Fluid Dynamics

This is Ocean Beach from Point Lobos in San Francisco. My wife and I were having dinner at the Cliff House restaurant when the colors started changing and, as usual, I had to excuse myself from the table. There’s no getting around the fact that the spouse of a photographer is long-suffering.

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Fluid Dynamics

From a distance, crowds seem to mimic the flow of water

It’s interesting how the people on the beach are evenly distributed. Have you ever notice how crowds of people seem to mimic fluid dynamics? Here they’re evenly dispersed like little water molecules on the sand. You can see this phenomenon when you view crowds from a distance. At a certain level, people follow the laws of physics. We observe the same behavior in traffic patterns which is then used to model highways and ramps.

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In a previous post and similar picture from this beach, I compared the grains of sand to stars in the universe. It seems that whenever I look at this scene I’m reminded of the order of things, and how that order repeats regardless of the scale. Food for thought from someone who can’t sit long enough to eat.

Common Threads

This is a section of the Arthur Erickson designed Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. To be clear, I didn’t know about the architect until just now when I looked him up. But if you’re like me, you’ll recognize his work in other major cities. He even has a blog on Tumblr. Say what?

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Common Threads

This is the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver

This makes me realize there are so many things I don’t know. It’s a revelation to learn that things I’ve regularly seen have something in common. Each one is so unusual that I’ve wondered about it, only to become aware of the threads when pointed out.

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It makes me wonder how many other things have unseen associations. Intuitively I feel this must be the case on many levels; there are more associations in life than we will ever consciously know. For me, one of the little pleasures in life is the revelation that comes with seeing the bigger picture.

Clouds in the East

This is an HDR shot made from three images. It’s Benderson Park which is a rowing venue in Sarasota. I took this early in the morning when the water was still, and the reflections were clear.

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Clouds in the East

This is Benderson Park in the early morning

I’m pointing mostly east. Around here the clouds almost always come from the east and dissipate over the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t understand it but for whatever reason, you have to look east to see clouds. Something to do with the Florida geography.

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I like images like this. Maybe it’s the reflections or simplicity of the scene. Granted it’s an empty scene, but that suits my aesthetic which is mostly minimalism. In the end, I shoot scenes like this because it’s what I like to do. And that, I keep telling myself, is what matters.

Wild Pacific Trail

Here is a bend in along the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet BC. While staying here a few years ago I took hikes along this trail and spent hours taking photos of the views. However, in this case, it was the trail itself that caught my imagination.

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Wild Pacific Trail

A section of the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, British Columbia

The trail itself is well maintained and has spectacular vistas of the rugged coast below. We stayed at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort which is on the trail itself. All I had to do was walk outside the room and I was on the trail.

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Some stretches of the trail would wind through the woods, and then open up at an overlook of the Pacific Ocean. It was a fun walk because at almost every there was a surprise waiting. The problem for me was knowing when to turn back. I would walk for miles and lose track of time and then have to pick up the pace on my way back.

Far Beach

I’ve been processing older photos lately and I ran across this one from three years ago at Far Beach in Key Largo. Going back to review old photos gives me a chance to reflect and contrast. These days I use new software called Aurora HDR and its powerful enough to breathe new life into old memories.

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Far Beach

Far Beach in Key Largo Florida

Here is a link to a similar scene from the same day. I processed that one using different software and then added an overlay of texture. My style continues to evolve so who knows what I’ll do in another few years. Nevertheless, this just makes me want to take another look at my earlier photos.

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Also, this was taken on my first full frame Sony camera, the A7R. I now have the third generation of that line but looking back I’m impressed with how well it did. It makes me want to dust it off and give it a spin for old time sake, but I will still use the new software. Kind of like going to visit an old friend and bringing a new bottle of wine.

Roaring Brook Nature Center 2

I took this about three years ago at a little park called Roaring Brook Nature Center on Canton Connecticut. The pond empties down the mountain at a dike and indeed the brook does roar at that spot. Here is another image from nearly the same spot.

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Roaring Brook Nature Center 2

I took this on a nature walk a few years back.

I was here in spring which of course is when all the streams and rivers are full of melting snow. Spring is also the season for pollen and they get it heavily in Connecticut. My rental car was covered with a yellow layer so thick it resembled volcanic ash.

I’ve also been here (not this spot exactly) in Autumn and of course, the scene is quite different. All of New England is ablaze in colors and it’s a great time for a road trip.

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This particular visit was a difficult one. We had just lost one of our beloved dogs from an unexpected illness and I was feeling sad. That’s when I looked up this little park figuring it would do me some good to go for a nature walk. When I saw scenes like this it helped take my mind off the pain. Times like that are never easy.

Stars Above Terra Ceia

This is a minimalist view of Terra Ceia Bay which is a short distance from my home in Palmetto. There was no breeze, so the water was like glass. I made several stops and each picture I took featured reflections in the water.

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Stars Above Terra Ceia

The view of Terra Ceia Bay on a calm morning

Yesterday I mentioned the topic of light pollution and if you’re interested I found a link to an online map. This shows the levels of artificial light on the ground at places all over the earth. Even though this image of Terra Ceia was taken about an hour before dawn, the band of light on the horizon is the tell-tale sign of a city. Sadly, it seems there are not many dark skies on the eastern half of the North American continent, at least not where I live in the United States.

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Nonetheless, we still have stars and every evening when I walk my dog I look up at them. I think that in decades to come space travel will become common, and we’ll have the luxury of seeing the stars unobstructed by atmosphere. Until that time, at least now I have a map to find the darkest skies.

Impossible View

This view of Vancouver is from the convention center. The photo is a composite with the stars added to the sky for effect. I’ve taken this same shot a number of times, so I decided to get a little creative. This view is not possible in the real world.

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Impossible View

An imagined view of Vancouver with bright stars.

Photos of stars get overpowered by light pollution from cities. Even though I don’t live in a large city, I run into the same problem back home. Almost everywhere people live, light from the ground interferes with starlight. Fortunately, with image processing tools we can clean up most of it. But there’s no substitute for going somewhere remote and seeing bright stars at night.

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Most of the pictures that the astronauts take from the ISS are pointed back at Earth. Personally, I wonder what it is like looking in the other direction. My guess/hope is that there are more stars than can be seen on earth and that the galactic core of the Milky Way is easily visible. I guess the only way to know for sure is to ask an astronaut or, book a flight and see for myself. I’m adding that to the list now.

Midday Walk

Like its name suggests, Bayfront Park in Sarasota has a good view. It’s small enough to walk around on your lunch break and still make your one o’clock.

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Midday Walk

A midday walk in Sarasota’s in Bayfront Park

But if you’re like a lot of people here, the days of the one o’clock meetings are long gone. You are in retirement with time to go fishing, walk in the park, or whatever in heck it is that you do.

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I took this two years ago and just now got around to processing it. I have a lot of little shots like this that sit on the hard drive waiting their turn. If I go out today and take some pictures, chances you’ll see it by 2020. But if some of them are really good, next Tuesday after my one o’clock.

Main Attraction

This was the main attraction on the midway at the Sarasota Balloon Festival last week. I took this on the first night before the crowds arrived.

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Main Attraction

This was the midway at the 2018 Sarasota Balloon Festival

Sometimes I use this technique to show a scene in relation to the space it occupies. In this case, I’ve included a larger than normal portion of the dramatic sky. To get that I used a 12mm lens which makes the Ferris wheel appear small and the clouds to converge.

Another technique would be to use a drone to get an aerial perspective. However, it was a hot air balloon festival and I just assumed there would be a drone ban, that was not the case, so I’ll know for next time.

more photos that feature clouds

It’s kind of ironic in that Ferris wheels, hot air balloons and drones are all just different ways of getting above the ground, so you can look back down.