I live in an urban area so landscape photos require a little driving. In the afternoon I watch the clouds and if I think they’ll be favorable for a good sunset I may get in my car in time to drive to a location. However when aIl else fails and I only have five or ten minutes, this is where I go. It’s a little park by the water about two blocks from home. This is my go to location for emergency close-to-home sunsets.
Landscape photography gets me out and allows be to experience some beautiful settings. When I do, it becomes addictive, I want more. And in a way it allows good things to fill my head. Of all the things that can fill my head, I could do worse than scenes like this.
The days are getting longer now and sunsets are happening later and later. That makes it easier for me to get my act together for golden hour.
I’m lucky that I live in Florida, there are a lot of scenes like this that include the sky and water. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to be practiced at images close to home. I repeat a lot of local locations and each time I improve a little. Then when I travel I bring all that experience which helps tremendously with all kinds of situations that come up. Moral of the story? Practicing landscapes is kind of like tasting a good wine, the more you do the better you feel.
There is a moment, just as the sun disappears behind the sea, that you can get a flash of light across the water. This was taken at that moment. Even though it lasts no more than a second I don’t advise looking at the sun to see it. However since I started shooting with a Sony camera I’ve seen it several times. That’s because I can look though the electronic viewfinder and my eyes are protected from the harmful brilliance of the sun.
Even rarer is something known as the “green” flash, at least that’s what I call it. Anyway, under certain circumstances and at the exact second the sun disappears, you may see a greenish-blue flash. I did not see it this day but I have seen it once in Florida. I was watching the sun set over the water and a gentleman came up to me and asked me if I’d ever seen it before. I responded that I’d never even heard of it. He said it was somewhat rare yet he watches for it everyday. A few seconds later it happened and we both looked at each other in amazement.
Anyway, back in San Francisco where I took this, I was at the bottom of a set of cliffs at Point Lobos State Park. By the time I climbed back up and walked back to the parking lot it was after dark, but it seems a lot of people linger here late. A scene like this is hard to leave, and besides I didn’t want to miss the last flash.
This is the tower view from Robinson Preserve in Bradenton Florida. It’s on a trial about a half mile from the parking lot and a good place to get some perspective on the land. In a way this is a poor mans drone shot without the drone. These are inland marshes and salt flats that attract all manner of wildlife. The waterway on the right is a popular place to kayak and further up are mangrove tunnels to be explored.
For this composition I deliberately ignored the rule of thirds because I felt the sky is just as compelling as the ground, they hold the balance in equal measure as a kind of yin and yang. I’ve starting doing that sometimes when using a wide angle lens, here I shot at 14mm.
Normally I am alone here and the last one to leave the park, but just as I ascended the tower about twenty people approached along the trail and ascended the stairs of the tower alongside me. It’s a big tower so it can hold a lot of people. Turns out they were on a guided tour of the park to observe it at dusk and evening. With all the nocturnal animals I’m sure there would be some interesting sounds as well.
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.
Obtain Fine Art Print
This is the pier along the causeway on the way to the beach. A lot of locals prefer it because you can park right here and bring your dog. And so it was with me and my dog a couple of nights ago. We walked along the causeway at dusk taking in the colors and scenery as everyone else drove to and from the parking lots at the beach.
To me this looks a little like a scraper of the sky. These are the clouds just as a thunderstorm passed only a few minutes earlier and just as the sun was setting, casting hues and colors across the sky. At that moment it looked so awesome that I had to scrape a bit of it up for myself. Lucky for you I saved a little.