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.

Sunday Reflections

Most Sundays, I take a drive along country roads. Sometimes the most significant thing to see is the river, clouds, and reflections.

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Sunday Reflections
A simple image of the landscape on a Sunday drive.

With all the urban growth, I started driving further out. The funny thing is that if I drive far enough, I’ll end up approaching the outskirts of another metropolis. Open spaces are dwindling.

more images in the gallery featuring green

I’d like to think other places are still wide open. Like maybe some of the western states, or the prairies. But in reality, every little inch of space from coast to coast is owned. Or at least we like to think so. But I am reminded that the land is much older than our relatively new claims upon it.

Shady Oak

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.

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Shady Oak
A cow escapes the summer sun in Florida

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.

more trees in the gallery

I’m an indoor weeny, depending on air conditioning to make it through the summer. If you lose your air-conditioning here, you may as well live on Mars or, under a tree.

Hidden Gem

Mulholland road in Parrish, oddly enough, dead-ends at a bridge. Because of that, it feels remote, even though it’s in the middle of a housing boom.

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Hidden Gem
the scene along Mulholland Road in Parrish, Florida

Living in suburbia as I do, the trick to doing local landscape photography is finding gems tucked away in plain sight. Even though I think I’ve found most, I’m pretty sure there are more. They are, by their very nature, not easy to find.

more images with reflections from the gallery

I took this photo about five years ago, and today, as I drove by, the road is under construction. That means it’s probably going to get more traffic and, extend past the bridge; meaning no longer hidden. But I’ll keep searching for more spots like this in the suburban jungle.

Bodacious Sky

I took this from the Green Bridge in Bradenton on a particularly bodacious evening. Does anyone use that word anymore?

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Bodacious Sky
The sunset over the Manatee River in Bradenton

Bodacious is a west coast word, but I’m from there, so I get a pass. For some reason, a lot of new words come from California. When I was ten, I made up the word “bad” to mean awesome. I actually thought I invented that. Imagine my surprise when I heard it on TV. Surely I picked it up subconsciously somewhere.

visit the sunset gallery for more like this

My vocabulary is not particularly great, enough to get by. But I do get impressed by words all the time. I love the dictionary feature in Kindle. Depending on the author, I might just spend a lot of time in there. It’s not as easy as making up my own words, though.

Venice on the Brain

I almost didn’t go down to Venice Beach because I knew if I did, I’d end up retaking pictures of the pier. But I went anyway, and I did it anyway.

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Venice on the Brain
Venice Beach in Central Florida

I have this internal dialog in my brain. One side plans, decides, and weighs; the other does the opposite. In the end, all the noise is just that, noise.

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So this is the pier in Venice, it’s a shot I’ve done before, but each time is a little different. This time I included only the sun’s edge, so its presence is felt without becoming the scene’s focus. At least that’s how my left brain explains what the right brain did without asking permission.

Old Church

Here is a pro photographer that used only an iPhone for 6 months. I love this…

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I took a picture of this church along one of the lesser-known highways in Florida. I just thought it looked kind of old-school.

Old Church
An old church along state road 50 in central Florida

When driving in the country, I look for things that stand out, and this fit the bill. It was, in fact, a Sunday but late enough that it was empty. It doesn’t look to me like it has airconditioning so, on a summer day in Florida, it’s probably hotter than purgatory inside, give or take a few degrees.

more churches in the gallery

Not long after this stop, I started entering the suburbs of Orlando, and from that point on, everything is new-school. The only things that look old are facades made to look that way. So, getting out of the city to see throw-backs is pretty cool, even if it is hotter than the devil’s den.

Emerson Point

To get here, you walk through a jungle trail, and it’s easy to get a bit disoriented. That is until you pop out from the brush at sunset.

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Emerson Point Clouds
Looking out to sea from Emerson Point

The image I took here is similar to one I did from the same spot a half dozen years ago.

The clouds and weather ensure each image will be different, and I never tire of it.

more from Emerson Point

Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.

Simple Seascape

This image is from Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota on a hot summer afternoon. So hot, in fact, that three minutes later I was back in the car.

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Simple Seascape
A minimalist seascape from Ken Thompson park in Sarasota

There are a couple of reasons I like this photo; one is the minimal aesthetic, and the other is that its same spot I took an abstract picture with an iPhone 5.

Squint
A photo I took with the iPhone 5 in the same spot

The abstract I took during a sunset that was like nothing I’d ever seen. I didn’t have a camera, so I used an iPhone. Not that it matters.

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The two have nothing in common, yet I stood at the same spot for each. It just goes to show what imagination, setting, and post-processing can get you.

When I See It

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.

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When I See It
The sun sets over Emerson Point in Palmetto

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.

more images with clouds

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.