Wave Motion

The best things about the water are the feeling of weightlessness and, the motion of the waves. Makes me wonder what it’s like to be a dolphin.

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Wave Motion
At the beach on Anna Maria Island

Speaking of which we see them all the time along the beach. Generally, dolphins swim by in pods or family groups. Many have returned since the end of the last red tide.

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I take a lot of these shots and just can’t seem to get enough of them. It reminds me of times I visited Hawaii and would float for long stretches in the water, rocking with the waves. Now that I live in Florida, it’s ironic that I can go whenever I want but seldom do.

Beach Dunes

This picture is another in a series of dunes on Anna Maria Island. This might not be the most exciting thing you see today.

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Beach Dunes
The dunes at the beach on Anna Maria Island

A lot of effort goes into protecting these dunes and the natural flora that grows here. There are signs every thirty feet or so warning people to use the bridges to cross over to the beach. Even so, I’ve seen a few idiots disregard the signs and walk over the plants. I guess not everyone has a brain.

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Anyway, I love taking photos of these because they are an additional dimension to the landscape of the beach. And for the most part, they are the only place that the plants have a place to grow freely. Unlike dunes in the Sahara, these don’t blow away or change their shape. We have the untrampled plants to thank for that.

Week Ends

The feeling at the end of the week, knowing there’s no work the next day, is pretty awesome. Before a long weekend, it’s even better.

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Week Ends
Dusk at the beach on Anna Maria Island

This photo is a reminder of how good we have it here in Florida: that’s directed at those of us that live here because it’s easy to forget.

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Living along the coast, you develop a sense of normalcy about living where others vacation. So it’s good to get away for some perspective and then come back. It’s human nature; nothing lasts forever, even that feeling at the start of a long weekend.

Footprint

I would post this photo along with some original words. But it seemed a little too cliché.

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Footprint
A footprint in the sand on Anna Maria Island, Florida

When I look at a simple thing, my mind wanders. That’s a life long habit I’ve acquired. It’s too easy to get distracted with the first thought that comes to mind. Maybe it sounds silly, but it’s a measure of how life is when we cannot focus on something uncomplicated.

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When we were children, before our brains developed, we could be easily delighted. Some scientist suspect that the ability to be fascinated with simple things diminishes with the development of the default mode network in the brain. Whether that’s the case or not, it does make me wonder what our developed brains cause us to overlook.

Tweet Storm

I have never been at the center of a Tweet Storm unless of course, we are referring to squawks on the beach. Maybe this is a good metaphor for that.

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Tweet Storm
Sunset on Anna Maria Island

Speaking of which, I just heard the in-depth interview of Jack Dorsey on Sam Harris’s podcast. The guy is pretty zen, way more than I expected. Long story short, Twitter is a work in progress and, from what I can glean, Jack has his heart in the right place.

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I’m not much of a Twitter guy, I just tweet my photos, but that’s probably not the ideal use case. I do like to follow certain people, but I’m not really into participating in public discourse. I’m more contemplative and keep my thoughts to myself. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing; but let just say, it is what it is.

Beach Battle

There is a barrier of dunes that run the length of Anna Maria Island. Plants grow in the dunes and as a result, protect it from the onslaught of the sea.

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Beach Battle
These dunes prevent erosion of Anna Maria Island

It’s incredible how nature comes up with devices to protect one thing from another. The forces of nature are regularly at war, and the results of the conflict create a boundary that, in this instance, we call a beach.

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Sometimes I like to get down into the trenches with the troops. In this case, I found a path through the dunes at Manatee Beach. People came to enjoy the sense of peace and tranquility. However, as summer approaches, it will invariably bring new storms that test the resolve of these little dunes. May they hold fast and secure.

Westward Gaze

This is a common scene at the beach and a good illustration of why I prefer the west coast of Florida.

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WestwardGaze
The sun sets on the western coast of Florida.

Or for that matter, the west coast of anywhere. Sure, you can get up early to see the sunrise on the east, but it’s not the same. Watching the sun sink into the ocean at the end of the day is observed facing west only.

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According to astonomy.com, about half of the galaxys rotate clockwise like ours, and the other half counterclockwise. That means that planets in other galaxies, and maybe a few in our own, have planets with the sunset in the east — something to think about.

Returning Home

Hang out at Longboat Pass in the evening, and you’ll see a stream of boats returning to dock just after sunset. It keeps the drawbridge operator quite busy.

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Returning Home
Sometimes the best light is after sunset

This is a shot using a Playpod at the water’s edge. In this age of drones, it’s nice to have a tool that helps create a somewhat unique low-down perspective. Not that I have anything against drones, they are fun and provide excellent viewpoints. But angles like this are just as rewarding.

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I’ve not been to the beach for sunset in a while, so I almost forgot how to photograph the whole golden hour; I nearly left too early. I was heading to the car and noticed another photographer just getting out. That reminded me that sometimes the best light occurs after the sun goes down. So I headed back to the shoreline and took this along with a few others. Then, after squeezing the last ounce of light from the sky, it was finally time to head home.

Grassy Point

Sometimes I look for places to shoot using Google Maps. It helps me find places tucked away that I may have missed, like this at Grassy Point.

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Grassy Point
The sun peaks through the mangroves on Anna Maria Island

This is a short drive from my home to Anna Maria Island. I showed up before dawn on a cold and windy morning. By cold, I mean it was cold for Florida; low fifties. Nevertheless, it has a path from the parking lot through the Mangroves and ends up here on the intercoastal waterway.

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The clouds were low on the horizon, so the sunrise was not as spectacular as I hoped. Nevertheless, I stayed around for a few minutes to get this shot of the water through the mangroves. It seemed like a long cold hour standing out there waiting for a shot; however that made the hot coffee afterward all the more enjoyable.

The Real Thing

I used to have a thing about benches. Now its beach chairs and umbrellas. At least I’m progressing.

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The Real Thing
An afternoon on Bradenton Beach Florida

When I take photos of random people on the beach, I try to remain conscious of their privacy, lest I have them sign a release form. But when it comes to objects, everything is fair game. I once did a commercial beach shoot. There was so much involved, from legal to logistics. I prefer just to walk around and take pictures of interesting things, or people.

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Putting people or chairs in a shot causes us to imagine ourselves in the scene. If we see people, we subconsciously become them. When we look at chairs, in our mind’s eye we find ourselves sitting in them. We project ourselves with our thoughts without even realizing it; it’s a habit we all have. Sometimes I feel I’ve been somewhere having previously only looked at it in pictures or videos. But, as they say, there’s no substitute for the real thing.