If I lived in a pasture, I’d spend most of the summer sitting under the shade of an oak, and that’s no bull.
I took this on a drive through the country here in Florida. Contrary to popular belief, most of the state is agriculture. All you have to do is drive from one coast to the other to see what I mean. The drive takes about two hours and passes through a lot of cattle country. It’s no wonder rodeos are big here.
If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.
I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.
Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.
Trees in a field are usually found in clusters. So when and I see one I might stop suddenly to take a photo, hopefully without causing an accident.
In this case, I saw the tree and continued driving until I could safely make a U-turn and park along the highway. But if there are no cars nearby, I may just hit the breaks and back up along the curb. That’s a bad idea if someone is in the car, but by myself, it works.
Lone trees are an easy subject. There are (pardon the pun) the low hanging fruit of landscape photography. Just find an angle that frames a solitary tree in its surroundings, and you have the makings of a good photo. In this case, I also have foreground and background elements that provide a sense of placement and perspective. And to top it off, no one was harmed in the making of this photo.
This photo was taken a few minutes after a thunderstorm. I emerged from under a shelter to capture the scene, ears still ringing from the lightning strike on the tower. All in all, a typical summer afternoon in Florida.
There are shelters throughout the gardens, and it was nice to just sit there with my fellow visitors through the rain; there are worst places to be stuck. As gardens go, Bok Tower Gardens draw a good size crowd. Only a couple of minutes after I took this, the paths re-filled with people.
I’m not a garden person per se. I don’t often get my hands dirty working with plants. But I know it’s richly satisfying to many people. I’m the other half of the population that likes to come around after the hard work to admire and take photos. That should count for something, right?
Lately, I’ve been taking drives into the country looking for interesting things to shoot. For some reason, I find this old broken down barn interesting. I’m not sure if its a barn, it could be an old house.
I go alone on these trips because my driving would terrify any sane person. When I see something, I quickly check behind me and then decelerate while pulling over to the side of the road. It’s enough to give a passenger white knuckles. Often I’ll back-up to get a better look. If it looks promising, I’ll get out and compose a few shots then move on.
Anyway, I saw this out of the corner of my eye and then pulled over about a hundred yards down the road. Maybe it reminds me of something in the past, or perhaps it has character. Whatever the case, I was intrigued enough to stop.
This is from my trip to New Zealand a couple of years ago where I participated in a photography workshop. After all of the time that’s gone by I still have a lot of photos in my backlog to process. Here we were standing on a hill one afternoon overlooking Queenstown. That trip went by so fast I’m glad I have photos to re-live it in little increments later.
Whenever I go somewhere new it can be a little disorienting. By that I mean I’m never to sure which way is north south east or west. I remember having that feeling when I was here and struggling to sort it out in my mind. I love going back to Google Maps or Google Earth to look at places I’ve been and get a proper sense of direction and location. It’s helps me to integrate the experience after the fact.
For instance, with this shot I keep expecting to see the river, but it’s to my back as I was facing south. When we headed to Glenorchy, I thought we were driving south but it’s actually north. And if all that isn’t enough, on the last day I took a helicopter through the southern alps during which I had zero sense of whereabouts. Thankfully I was geotagging my photos, so now years later I can go back and begin to piece the locations together into some kind map of the journey.
Perhaps the sense of not knowing where we are in a new land adds to the sense wonder and excitement. I think perhaps, there might be something to that.