Going Somewhere

I took this one of the times I was in Vancouver. As I recall, the weather was terrible most of the time, so I got a lot of practice wearing cold weather clothing.

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Going Somewhere
A dreary day in Vancouver, BC

I’m not complaining but, my wardrobe in Florida consist primarily of shorts and tee shirts. I am aware that most people who don’t live here are envious of that. However, when I do leave town, it’s fun to wear warm clothing. By fun, I mean for a week or two.

more from Vancouver in the gallery

Carousel at Sea

Upon boarding one of these mega ships, the size plays tricks with your mind. Seeing a carousel in one little section doesn’t help.

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Carousel at Sea
The carousel on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.

I took this photo on the Oasis of the Seas last year. I was looking down from about eight decks above. And, there are another eight decks below that. So if your mind gets a little blown at the beginning, chances are it will last all week; which is about how long it takes to find your way around.

more cruise ship photos from the gallery

These ships would be impossible without a lot of elevators. Of course, with the amount you eat, it would be healthier to take the stairs. However, when entering a reality bubble, the standard rules and concerns don’t apply. At least that’s how it works for me.

Amsterdam Night 1

Arriving into Amsterdam from Florida I had the advantage of my time zone. So I walked around the central section of the city late into the night.

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Amsterdam Night 1
The scene of central Amsterdam upon my first night exploring

At that time I was doing some software work for a client. These days I do most of that type of work remote, so I felt it unnecessary to mention that I was out of the country. From my hotel, I could take meetings as if I was sitting at home. Then, when done, I would step outside and explore the city.

see the European gallery

What brought me there in the first place was a photo exhibit I was participating in just outside the city. I was able to attend the exhibition, explore the city and, for all intents and purposes, continue helping my client as though I was sitting right at home. It was a new experience that worked out well on all fronts.

Miami Marina

I took this picture at three in the morning as our ship entered the port in Miami. I am surprised it turned out given that we were moving at it was dark.

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Miami Marina
A marina as seen from a ship entering the Port of Miami

Its the second time I’ve taken this same perspective from a ship. The first time was a year earlier when I used an f2.8 lens; this time I used an f1.8: the f1.8 aperture is wider which allows more light and, creates a better result without too much noise.

more from Miami in the gallery

Anyway, we were arriving back from Europe, so the early morning hour didn’t seem too bad. And, after being at sea for about ten days, I was not about to sleep in as we returned to civilization.

Low Hanging Branch

A branch hangs over the water along the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa. This image was taken at dawn one weekend.

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Low Hanging Branch
From the Sunshine Skyway in Florida

During the weekdays, the skyway is inundated with cars commuting to work in the various counties that surround Tampa Bay. I traverse three counties just to get to Tampa, one county twice. The weird way Tampa is carved up, Hillsborough County is on both sides of Pinellas County, on the same highway.

more from this area in the gallery

Nevertheless, this is a long exposure that I took from Hillsborough County looking back at Manatee County. The Skyway is an impossibly long crossing of Tampa Bay. Not only is it a scenic drive, but it’s also a recreation area and one of the best rest stops in Florida.

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.

Early Walk

This is a section of the Riverwalk in Bradenton. I’m not sure why people wake up before dawn on the weekend and come here. Nevertheless, there we were.

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Early Walk
Predawn along the river in Bradenton

Come to think of it, there are always people here, at any time of day. It’s just one of those places people like to hang out. I’m surprised there aren’t more restaurants here.

more black and white from the gallery

Often, I operate with a sleep deficit. I should stay in bed on the weekend to catch up a little. But it’s also the perfect time to get out and take these kinds of photos. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I die.

Reflected Lights

I’m a sucker for reflected lights on the water. But to get this glassy effect I had to get up and cross the bridge at an ungodly hour.

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Reflected Lights
Building lights reflected on the Manatee River

I make it sound harder than it was because I regularly wake up at an ungodly hour to go to the gym. So on weekends when I don’t workout, taking photos is a good alternative.

more night photography in the gallery

I took this picture of condos in Palmetto from the Bradenton side of the river. I’ve been waiting for the right time to capture this scene. It needs to be somewhat dark, the building lights on, and the water still. During the day it’s a boring scene, but just before dawn, it seems to work. On this morning I got them all together so now I can check this one off the list.

DeSoto Bridge

This bridge is a commuter’s nightmare, but before dawn on the weekend, it can look pretty awesome.

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DeSoto Bridge
The bridge between Palmetto and Bradenton in Florida

It’s amazing how smooth the water looks in a long exposure. I could shoot these all morning if the sun didn’t rise. But, as the saying goes, the son also rises. Actually, that saying doesn’t apply, and I’m mixing metaphors, but we’re all friends here.

more in the night gallery

They say this bridge needs to be replaced. It’s over fifty years old and, as I mentioned, the traffic on it sucks. But, there is a bright side. Getting stuck on a bridge in Florida is not so bad; you just roll down the window, crank up the tunes, and enjoy the scenery.

Raygun-Looking-Thing

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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Raygun-Looking-Thing
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.