I’m not sure why it is but I enjoy images of random people in night scenes. This is similar to a shot I did a year ago in the same location. It too was monochromatic with red. Anyway, I’m deliberately repeating myself. What I’m trying to capture is the combination of the lights of the shopping district, the hustle and bustle of people and the interplay of light and shadow. They combine to create a scene and the red color adds an extra dimension of depth.
Looking at this you could be forgiven for thinking it was somewhere in the United States but in fact it’s Vancouver, British Columbia. On the surface, many things about Canada seem similar to the United States. But beyond the surface there are differences.
I could name a lot of things but I think that strong sense of national Identity is one of the most prominent. That sounds very general, but it’s palpable, something you pickup on right away.
Just as the USA influences Canada, the same is true in the other direction. Most people don’t notice, but Canada has a big influence south of the border. Television personalities, sports, medicine, manufacturing, banking…, the list goes on. I see the signs of all over Florida but maybe that’s because I know what to look for.
This is another shot taken next to the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach, Florida. In the morning everything is quiet as the pier casts long reflections on the calm waters of the Inter-coastal. This is my favorite time of day to get photos of places that are normally much busier during the day. Next to me sat a couple on a bench drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. Not a bad way to start the day.
I’ve taken a lot of pictures from here but when I take the time I can usually find a different perspective. So even if I’ve been here, the photo is unique in some way. I don’t mind repeating myself if I’m taking pictures of something pretty and I’m having fun. Whomever said you can’t repeat yourself forgot to send me the memo.
For me, photography is a state of mind more than anything. I have an idea what I want to convey, something peaceful, calm and serene. So no matter where I am I just figure out how to do that. If my inclination was to show some form of action or interaction, I’d take a completely different approach. Photography is a state of mind and if you constantly practice your images reflect that state of mind. That’s not to say I have a peaceful, serene and calm mind, but that yearning is what I focus on.
Anyway, now that I have you in a peaceful state of mind, maybe its time to get a cup of coffee. Or glass of wine depending on the time of day.
This is Venice Beach and Pier. It’s one of the best places to go on the west coast of Florida for a sunset. Right behind me is a beachside restaurant called Sharkey’s and if you come here in the evening you will be treated to a view like this while you have dinner.
This is easily one of my favorite places in all of Florida. I love the restaurant, the pier the water; this is such an awesome place that you’d easily spend hours here without even noticing. That happens to me a lot when I come here, losing track of time is probably the easiest thing to do. They really should post warning signs, “Caution, the management is not responsible for your losing track of time”. I mean really, it’s just like that.
Isn’t that why we come to places like this? To just let go of things and be happy? This is the place for that. Anyway, I always get carried away with my camera when I come here. I never know what to expect and I always get more than I hoped for. The Florida experience in a nutshell. Lose track of time, forget what you came for, leave happy.
This is another image from Egmont Key near Tampa. I like to describe it as a deserted island because that’s what it is. You can take a ferry here but there are only two scheduled trips a day. Once you get here there are no concessions, only a lighthouse, a dock, and miles of empty beaches. I walked the whole length of it a few weeks ago and it was, I must admit, a little therapeutic.
Switching gears for a second, last night I watched a show on cable about people that move to Alaska. It basically followed them as they hunted for a house and during that they would describe why they wanted to re-locate. Invariably people wanted to get back to a simpler way of life.
I think there’s something to that, as we live complicated lives we foster a desire to return to something more meaningful. For me that means walking a deserted beach once in a while with nothing but the sound of the wind, the waves and the gulls to contend with.
I think peace is a state of mind. Maybe the trick is to find that deserted beach in my mind and go there for a few minutes each day. I’d also like to go to Alaska or a deserted island but sometimes the oasis in my mind might be a little more accessible.
Here I’m standing on a hill at Emerson Point which is a preserve not far from home. The funny thing about it is this is the highest point around. Can you imagine living in a place where the ground rises no higher than a palm tree? Having grown up in California I can say it takes some getting used to. For one, I find it a little disorienting when I don’t have a mountain range for bearing. The only thing I have is the direction of the sun, but that only works when it’s low in the sky. When I get turned around I always repeat in my head, “The sun rises in the East”. I’m a modern day Daniel Boone.
These hills along the coast are referred to as dunes. They don’t look like dunes because they is typically only one by it self and covered with plants. Also, to me they seem to be made of dirt, nonetheless they are referred to by the park rangers as dunes. Perhaps they have a high concentration of sand.
So unless I stand on a dune, I don’t have a strong idea of what the land looks like. That probably adds to my challenges with orientation, but I’m getting better at it. I can always use the compass app on my iPhone, not to mention Google Maps. So as long as I have cell converge I’m good.
This was taken in the last days of the year when I went to the beach to watch the waves at sunset. The waves were the result of a storm that blew off of the gulf. As I recall the evening was warm, more so than normal.
Hard as I might try to the contrary, I take days like this for granted. The winter warmth is not as appreciated by me as much as you might think. That’s simply because I live here and I’m used to it. Even so I do take advantage of what the area around my home has to offer. For instance I enjoy walking the beach. That might sound cliche, but it’s one of the things people do here. I do it mostly for photography because I will typically see something interesting, either in front of me or in my minds eye. It’s as though those walks help to prod my artistic muse.
Prior to moving here it would never have entered my mind to go to the beach just to walk and take pictures, yet now I do it. And when I’m away I feel a longing for those walks and the sound of the waves. I guess thats some new part of my makeup, something new I’ve discovered I like. I guess we are always developing new things we like, unconsciously evolving some new aspect of ourselves.
Despite taking scenes like this for granted, I find that when I return from a trip I become subtly aware aware of the Florida climate as though it was something new. As I write this I’m traveling and have warm clothes in my suitcase as I sit in a hotel room with the heater on. It is a real possibility that when I return I’ll drive to the beach and go for a walk with my camera. Then I’ll probably say to myself how fortunate I am to live here and once again will appreciated it, …until such time as it becomes normal and I start taking it for granted again.
This is Marley sitting under my desk waiting for me to play with him. He always sits within a few feet and patiently waits for me to look his way an signal that it’s time for a little play. I think I am a very lucky guy.
I’m working on a couple of long term projects that involve showcasing the county that I live in. One of the most notable aspects of Manatee County is the beach and so every now and then I walk the white sand looking for iconic shots. The more I do it the more I’m realizing that beach photography is a little like street photography. I try to catch people doing what they do without attracting a lot of attention. One technique I use is use a long lense and walk along the back of the beach. By shooting from the back or side I’m not in the faces of my subjects as they are situated in the landscape. In any case, I’m a little bit introverted and so shooting people in the “wild” doesn’t come easy, but once I get out there and in the zone it gets a little easier. In any case, this is one such shot on one such occasion.
According to the BC Parks website, “This is the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island”. Well (according to me) this place is nothing short of spectacular. Some of these ancient trees were blown down in a storm back in 1997 and so the path is littered with trunks, while others remain tall and healthy. I won’t try to explain how big these are, but it was well worth the stop on Highway 4 as we travelled to the west coast of Vancouver Island. When walking along this path one gets the sense that the little earth spirits (gnomes) are all over the place. I can say that about a lot of places, but I think they (the gnomes) must have their headquarters here. And why not?
I had to look this up because Google kept telling me this is Lake Unknown. That sounds to me like a software glitch, like what happens when the name is missing. Turns out this is indeed Lake Unknown on the border of Otago in New Zealand. You would have to climb some good size mountains to get here and that’s probably how it got it’s name. Just after we lifted off we flew through a micro rain shower as I held my camera outside for a clear shot of us flying through the opening at the far end. The high ridge then quickly descended to the Dart River as we headed onto more destinations equally as spectacular, if not unknown.