To took this picture as I stood over a canal to the intercostal waterway. I was in the village of Cortez where there are many little outdoor restaurants by the water. Its one of my favorite places to come for an authentic Florida experience.
This bridge is one of two that cross over to Anna Maria Island. Both are draw bridges and each time I cross I secretly hope to get stuck. The draw bridge takes five or ten minutes to operate and during that time you turn off the engine and watch the sailboats, dolphins and fishermen.
As I write this we are in peak tourist season. Its spring break and people are here to enjoy the weather and beaches. Because I’m a resident I don’t always keep track of these things. But as soon as I walk into a restaurant or try to drive somewhere it becomes apparent.
As well it is also spring training season for baseball. We have a perfect storm of sun seekers and sports fans. It’s fun to see and good for the local economy. Merchants look forward to this all year. I’m pretty relaxed about it all and as I said, even look forward to getting stuck on one of the many bridges.
Not that I should need an excuse, but traffic over a bridge is one way to slow down, enjoy the sights and imagine what its like to be a visitor on spring break.
This water is normally choppy but just after sunset the breeze dies down and the water becomes like glass. That’s when I see all kinds of opportunities for compositions like this. It’s amazing how much difference an hour makes in the look and feel of a place like this. I love summer evenings by the river.
The spot where I’m standing is popular for Pokemon Go. Quite a few people show up here at night, more so than just a couple months ago. They create a festive atmosphere even if they are concentrating on their mobile screens. I haven’t tried the game myself but I have a feeling its just the beginning of a whole new wave in gaming. I should open up a hot dog stand here. I’ll have an app that they can use to buy the hot dogs even though they are standing right in front of me. It’ll be a big hit.
An hour or so earlier there were afternoon thunderstorms. After the storms move away they left small cloud remnants that collected the colors of dusk. You can see a little of that action going on here in shades of pink as the sun recedes well beyond the horizon.
I love how long the evenings are in summer. Pretty soon it will be autumn and it starts getting dark early again. But now its fun to be outside until well after dark; taking pictures, playing Pokemon or selling hot dogs with my new killer app.
This is one of two bridges that connects Bradenton to Palmetto. I live in Palmetto which is a small town so I take a lot of photos of, on and around these bridges. Bridges are a persistent theme with me as I’m sure you already know. To get these long exposures at night I use a tripod to hold the camera steady while the cars drive past creating long ribbons of light. In this case it was a thirteen-second exposure. Normally I’m freezing an instant of time however in this case thirteen-seconds. Freezing time is a funny concept, but don’t think too deeply about it, I wasn’t really going anywhere.
Back to the bridge, I said there was two bridges, but this was taken from a third bridge. It was the original bridge that crossed the river and was built maybe a hundred years ago, it now serves as a fishing pier. What’s left of this original bridge stretches about a half mile into the river so it allows this close perspective which might have required a boat.
Urban landscapes are interesting to me, especially when I can portray a simplified scene like this. Shooting at night helps remove some of the distractions, processing in monochrome simplifies it even more. I also like how the pilings are a repeating pattern below the lit surface. There is some kind of message of strength in there I think, maybe. Again, let’s not get too deep, this is a small town and this is a simple bridge. End of story.
In the center of downtown Vancouver is an Ice rink at Robson Square. At night it’s an awesome place to hang out, there are food trucks all over and people come to shop, eat and just have fun. The lights on the rink are constantly changing colors so even if you don’t skate its pretty cool just to look at. Of course if you really want to see skating you should head over to the arena a few blocks away to watch the Canucks on home ice, but I digress.
Actually, regarding that, I just thought of something. Everyone knows how much Canadians love hockey. But if you want to see the local NHL team play on home ice it could cost you an arm and a leg and, they’re usually sold out. Canadians are serious about hockey, everybody knows that. The cheaper option is to come downtown and watch the game at a bar or, …something a little less obvious. I live in Tampa which is home of the Lightning, another NHL team. People like hockey down here also but not nearly as much as Canadians. So, if you’re a Canadian and you come to Florida you can get a ticket to see your team playing an away game for about twenty-five bucks. Big difference, eh?
A few Canadians I’ve talked to down here always make it a point to go to a game when they come down, they can’t believe how cheap it is. One guy told me it’s almost worth it for him to catch a cheap flight to Tampa to watch his own team.
I think this digression has completed its course, we started at a skate rink in Canada and ended up in Florida. The moral of the story is that if you like watching people skate, it might be cheaper to just go downtown to Robson Square, otherwise you might end up in Florida.
This is the cargo dock in Vancouver Harbour. I’m standing at Canada Place facing east towards Burnaby. Half of this photo is a painting of sorts. I’m not really a painter but all of the reflections are my own doing, an example of an idea I get and then working to bring it out. I do it for no other reason than I get a enjoyment from it. The waters of Vancouver Harbour are not nearly this glassy, but that doesn’t stop me from imagining what it would look like if they were.
This looks almost like a lake with fresh water. But then there would not be such big cargo docs. Mr. Rational says things don’t make sense and deconstructs the scene. However in the world of my imagination I get to mix things up a bit and play what-if scenarios.
In fact the waters of this bay are really clean, especially for a port with so much shipping. It’s not uncommon to see otters and seals swimming about. Compared to other port cities this is probably one of the cleanest. Maybe that’s where I got the idea from. I’ll take it up notch and make it appear like a lake. One thing is for sure, this is the only image like this you’ll see because it has one foot in reality and one in my imagination.
This is a section of Science World in Vancouver BC near the subway, people walk along here all hours of day or night. I have no idea where they go so early on a weekend. Maybe to work in the shops. More likely they wondered what I was doing out so early with a camera.
When I’m home I don’t go out in the rain, but when I come here I don’t mind. Funny how my brain works. Rain is good for photography and I never regret going out in it with a camera.
Last night I was crossing a bridge back home in Florida and I was behind a big semi rig. The trailer had the name of the company but what I remembered was the city, Vancouver WA. Just north of Portland, that rig was a long way from home. It’s interesting how many cities have the same name. Ontario Canada has a couple of their own, Paris and London. Maybe they started as tributes. If a city did that now would they get sued for copywriter infringement?
The dark Vancouver mornings of January bring rain so regularly that it becomes invisible. I think people pay it little attention. It reminds me of living next to railroad tracks as a teenager, the first night it rattled my bones but after a while the trains just faded into the background. Isn’t it amazing what we become accustom to? Seems we only notice things that we consider unusual, but when they become normal they fade and recede into almost nothing.
This is a long exposure of the San Francisco Bay Bridge I took last year. I was with about three hundred people on a Trey Ratcliff photowalk. The problem with me and photowalks is that I’m a straggler. I see so many things that I want to take pictures of that I end up at the back of the pack, I can’t seem to keep up.
This is one of many thirty-second exposures I did while standing here with a tripod. If you do the math that puts me in this spot for about ten minutes. By the time I had enough presence of mind to look up the end of the pack was hundreds of yards down the road. Time to run.
Now, many months later, I just happened to look at this and remember that evening. I met many people and had a blast. Also I just noticed the V-shaped light in the distance between the two leading lines. I don’t recall seeing it that night. Anyway, now this is one of my favorite shots from the photowalk.
I can be such a tourist at times, like when I took this shot of the Vancouver Convention Centre against the back drop of the harbour, bridge and mountains. It would not surprise me if there are a thousand of these photos taken everyday. To prove my point there was a little plaque where I stood to describe the scene. One minor difference is that I took this at an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning before any self respecting tourist was out of bed.
But its karma, or something like it. I live in an area of Florida where there are a lot of tourists, so it’s only fair that I should get to be a tourist once in a while. Actually, it’s not karma, its more like tourism payback, serious payback. That makes no sense.
Off to the right is the Lions Gate Bridge, beyond that are the mountains and at the tops you can make out the lights of Cypress Bowl, a local ski area. Between the bridge and the convention centre is Stanley Park and to the foreground of that is the sea plane port. But the one thing that catches my eye, and everyone else eye, yet gets left out of the tourist plaques is the gas station. Why on gods green earth they decided to put a gas station in the middle of Vancouver Harbour I’ll never know. But there it sits, along side all the other icons of Vancouver. Interesting.
North Vancouver is across the harbor from Vancouver. It’s actually a separate city with its own city hall. There are a lot of ways to get over there but the easiest is to take a ten minute ferry across the bay. I did that once and then walked up the streets from the water. They don’t look that steep from here but by the time I got to the top I was huffin and puffin like a Choo Choo train. When I turned around I had the opposite vista of Vancouver on the South side of the bay. Either way you look at it it’s a nice view.
I used my telephoto lens fully extended for this so the field of view is rather narrow. I could have done a panorama and it would have extended to the left with more tall buildings dwarfed by the mountain peaks and ski resorts. Skiing? No problem, hop in a bus, it’s right there in town. That’s just downright awesome.
I showed this image to some people in Florida to see if they could tell where it was. Everyone thought it was in Europe somewhere. I think most people don’t know what Vancouver really looks like except what they might remember from watching the Olympics. I’m the same way and when I first saw this in person I was hooked. Still am.
This is from the rainy predawn hours of a winter day at Science World in Vancouver. It’s one of the more iconic buildings in the downtown core and at this hour seemed to me like something out of Blade Runner. Actually is wasn’t that early, only about 7:30 but the sun only shines for about four minutes in winter. That’s not true, but it feels like it.
I think that Canadians are a productive lot. With so much time to spend indoors they channel their energies into solving all kinds of problems. I think in general that’s true of countries with long dark winters. On the other hand, in places where it’s always warm, people seem less inclined to spend all that time indoors. Of course this is just a generalization and more than likely I’m wrong. There are a lot of productive people in India and it has a warm climate. Anyway…
Actually, this building is known as Telus Science World. Telus is one of the big phone companies in Canada. If you live in Canada or visit there, you will at once recognize Telus advertisements. They use all kinds of little furry cute exotic animals on posters and billboards. As an animal lover I like the ads and when I’m on a subway I spend a lot of time looking at them. I guess that means they work.