killer app.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Waters Edge

Rick Florida, Landscape, Manatee County, Night Photography, Sunset, Tampa 0 Comments

I went to this point at the waters edge not sure what I’d shoot. I took a few shots of this or that but nothing really clicked (no pun intended). I was walking back to my car when I looked back to see this group of people talking at the waters edge. This ended up being the shot that I liked the most.

Waters Edge at Emerson Point in Palmetto Florida

Waters Edge at Emerson Point in Palmetto Florida

I suppose standing at the waters edge is a metaphor for a border between this world and the next. When we stand there we look out and contemplate. At least that’s how I interpret this scene. For all I know they could be talking about where to go for dinner. Anyway, in my photograph they are looking out in contemplation, that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

Emerson Pont photos

This place is ten minutes from home and one of my favorite spots to go. Sometimes I come in the morning but mostly at dusk. There is an automated gate that closes just after sunset. I tend to linger and several times I’ve been asked to leave by the ranger. I will get permission one day to stay later so that I can get some clear shots of the night sky. But for the time being the shot will be of people in contemplation at the waters edge.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Restored at Lido Beach

Rick beach, Florida, Landscape, Sarasota, Sunset 0 Comments

This is one of my favorite places to come and walk the beach. It’s on the southern tip of Lido Beach in Sarasota. The reason I like it so much is that’s it’s secluded and at the very tip of the key. Right behind where I’m standing is the end of the key and fishermen typically stand there to catch fish coming in or out with the tide.

Restored at Ledo Beach

Walking along the waves is a good way to get restored at Lido Beach

There are hotels up further to the right, but this spot is a park so if you come here during the sunset hour you can get lost in the scenery, breeze and warm water at your feet without the crowds you get in front of the hotels.

beach gallery

I work in an office all day and when I come here and walk in the water its restorative. It’s a natural consequence of being outside in a place like this. I have a dog that sleeps at my desk during the day. When I take him out for a mid-day walk he likes to lay down on the pavement and soak up the sun. He will not move until he feels better. I suppose that simple act restores something missing from being inside. The same is true for me when I come here to Lido, I am restored.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon