The Other Morning

The other morning I came here to a little park by the bridge. There are nice views all around despite the urban setting. I had the new wide angle Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens. I used it to pull a lot of the scene into the frame. Wide angle lenses are good for that but we have an even wider angle of view with our eyes. I was wondering why don’t we see things this way all the time.

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The Other Morning
The Other Morning on Siesta Key

It was early and I had the place to myself. I took a lot of photos in various directions. The lens gives the water and clouds equal prominence. The texture of the clouds this morning was balanced by the texture of the water and creates an interesting effect.

This is the bridge to Siesta Key in Sarasota. Its sunrise and were facing east so I crossed the bridge to get to this spot. As soon as I finished I crossed back. Bridges like this are the lifeblood of Florida communities. They make living on small islands possible for people without boats.

bridge images from the gallery

Anyway, I’m still learning about the new lens and so far so good. I’m reshooting old locations for a new perspective. That’s probably something I’ll be doing for a while.

Ladies in the A’DAM Lookout

I noticed these ladies in the A’DAM Lookout sitting and looking out over the city. I’m trying to figure out why I like this. I think its because when we see an image of someone or something we subconsciously project ourselves into the scene. In addition, maybe what they’re looking at creates a question. We see hints of the city beyond.

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Ladies Sitting There
Ladies in the A’DAM Lookout

This is a type of street photography, even though it didn’t occur on the street. It happened inside an observation lounge of a tall building. Some photos don’t easily fit into a category, maybe this is one.

Rather than analyze this, perhaps its better left to imagination. There is a story here that is unique to each person. We each see this though the lens of our own minds.

Because the woman’s coat is red she is the focal point. I made it that way on purpose. It’s a technique that, for me, conveys individuality. Images of people are about, well, individual people. At least that’s the point I’m trying to make. You can interpret something else regarding the red coat, it’s entirely up to you.


At this point I guess I’ve answered my own rhetorical question. Perhaps now I can move on to something more concrete. Or not.

Saturday Evening at the Beach

This is Saturday Evening at the Beach. After an early dinner I noticed the clouds looking good for a sunset so I headed towards the ocean. I’m glad I did because the display was well worth the effort. At times like this everyone is lined up along the shore with their smart phones snapping away, I arrived just in time and this was the first shot out of my camera. Talk about cutting it close.

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Saturday Evening at the Beach
Saturday Evening at the Beach on Anna Maria Island Florida

I stress myself out sometimes when chasing sunsets. Getting in the right place at the right time can be easier said than done. That’s mostly because I have to drive here. I suppose it would be easier if I lived right on the beach. (Note to self).

When the sun gets low on the horizon there are only about three minutes to get a shot. Its better to get here a half hour ahead of time but I’m rarely that organized.

sunset photos from the gallery

This time of year we start to getting tourist and winter residents so the traffic also plays into the equation. Even though I know all these things I still manage to show up at the last possible moment.

I suppose my tombstone will read, …”He arrived at the last possible moment, better late than never”.

EYE Filmmuseum

I hung around here for bit looking at EYE Filmmuseum. It’s a museum dedicated to the visual arts and so while I was here there were a couple of student crews working on video productions. In such a setting, a photographer taking images of odd angles around the outside was perfectly normal. Not that I’d mind if it wasn’t.

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EYE Filmmuseum
EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam

Amsterdam places a high value on the exploration, creation and display of art. I believe that goes hand in hand with the tolerance and diversity of its residents. It is true that arts and diversity make a city vibrant.

more street photography

Amsterdam seems to be thriving, there is a lot of construction, in fact a new building was going up just behind me as I took this. I had to be careful to mind the tractors and cranes as I walked around looking for compositions. When I’m in the zone my focus gets narrowed and even a tractor might not register. No one seemed to mind, in fact I blended right in here.

Wide Angle View

This is a wide angle view of the Gulf of Mexico I took from Emerson Point in Florida. I made this with the new Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens that was created through the help of a Kickstarter. The claim to fame on this lens is that there is no distortion. That’s something hard to do but someone figured it out and this is the result. Generally we use software to remove the distortion of a wide lens, but in this case it’s not necessary. Anyway, it’s kinda cool in a geeky kind of way and I’ll be carrying the lens with me in the next little while.

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Wide Angle View
Wide Angle View from Emerson Point

Sometimes I’ll drive to this spot if I think there’ll nice sunset. It’s one of my goto spots for sunsets since it’s so close to home. Normally there are a handful of other peopler her with cameras looking to snap some nice pics.

I don’t mind repeating myself because mother nature never does. So no matter how many times I come to the same spot, it will always be different.

After the sun sets the park ranger usually comes along to shoo everyone out of the park. It closes right after sunset and if you linger too long they will let you know. I used to get annoyed by that but I have since come to realize that the park is the domain of the wildlife. As soon as it gets dark the road fills with all manner of creatures coming out for the evening. So it makes sense that we should give them their space not to mention it can be dangerous if cars are on the roads at the same time.

sunset images

So basically I come, I shoot, I depart. A very quick excursion close to home and without a whole lot of effort.

First Impressions

This smokestack was one of my first impressions of Amsterdam as I took a cab to the hotel. I shared the ride with another traveller who asked our driver about it. Slightly annoyed, the driver replied that it was obviously a power plant. Perhaps a lot of people ask the same question upon first arrival.

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First Impression
First Impression of Amsterdam

A few days later I spied the same stack from atop the A’DAM Lookout and thought it and the clouds made for an interesting image. With this images I’m not trying to make a statement about fossil fuels, pollution or any such thing. Just the spectacle of a cylinder venting warm vapor into the cool November air. It’s something I could see myself staring at if I was a child. But I’m not, yet I stared just the same.

I recently posted a stack like this that we have back in Florida. Again, the spectacle of it against the sky is an odd attraction for me. It defines the horizon and connects the earth to the sky in a strangely fascinating way.

urban exploration images from the gallery

This abstract image is nothing more than a spectacle. It may be a first impression or it may be something for a child to stare and wonder. Or, …it may be nothing more than the musings of my wandering mind.

Slow Train Through Heaven

I took this on a slow train through heaven, otherwise known as the line from Seward to Anchorage. It was in the middle of summer when the days were long and the weather was warm. As we rolled through the mountains we spotted bears and moose along side of the train.

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Slow Train Through Heaven
Slow Train Through Heaven – aka Alaska

I stood on a platform between the cars and snapped pictures for much of the five hour journey. We had a choice between the train and a bus but choose the train even though it was slower. Given a choice I will always take the train, it’s my favorite way to travel.

The river here is the runoff of a glacier that’s just off to the left. This is in Kenai Peninsula Borough which according to Wikipedia is about 16,000 square miles, half of which is water.

A train is perhaps not the best way to see everything, but it’s a good way to see parts of the land not accessible by road. As large as this land is the borough has a small population. That leaves a lot of room for wilderness and that’s mainly what I saw the whole way; beautiful pristine wilderness.

landscape images in the gallery

By setting the ISO on my camera to 200 I was able to freeze the motion of the train. The shutter speed was one two-thousands of a second. That’s fast enough to remove all trace of motion. Taking pictures hanging out of a train may not be the best way to get a photo, but you work with what you have. And on this day I had a slow train through heaven. That’s something I could work with.

Night Along the Canals

Well, I’ve not been to Venice yet, but I can’t help but think that the canals of Amsterdam are the next best thing. They form a network through the city and are home to thousands of folks that live in house boats along the sides. And where there are canals there are bridges, everywhere and at every turn. I took this from a corner between two bridges in the central city one night. This is an area not too far from the train station, maybe a ten-minute walk.

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Night Along the Canals
Night Along the Canals of Amsterdam

Late at night the lights of the houses reflect on the still waters, it’s a favorite time for me to take photos. On this evening I had my tripod, on another evening I left the hotel without it and stabilized my camera on the bikes parked along the canals.

I’m sure you know that brothels are legal and regulated here. From a photographic perspective, the red lights cast a nice reflection on the glassy waters of the canals. This is about as close as I got to that. This was my first night in Amsterdam and I wasn’t really sure why the lights were red on this house. It didn’t take too long to figure it out and this wasn’t even the red light district.

night photography

If Amsterdam is nothing else it’s a haven of tolerance for all things. It is unique in that way and perhaps a magnet for free spirits and people with open minds. I found that very refreshing.

Just Before Dawn

This is the city of Toronto just before dawn on a Sunday morning. There’s something about the electricity of a city that is attractive, I think it’s something in our nature. I used to live here for a dozen years, it was at a time I stopped doing photography, now when I go back I bring my camera.

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Just Before Dawn
Just Before Dawn in Toronto, Ontario Canada

This spot is just east of the city, I’m sure it’s popular with photographers but there were none here at this hour. I guess I was a little lucky with the timing because just as I was finishing up it started raining. Not that I mind a little rain, but being in a deserted industrial site in the rain at this hour is, well, less fun than sitting in a Starbucks with a spiced pumpkin latte.

Another good thing about showing up late or early to locations like this, the water is smooth as there are no boats moving about. That creates the smooth reflections which are further enhanced by the long exposure. So despite the cold, the rain and the ungodly hour, this is the perfect time and setting for photography.

more panoramas

In fact this is a three image panorama. I took three, eight-second exposures side by side with a tripod and then stitched them together. The end result is a high resolution image that I can enjoy from the comfort of a warm room while sipping a latte and thinking to myself “that’s wasn’t so bad, was it?”


This is the Posthoornkerk Church not far from the hotel I stayed at Amsterdam. In fact I took this out the window of the room. It was a cloudy day, perfect for photography, and just as I returned to my room I noticed the light streaming down along the horizon. However the way the hotel was designed there were two walls of glass between me and the outside. Nevertheless the image turned out without any reflections.

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Posthoornkerk Church in Amsterdam

When I wasn’t out walking around I’d stand by the window and watch the people ride bikes past on the street below. They’d ride at all hours of day and night. When I first arrived I was on eastern time and so was up quite late. Even at two and three in the morning people were riding bikes to get around.

This church is just a five minute walk. I didn’t manage to get in, each time I tried it was it booked for some event. The last time I tried it was a film crew setting up for a production. The time before that I think there was a wedding. Its a busy place, at least when I was here.

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Next to the church I sat in a little cafe in the morning with a cappuccino as I watched the activity on the street. I then walked next door to the chocolate shop to get gifts to bring home. Across the street was a cheese shop and then meats across from that.

My impression of the neighborhood is of a little village within a big city. I think that’s true for many sections of the city.