This image is right out of the box, basically just as I shot it, nothing added or subtracted. I consider myself a pictorialist and it’s not often that I post an image that I haven’t processed, but this just seems to work for me.
I took this on Fort Lauderdale beach in southern Florida along the Atlantic coast. I got up early one morning to take pictures before the beach got too crowded. Actually, this was my second walk on the beach, I had been here before sunrise as well but as you can see the beach was still quite deserted, normal I suppose for a Sunday morning.
One thing that struck me was how the sand felt. As I walked my feet would sink in several inches, almost as though it were a type of quicksand. That made for an arduous trek up and down the beach. Another way to put it would be to say it was a good workout; either way it took serious effort. Anyway these imprints were left in the sand where others had walked. I like how it looks well trodden yet empty at the same time.
Funny thing is I didn’t notice the seagull when I took the picture. That happens a lot, I’m usually so engrossed in looking for a scene that things can happen that I don’t see until I look at it later. I think that’s just a natural consequence of being out taking photos, good stuff is bound to happen.
This is another perspective of the central light well at Casa Batlló in Barcelona. Casa Batlló is a grand house designed by Antoni Gaudí which is now designated a world heritage site. It’s hard to describe the artistry of this house which brings to mind organic themes from somewhere deep in the human psyche. Gaudi pushed beyond the limits accepted design over a hundred years ago and has become a source of inspiration for generations of architects.
The genius of Gaudi must be experienced first hand, as for me it was an awakening of sorts. His designs resonate with me in a surprising way; I never thought I could be so moved by a house. He expanded the horizons of architecture and design a century ago and yet I suspect his work is still centuries ahead of its time.
Inspiration in whatever form is like a window into another world that can be glimpsed briefly, like hints of another world through a brief parting of the veil. Gaudi’s architecture, at least for me, is a premonition of a future that may one day exist, if not already in another world.
So these are some of the words I clumsily cobble together to describe my own experience and impressions of Antoni Gaudi’s work. Next time they might be completely different, but for this moment, they are for me a fleeting glimpse into another world.
I took this in British Columbia while returning from a whale watching trip at a group of islands just offshore. Patches of fog started to form in the afternoon as we made our way back to port. The coast of BC can be treacherous and only the most experience sailors have any right to navigate here. There were buoys with bells and fog horns everywhere. The fog renders your eyes useless and so without electronics you must navigate by ear; not for the faint of heart. Even so it makes for ethereal scenery, especially from a boat.
There is an automated lighthouse in Ucluelet not too far from here. Basically the horn begins sounding whenever the fog rolls in. I’m sure it’s reassuring to sailors because from what I saw the fog rolls in pretty fast. I was told the month of August is also known as “Fogust”. Standing safely on shore I could hear the bells of the buoys and the horn of the lighthouse for miles around. When I first arrived the sounds were new and unusual but by the time I left they’d become an integral part of the sights and sounds of these costal communities.
There are many forms of water in nature but perhaps not so often do we think about it in it’s gaseous state. Yet it can shroud the sky, land and water in a cloak that despite it’s willowy nature, becomes impenetrable to all but the most skilled among us. It was after staying here a week that I gained a whole new respect for sailors and, for that matter, pilots too.
Today I visited the deserted island known as Egmont Key. It’s near the big city of Tampa but completely removed from civilization. There is nothing here but an old fort, a ghost town, a lighthouse and miles of empty white sand beaches. Today was warm and sunny, yet there was only a handful of people that bothered to take the ferry out here. That meant I could walk for miles along the shore without seeing anyone. I walked the circumference of the island and somewhere halfway between one end and the other I spotted this couple.
The island reminded me a little of the island on Lost, except there are no mountains. I think that during WW2 there was a lot of activity on account of its location as a gateway into Tampa Bay. But now it’s a state park accessible only by boat and so remains largely deserted save for a park ranger, sea birds and a few daily visitors.
To get here you catch a ferry from Fort DeSoto Park in St Petersburg. There are only two scheduled departures in the morning and then two return trips in the afternoon. The last return leaves at 2:30 so if you miss it you’re on your own. You might as well look for a place to shelter for the night. In that case you could wander over to the ghost town, I’m sure they’ll have a room there.
There is a moment, just as the sun disappears behind the sea, that you can get a flash of light across the water. This was taken at that moment. Even though it lasts no more than a second I don’t advise looking at the sun to see it. However since I started shooting with a Sony camera I’ve seen it several times. That’s because I can look though the electronic viewfinder and my eyes are protected from the harmful brilliance of the sun.
Even rarer is something known as the “green” flash, at least that’s what I call it. Anyway, under certain circumstances and at the exact second the sun disappears, you may see a greenish-blue flash. I did not see it this day but I have seen it once in Florida. I was watching the sun set over the water and a gentleman came up to me and asked me if I’d ever seen it before. I responded that I’d never even heard of it. He said it was somewhat rare yet he watches for it everyday. A few seconds later it happened and we both looked at each other in amazement.
Anyway, back in San Francisco where I took this, I was at the bottom of a set of cliffs at Point Lobos State Park. By the time I climbed back up and walked back to the parking lot it was after dark, but it seems a lot of people linger here late. A scene like this is hard to leave, and besides I didn’t want to miss the last flash.