I took this photo about three years ago. However, lately, there is an on-going project to re-enforce the seawall so that it doesn’t erode. Because I drive by it several times a week, I was getting tired of seeing the construction equipment. But upon reflection, and through a longer lens of history, it’s probably good that they take all the time they need to get it right.
The saying goes “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning”. And as it turns out, it’s mostly right.
Having said that, because Florida is a big peninsula, the weather can be unpredictable, especially in the warmer months. Tropical storms boil up from either direction in little time and dissipate just as fast. But for the most part, the old sayings are still relevant.
This photo points out over the Gulf of Mexico, so if I launched a sailboat directly west, I’d end up near Corpus Christi. But even though the skies say it’s okay, it’s not something I’m likely to do. I’m no sailor, and I prefer to stay away from the open seas in a small boat. I’m a cruise ship kind of person and a rough day of sailing means having to wait in line at the seafood buffet.
A branch hangs over the water along the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa. This image was taken at dawn one weekend.
During the weekdays, the skyway is inundated with cars commuting to work in the various counties that surround Tampa Bay. I traverse three counties just to get to Tampa, one county twice. The weird way Tampa is carved up, Hillsborough County is on both sides of Pinellas County, on the same highway.
Nevertheless, this is a long exposure that I took from Hillsborough County looking back at Manatee County. The Skyway is an impossibly long crossing of Tampa Bay. Not only is it a scenic drive, but it’s also a recreation area and one of the best rest stops in Florida.
I take a lot of pictures of this bridge because it’s so close to home. It’s the biggest thing around, way bigger than a bread box.
Do people still use bread boxes these days? Whenever I buy bread, it goes in the freezer. But I digress; the bridge is the biggest thing around, so it’s the center of a lot of attention. I’m all about iconic photos close to home like this.
This photo, in particular, is a long exposure that was taken with an ND filter. The picture is 46 seconds long which is why the water appears flat. Usually, I might use Photoshop to create the same effect, but in this case, there is little, if any, Photoshop involved.
Come to Eric Island, an all-inclusive paradise where your every need will be attended to by our world-class staff. From five-star chefs to breathtaking views, we have it all.
Actually, this is between the Port of Manatee and the county jail. Legend has it that pirates used this for launching raids on either. And a little known historical fact; Captain Morgan stored his gold here before retiring to start a rum business. He’s not a bad chap once you get to know him like I do.
I was thinking of about mounting a raid to claim Eric Island for myself. I plan to turn it into a tax-free haven to rival the Camen Islands. As well, it will become a hub for cryptocurrency mining on account of the free water for cooling. I am full of all kinds of ideas. This and Florida swampland are the next big things.
I took this on that windy January weekend in Tampa Bay. Contrary to popular belief, we do get a little winter weather down here. A little.
When it gets cold in Florida, we complain about it. Basically, we feel entitled to good weather all the time. When it’s not, we get our noses out of joint. Nevermind it’s fifty degrees warmer than up north, we just can’t afford those fancy coats Y’all have. That’s not true, I have one in my closet, somewhere.
Anyway, we had a chilly January. We didn’t get frost or anything, but we did have to put on shoes and long pants. That sucks. But now it’s February and its back to sandals and shorts. See how I say that like it’s the most normal thing in the world? So, for the time being, I have nothing to complain about.
This is a near reproduction of an image I did a few years ago. The angle is different, but the story is the same; rocks, pier, water and sky.
I’ve changed the way I take and process photos so this is perhaps the upgraded version. Everything else in life gets updated, why not pictures? I must have deleted the first one because I can’t find it. But it’s not just my imagination because I printed it and sold a few copies. But now, I prefer this version.
As time goes on, I see many more things in a photo, some good, some so-so. Much of my earlier work I would like to redo, a 2.0 gallery if you will. And eventually, I will because I keep going to the same places. And if I think about it, I’ll probably never stop doing that. Just going back to the same areas, and taking upgraded photos until we get to version X. At least that’s the theory.
This image shows an unusual perspective Tampa Bay’s Skyway bridge. I was standing along a seawall at a rest stop along the causeway that connects the two sides. The bridge appears small, but it’s close to 400 feet high.
I’ve been sitting on this photo because I can’t decide whether I like it or not. I overthink things, but it does have some redeeming qualities, so I guess I like it for now.
However, I do love this location on the bay because it’s one of the few places on the west coast where you can see the sunrise over a vast body of water. And now as I’m writing this, I’m deciding that I need to get up early and come back. Maybe I can try this shot again and settle once and for all if I like it.
Fort DeSoto Park is a nice place to go for sunsets here in the Tampa Bay region. This scene is typical of what it looks like in the evening and, is why I keep coming back to take photos.
If you followed the path of the sun due west for about eight hundred miles, you end up near Corpus Christi Texas. To do that though you should be in something larger than a rowboat. Speaking of which, I took a cruise out of here once, and when we passed this pier in our big ship, it looked so small that I almost didn’t recognize it.
In case you’re interested, I set the aperture on the lens to f22 for this shot. That’s a little extreme, and it does some interesting things. First, everything is in focus, from the railing to the end of the pier. Second, it adds contrast to the sky so that we can see the sun rays pointing upward. There are pros and cons to using such a high f-stop, mostly cons; but sometimes it can work out. I think this is one of those times.
Here’s a shot of the pier at Redington Shores Florida. I took this on one of my first drone flights and I was about a half mile away sitting in a chair. It’s very easy and probably a lazy way to take a photo, but there was still a little stress involved. I couldn’t see the drone even though I knew where it was. I positioned it and took a few snaps and then brought it back to where I was sitting. I breath a sigh of relief when the drone comes back and I can see it again.
I’ve had it now for a little over a week and I’m getting used to flying it. The stress is still there, although manageable. Even though it gives me a live view I find it a little disconcerting when it’s so far away. I have no idea what can go wrong and a little mistake can be costly. Add to that you have to be mindful of aviation, and where I live there is no shortage of that.
But with the risks comes a little reward. I am getting perspectives I could only dream of and it’s taking my photography into another dimension, figuratively and literally. Now that I’m not limited by altitude I can revisit familiar places and take completely different photos. I have a long list of locations to hit and that’s a great problem to have.
Thanks to the automation of the DJI Mavic Pro, I’m getting efficient at it as well. I can have it in the air, take the shot, break it down and move on within 10 minutes. In some ways I prefer that to the longer flights, less can go wrong and there’s less stress to deal with. After all, this is supposed to be fun, right? Notwithstanding the learning curve, it really is.