Skyway All Lit Up

Crews recently finished working on the bridge. Only afterward did I realize what they were up to.

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The Sunshine Skyway Bridge over the opening to Tampa Bay

I photographed this from the adjacent south fishing pier. I was here early on a Sunday morning hanging out with some fishermen while I took a bunch of photos.

The colors are always changing, so I’ll probably post another one with a different color. I used Skylum’s Luminar 4 to process this. As part of that, I used the new AI sky replacement tool to add stars. Typically there’s too much light pollution to see the sky in all it’s glory. But in the days of AI, that’s no longer a problem, at least concerning post-processing.

Cunningham Falls

The colors are here in the Northeast, so a few days ago, I drove to this random park called Cunningham Falls; it turns out it’s not so random.

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Cunningham Falls
An autumn scene in Maryland

I don’t know the area, so; I picked a random place to visit on Google Maps. Little did I know this is a popular spot because there were a lot of other photographers that showed up as well. I took all kinds of shots from different angles, including this, which is a twelve-shot panorama.

more from the landscape gallery

The scene consists of twelve shots, four groups of three that I processed in AuroraHDR, and stitched in Lightroom. The result is a very high-resolution landscape of a not so random Maryland park.

Carnon Plage Scenes

Depending on the time of day, the scene at this beach is entirely different. I’m not sure which one I prefer better.

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Carnon Plage Sunrise
Sunrise at the beach in Carnon
Carnon Plage Midday
Midday at the same beach.

Having spent almost a week here, I had plenty of opportunities to take in the view. I think perhaps that I like the early morning view for the stillness of the water. If I think about it much longer, I’ll probably change my mind.

be sure and visit the beach gallery

The defining characteristic of Carnon Plage is the circularity of the shore. (BTW: Plage is the French word for beach.) Breakwaters were constructed to prevent erosion such that waves passing through form rings. The beach is therefore circular and, there is more of it than if it were merely straight. In the end, it makes for good picture taking, which for me, is all that seems to matter.

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.

Rainbow Falls

This photo is just below Rainbow Falls in North Carolina. It’s on a trail with a waterfall payoff at the end.

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Below Rainbow Falls
Taken on the trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina

I think the word rainbow sums up those fall colors. North Carolina is famous for its autumn tones, which, as I write this, is still a couple of months away. It was nice to hike in the mountains and get a break from the humidity back home.

more from North Carolina

This is another old photo I pulled from the archives. Old images are veritable breadcrumbs leading back to forgotten details. For instance, from the picture, I recall the hike took longer than expected and, was a little more strenuous. So when we got back to the hotel, we ate pasta and dinner rolls, leaving only, …you guessed it, breadcrumbs.

Sky with Diamonds

The highlights in the clouds remind me of the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I don’t see Lucy, but I do see diamonds.

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Sky with Diamonds
Light patterns in the sky above Robinson Preserve in Bradenton Florida

In the sky, we see whatever we want to see. Psychoanalysts have been using this trick for years to pull things out of our subconscious. Clouds present a daily Rorschach Test, teasing out things we hold below the surface of awareness. The key is to notice what we see and then think about why.

more cloudscapes in the gallery

The more abstract something is, the less rational it is. While rationality is necessary to navigate life, suspending it from time to time allows us to experience a different perspective. In my mind, a little vacation from the demands of an overactive mind is probably healthy, and maybe even necessary.

Bridge Again

I take a lot of photos of this bridge; I should open a gallery and call it the Manatee Bridge gallery. With these types of scenes can you blame me?

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Bridge Again
Another image of the Manatee Avenue Bridge in Bradenton, Florida

What makes this so mesmerizing is the calm water of the intercoastal. When it’s like glass, it reflects everything and creates a dreamscape-like effect. That’s what I strive for but rarely achieve.

more bridges in the gallery

Anyway, if you go to my gallery and enter the keyword “ManateeAvenueBridge” in the search, you’ll get all the versions of this bridge I’ve taken over the years. In another five or ten years I’ll probably have quite the collection. Then they can rename the bridge after me. It will be called the Rick Bridge, or not.


So now they are outfitting the Royal Caribbean ships with these rayguns to shoot down alien invaders. Or, maybe it’s just an odd looking crane.

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The deck of the Oasis of the Seas

On the last night of our cruise aboard the Oasis of the Seas, I walked around late at night getting all kinds of pictures on the empty deck. Most people were packing or living it up one last time before we docked.

more artful cruise images

Actually, the raygun idea was not mine. Earlier in the year, we were on Symphony, a sister ship, and during the Captain’s talk, one passenger asked what the raygun-looking-thing was. The instant deadpan reply was that indeed it was a raygun to shoot down aliens, which was followed by a short silence and then audience laughter. So when I saw this on the Oasis, I chuckled as I was reminded of Captain Rob’s wit and dry delivery.

Big City

When I see a big city, I’m like a deer in the headlights. I look up and can’t stop staring.

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The big city of Miami
The big city of Miami 

I’m fascinated by the perpendicular angles of construction, a million squares, layered and stacked in every direction. It’s a sensory rush that quickens my pulse and speeds up time; a big city high.

more cityscapes in the gallery

Maybe it’s of all the lights, or the mass of humanity, or the scale of it all. Whatever it is, I’m in not much use until I snap out of its initial spell. Perhaps there’s some part of our DNA that attracts us to a hive or colony or tribe. Or maybe, it just all the cool lights.

Florida Landscape

Landscape photography is the most natural thing to do around the section of Florida I live in. And since its so easy, I should be doing a lot more of it.

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Florida Landscape
A golden glow over the pond at Neal Preserve in Bradenton, Florida

But life gets in the way. There are dozens of perfect evenings that I let slip by. No matter what I’m doing, I still look out the window to see what I’m missing. I think sailors do the same thing.

Florida gallery

I don’t get a lot of opportunities to take pictures of the mountains. I think of that as landscape photography. However, in Florida, we use clouds as stand-ins for peaks. They are usually interesting enough to fill up the top half of a frame. Throw in a sunset and Bob’s or uncle.