Sweetwater Slough

While this looks like a river, it’s known as a strand or slough. It’s nothing more than a widening of the swamp along a section of the loop road inside Big Cypress National Preserve. Daily Image I think it would be impressive to kayak here; however, I would not go without a guide. The swamp is endless, the land is flat, and the Cypress trees are so thick that one wrong turn and you have no sense of direction. landscape gallery I was born and raised in California, so I’m more accustom to the mountains. With mountains and hills, you …

Big Cypress National Preserve

I just returned from driving the Loop Road in Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s a twenty-four-mile dirt road through the heart of some of the most stunning landscape in Florida. As a landscape photographer, I was in my element and overwhelmed at the same time. There was just too much to take in, but I tried. Daily Image   Living in an urban area, I find only scraps of nature as I look for it among the sprawl. So when I get the chance to emerge myself among hundreds of square miles, it’s a good thing. It took me nearly …

Lens Flare

The other day I went to Bean Point on Anna Maria Island to capture this image. I didn’t notice it at the time, but there is quite a lot of lens flare. Nerd that I am, it got me wondering about the optics that produced it. Might another lens to create a different effect? Daily Image Nevertheless, the photo was taken at f18 at its normal to get a starburst at that aperture; that’s how we get the star effects on street lights at night. However, this looks like a combination of starburst and lens flare, and that’s what made …

Making Up Stories

This image is an example of the kinds of things you’ll see just by showing up to a location and observing. It’s not staged, yet it has receding elements: a girl, a bird, and a sailboat, not to mention the evening sun. The objects are receding, and from a compositional perspective, that’s pretty cool. Let me explain. Daily Image There were other objects and people around, but I positioned the frame to simplify the image. Unconsciously our eyes are drawn from the close-up objects to those far away, and in that split-second traverse, each observer (you) creates a story. I …

Down by the River

After a rainy day last week the wind died down in the evening. When that happens, the water in the river becomes smooth like glass, which is the perfect time to take pictures. I made this near my home in Palmetto, just off the road next to the bridge. Daily Image This scene is an HDR image made of four frames with different exposures. By combining frames, the greenery and sun appear without either appearing blown-out. I use Aurora HDR from Skylum to process my HDR compositions. After mixing the frames, I usually make three or four additional adjustments to …

Tunnel Trail

I’m always looking for new scenes so capture and so once in a while I’ll go to the park in the middle of the day. I prefer the mornings and evenings when the light is softer, but being open to possibilities, even in the middle of the day, is a good idea. Showing up is half the battle, and once at a location, I’m open to interesting scenes to photograph. Daily Image For this photo, I was walking along a path that had a canopy of brush on either side. When some folks rode past on bikes, I noticed the …

Uncovering Gems

This image is another from the series I took while visiting Neal Preserve in Bradenton. The dry season is over, and thundershowers are now a regular occurrence until the end of summer. Water fills the ponds which in turn creates photo opportunities like this. Only a few weeks back this might have been bone dry. Daily Image The image is an HDR; it’s a combination of five shots of different exposures. Because I was shooting directly at the sun, I took exposures from -4 to 0. The software that I use, Aurora HDR, is smart enough to pick out the …

The Path at Neil Preserve

Niel Preserve in Bradenton borders the intercoastal waterway. The boardwalks allow you to walk through and above the thick brush and mangroves. From a photography perspective, the perfect time to come is just after the rain and right before sunset. That way the clouds accent the natural elements and help set the mood. Daily Image However there is one minor problem, the mosquitoes are thick as thieves. And they also love this particular time of day, perhaps as much as I do. They are quite active after the rain; so when I arrive, I typically spray myself down with a …

Sliver of Solitude

I’m standing on the western tip of a peninsula called Emerson Point. It’s where I come to get away from it all, a little sliver of solitude. Daily Image That’s not me standing by the water, so apparently, it’s not complete solitude. There were about a dozen people here, and typically I’m not the only one with a camera. But having people around ensures I can place one in the frame to tell a story. In this case, the story is about a solitary figure watching the sunset. more solitude in the gallery Usually, when I frame a person in …

Mystery Barge

The other day I stopped my car to capture the sun sinking across the intercoastal. The tides were low and the clouds high. Daily Image As I set up with my tripod, a gentleman approached asking if I knew anything about the barge; he thought that since I was taking pictures of it, I must know. But it was the first time I’d seen it. For me, it was nothing more than a foreground element that added interest to the scene. more sunsets from the gallery According to him, the barge is a bit of a mystery, and he had …