Fleeting Moments

Lately, we have been getting a lot of rain. When that happens, it usually means you can count one thing, a sky full of colors in the evening.

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Fleeting Moments
Sunset Beach on Anna Maria Island – click for full size

When I took this image, I didn’t realize children were in the picture until later. I was too busy making sure I didn’t drop the camera in the water. In any case, it was a lucky happenstance caused by the wide-angle of the lens.

more from Manatee County, Florida

All good things are fleeting and come to an end. But taking photos is a passion for me, partly because it saves a moment to re-experience later. Pictures like this are memory pills that cause neurons to fire, bringing back moments, and sometimes surprises.

Bodacious Sky

I took this from the Green Bridge in Bradenton on a particularly bodacious evening. Does anyone use that word anymore?

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Bodacious Sky
The sunset over the Manatee River in Bradenton

Bodacious is a west coast word, but I’m from there, so I get a pass. For some reason, a lot of new words come from California. When I was ten, I made up the word “bad” to mean awesome. I actually thought I invented that. Imagine my surprise when I heard it on TV. Surely I picked it up subconsciously somewhere.

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My vocabulary is not particularly great, enough to get by. But I do get impressed by words all the time. I love the dictionary feature in Kindle. Depending on the author, I might just spend a lot of time in there. It’s not as easy as making up my own words, though.

Point Lobos Sky

When I was here, I went a little snap-happy and took way too many shots of the sky. But that’s a known hazard of watching the sunset in San Fran.

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Point Lobos Sky
The sky after sunset in San Francisco

As I look at this, I think if not for the photos, I would’ve forgotten all about it. These are not the kinds of things that stick in my memory very well. However, the picture brings back many details of that night, now nearly five years later.

more seascapes in the gallery

It may sound conceded, but I like looking at my own photos. In part, that’s because they bring back memories of the experience. Maybe it’s a sense of nostalgia because often the memory exceeds reality. I think we reconstruct memories to build a better story. I’m not sure that makes sense, but those are my thoughts.

Venice on the Brain

I almost didn’t go down to Venice Beach because I knew if I did, I’d end up retaking pictures of the pier. But I went anyway, and I did it anyway.

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Venice on the Brain
Venice Beach in Central Florida

I have this internal dialog in my brain. One side plans, decides, and weighs; the other does the opposite. In the end, all the noise is just that, noise.

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So this is the pier in Venice, it’s a shot I’ve done before, but each time is a little different. This time I included only the sun’s edge, so its presence is felt without becoming the scene’s focus. At least that’s how my left brain explains what the right brain did without asking permission.

Emerson Point

To get here, you walk through a jungle trail, and it’s easy to get a bit disoriented. That is until you pop out from the brush at sunset.

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Emerson Point Clouds
Looking out to sea from Emerson Point

The image I took here is similar to one I did from the same spot a half dozen years ago.

The clouds and weather ensure each image will be different, and I never tire of it.

more from Emerson Point

Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.

Cape Cove

While driving along the Oregon coast, I stopped here in Cape Cove. The area is so pretty it’s hard to take a bad picture.

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Cape Cove
A long exposure image along the Oregon coast

The coastline has these massive rocks that are the remnants of an eroding mainland. I can imagine that ten-thousand years ago the land extended well beyond where it ends today. These are up and down the Pacific coast, and they make for good studies in geology and, in my case, photography.

more long exposure images from the gallery

I created this effect using an ND filter, which allows for a long exposure, even during daylight; this is a 20-second exposure. With that, the water appears smooth like glass. Also, the aperture is set to f22, which allows both the foreground and background rocks to be in focus, and it creates the star effect of the sun. Also, shooting right into the sun like this created lens flare, which in this case, I quite like.

When I See It

If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.

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When I See It
The sun sets over Emerson Point in Palmetto

I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.

more images with clouds

Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.

Yellow Stand

A hilarious rant about the Florida heat
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These last few days it’s been unbearably hot. The last thing I’d want to do is be sitting here all day; unless of course I had nonstop margaritas.

Yellow Stand
The bike rental stand at Fort DeSoto Park in St Petersburg Florida

The image is a redo of a photo I processed six-years ago. Here is the original…

Original processing of the bike rental stand that I did in 2013.

Because the tools and my techniques change so much, I like to redevelop images to contrast and compare to my former self. There’s no right and wrong, just different ways to see the same thing.

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As we head into the middle of summer, I am looking forward to some downtime under a tiki hut sipping a frosty little drink with an umbrella. Umbrellas in glasses are a crucial element for survival in harsh environments. This is an important fact you may wish to keep in mind. You’re very welcome.

Bradenton Causeway

The Bradenton causeway has advantages over the beach. You can park at the water’s edge, and there aren’t nearly as many rules.

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Bradenton Causeway
The causeway in Bradenton Florida

At this spot, you can generally see horses in the water. But I was here on a Monday, and they weren’t. The causeway isn’t fancy, but if you want to spend time at the water without the parking hassles, this is it.

more palm trees in the gallery

Many people prefer the beach with its powdery white sand. However, a lot of the locals come here. Just drive up, pull out a lawn chair and Bob’s your uncle.

Less Obvious

The other day I visited the pier at the beach in Venice, Florida. It’s an excellent place to hang out at the end of the day.

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Less Obvious
The pier as seen from Sharky’s on the Pier in at Venice Beach, Florida.

I took this picture from the patio of Sharky’s, one of the best beach restaurants in the region. When guests come to town, this is where we go. From the terrace, you walk onto the pier to fish or look for dolphins. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

more portfolios here

What caught my eye was the sunlight through the grass. At the time, I thought to focus on the less obvious subject. It’s the concept behind my website name. Sometimes, I focus on highlighting the underappreciated gems right in front of the more obvious choice. While I don’t always succeed, that’s the idea behind “Just Enough Focus” dot com.