The geodesic dome on the right is the Telus World of Science. I took this photo while standing on the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver. I’ve made different shots over the years, here is one from roughly the same angle and here is another.
To Vancouverites, this is a typical scene; in fact, the sight is just part of the scenery. That’s true of anything we see day-in-day-out. But when I come back after being away, walking across the bridge at night is one of my favorite past times.
In fact, you can walk all over Vancouver; you don’t need a car. I rarely rent one when I’m here unless I’m traveling outside the city. Mostly I take the Skytrain which you can see in this picture.
Anyway, the building is a science museum and is an icon of the city. I’ve spent a lot of time around it just taking pictures. It’s an easy thing to do; and as its a geodesic dome, there aren’t any bad angles. Nevertheless, one of my favorites is from the Cambie bridge like this.
Last week I posted a picture of a bench in British Columbia. This one is a good deal closer to home. It’s the bench at Emerson Point in Palmetto Florida. It sits at the very end of a peninsula facing west across the Gulf of Mexico. It’s perhaps one of the best places to watch the sunset.
Typically when I arrive at this time, the bench is already taken. But it rained earlier, and so there were only a handful of people. I’ve never sat in it myself; I’m usually too busy taking pictures.
Benches make excellent subjects for photos. They draw our eyes in, then to the direction they point. At least that’s my theory. Nevertheless, this one is in an excellent location, and if you are in the area, it’s not too shabby of a spot to watch the day end.
In my mind, seagrapes are photogenic because of their shape, contrasting colors and the way the leaf surface reflects light. They make a fascinating subject for photography.
If I get excited about little things to look at, you’ll forgive me; it’s what I do. When I find a new image like this of something simple, I’m pretty happy. All things considered, it’s a reasonably simple pleasure.
I’m fortunate to have a passion that, at its core, is based on noticing the scenery. For brief moments, it takes me away from all those other things that seem more important. The way I figure it, if you can enjoy the pure pleasure of the sight of seagrapes at sunset, it’s not such a bad thing.
Robinson Park is a preserve in the middle of a suburban setting, and it’s a place I come to get away from that same setting. Most people come during the day, but my favorite times are dawn and dusk. Of course, I’m looking for a rare kind of light.
The image is five shots blended into one. I use HDR techniques when shooting these types of scenes because there is a combination of bright and dark light. It’s closer to what I could see with my eyes but must resort to tricks to get the camera seeing the same thing.
Not only is the light changing minute by minute, but the nocturnal animals also begin to stir. It’s as if the whole place comes alive when the sun goes down. I’m usually rushing to get my last pics before being politely asked to leave by the ranger. Finally, as night falls I return to suburbia from whence, I came. At that moment I genuinely do feel that I’ve been away from it all.
May might be the best time of year here along the gulf coast. I get the feeling I’ve said that before, perhaps I need to change up my story a little. In any case, it’s low season and just before summer kicks in. It’s warm, not too hot, the clouds are high, the evenings are late, and the sunsets are golden.
Today I’ve focused on the foreground element along the beach. It’s a blanket of needles from an overhanging branch. The texture and loopy pattern look to me like a carpet, as though the needles are organized that way. If nothing else, the image is a study in natural textures.
Everyone else was watching the sun go down, and I’m back here concentrating on the ground. That sounds a little loopy I know. But I have a million shots of the sun, and my real motive is to see how many times I can use the word loop in a blog post. Looping back to the main point, I try to look for things that are visually interesting to put in the foreground. Then, I wait for the sun to set and they seem even more pleasing to the eye. Anyway, this is another compositional idea that I use from time to time.
I took this about four years ago when I was in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. It’s a part of the Wild Pacific Trail that traces the coastline. It’s a well-maintained trail with benches like this every half mile or so.
I was here in late August (or “Fogust” as the locals say) when a thick fog would roll in most afternoons. You could see it sitting just offshore, and then at the right time it would approach and before you could say Foghorn Leghorn, you were in it. In this image, you can see it about a mile offshore.
Benches or empty chairs in an image allow us to imagine sitting there in the scene. Our eyes follow the direction it points, similar to a leading line, only with a different device. When a photo makes us look in a particular direction, it has captured our imagination as we weave our own story in the scene. However, if it has thick fog, that would be something different entirely.
In this picture, I’m looking south over the Manatee River towards Bradenton. These are the mangroves that line it from its source to the sea. Mangroves form an essential part of the ecosystem by protecting the shore from erosion.
Believe it or not, this is across the street from the Bradenton Area Convention center, so while it looks like a nature shot, it’s in the middle of a suburban setting. Mangroves are protected in Florida, so there’s little chance they’ll be affected by development. Despite the activity all around, they continue to protect rivers and coastlines.
The reason I took this was for the reflections. Its a repeat of a shot I’ve done in the past and the results are similar. However, the clouds are never the same. And because it’s only a 2-minute drive from home, this is something I see often. No matter how many times I see this, I never get tired of nature inside an urban landscape.
A while back I met a friend for dinner here at Citywalk in Orlando. It was on a Monday and one of the slowest days of the year. The ordinarily crowded scene was utterly empty. It’s not often you get that here.
I didn’t go to take pictures, but I brought my camera anyway. I captured this as I was heading back to the car. It was a one picture trip.
I’m attracted to the neon signs because it reminds of the work of Thomas Hawk, he has an extensive collection of neon signs on Flickr. However, this being Universal Studios it is a little more contrived. Tom’s work is authentic Americana along the highways and thoroughfares of the country. In any case, if it wasn’t for his work, I might not have thought to take this. The influence I get from photographers like Thomas Hawk is essential to me.
I cannot help that I love to take pictures at the beach. Living where I do it’s unavoidable. As problems go, it’s not a bad one to have. In this image, I’ve lingered after the sunset when the clouds were just right. This specific time is my favorite because the light is somewhat rare. The color creates a glow that beckons to something beyond.
On this evening, after the sun had set, a group of a dozen people sitting together gave a round of applause. That’s not as uncommon as you may think. It seems odd, but after you’ve seen it enough times, it’s not.
People begin walking home, and I like to capture them walking along the shoreline. While the colors and scenery are beautiful, I believe that adding people helps us project ourselves into the scene. I can easily imagine walking along the shore at dusk or just sitting there looking out to sea. And if you see me clapping, maybe you’ll understand why.