The little stubs grow up from the roots and are known as Cypress Knees. It’s thought their purpose is to provide stability to the swamp floor or, extra oxygen to the Cypress during times of flood. These are the best guesses of the scientists, but no one knows for sure. However, if you look closely, you can see they are actually sleeping gnomes. And I didn’t need science to figure that one out.
There is a theory in science that consciousness is present in all things. It’s tricky to know what to make of that given our limited understanding of the subject. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel the presence of something when standing near these great living creatures. It makes me wonder what we’ll eventually learn through science and if, it will validate that sixth sense we sometimes have about certain things.
This is a street scene along the main road through town. I was walking around taking pictures of the side streets. The buildings are painted every color of the rainbow which made it even more fun to take pictures.
I hope you don’t mind if I use a little AI in my sunset photos, I certainly don’t.
I did a bit of processing on this to bring up the shadows and reduce the highlights, I do that quite a lot. One thing that’s a little new, however, is that I’ve started using artificial intelligence (AI) software. The AI is in Luminar 3 from Skylum. As AI gets better, it shortens the time it takes to get good results out of a photo. These days, AI is increasingly being built into everything, including your phone and camera. Computational photography is where we’re heading.
What AI does is interpret scenes for us and then make choices on how to improve it. It’s not always right, but it’s getting better. Sometimes it’s no help, but more often than not it gets a bunch of stuff right. I then fill in the gaps with the vision that I had in my head, but the AI helped get me off to a good start. It’s like having an apprentice do the prep work before you begin mixing the magic brew. I suppose that as long as the sorcerer’s apprentice doesn’t get too carried away, it should be all good.
The problem with a place in Florida called Venice is that if you Google “Venice,” you’ll end up in Italy. Even if I search my website, I get Italy. Using the hashtag “#venicefl” helps sort that out.
That’s the thing about living in the new world, a lot of places get named after the old world. If you’re someone like me that was born here, its confusing as heck. (I never said I was bright.) It’s like when someone in Ontario Canada mentions London; or the poor souls in Paris Texas.
Hashtags aside, I took this with the original Sony A7R. By this time I owned it for over a year and was thoroughly happy with it. Now I’m on the third generation A7, but am going back with newer software. The updated software breaths new light into these old shots. This is processed with Aurora HDR 2019, and after looking at what it can do with these old photos, I’m going to be going back to have a second look at a few more.
I took this about four years ago when I was in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. It’s a part of the Wild Pacific Trail that traces the coastline. It’s a well-maintained trail with benches like this every half mile or so.
I was here in late August (or “Fogust” as the locals say) when a thick fog would roll in most afternoons. You could see it sitting just offshore, and then at the right time it would approach and before you could say Foghorn Leghorn, you were in it. In this image, you can see it about a mile offshore.
Benches or empty chairs in an image allow us to imagine sitting there in the scene. Our eyes follow the direction it points, similar to a leading line, only with a different device. When a photo makes us look in a particular direction, it has captured our imagination as we weave our own story in the scene. However, if it has thick fog, that would be something different entirely.
The walkway is in a familiar spot of downtown Vancouver that looks across the bay to West Vancouver. If you look closely, you can barely make out the snowcapped peaks rising above the city. I’ve wandered here many times for the view but this was my is my first attempt at capturing it.
It’s part of a structure that houses the Cactus Club Café but also has a walkway on the roof made of grass. It’s next to the conversion center which also has a grass roof.
The whole place is unique, but if you live here or have visited a lot like me, this gets overlooked. Everywhere you look in this section of town is unusual architecture and public art. It’s a feast for the eyes that’s balanced by the natural scenery. Just another little vignette of Canada’s west coast city by the sea.
Today I’m continuing with another photo I shot last weekend at an athletic event in my home town. This is Ethan Surprenant of St Petersburg Florida who made it to the final round of the UNAA Qualifiers and placed third overall. Ethan is an explosive athlete and put on an amazing show.
This shot was during the first round of the qualifiers. After maxing out his arms on a hanging traverse, there was no mercy waiting ahead. Next the salmon ladder, then rings and then an evil set of monkey bars that ascended up rather than across. Finally, the round ending in a warped wall with only four feet of runway. Ethan made it look easy as he seemingly defied the laws of both gravity and physics.
Camaraderie at the event was huge. As you can see here, all were watching with baited breath as judge Dan Lively (lower left) kept an eagle eye out for any disqualifying infractions. When someone managed to complete a round, the look of triumph on their face said it all. For the full video of Ethan’s epic run check out his FB link.
The other day we had some low-key fun at a Florida ranch known as Sun City Stables. It was a birthday party for three-year old Amelia, but because it was the day before New Year’s there was no shortage of fireworks.
The next night was New Year’s Eve and we watched fireworks from all over the world on YouTube. In my opinion, Dubai edged out Hong Kong for best show and that’s saying something. London was pretty amazing also and came in a close third. All of the displays were beyond belief and must have costs millions of dollars to produce. I wonder how many hours you would have to wait and much you had to pay to get a good seat at those venues.
But that was on TV, thousands of miles away in major cities around the world. On the other hand, these here where in the small town of Ruskin which is a rural community on the outskirts of Tampa. I believe the cost of the fireworks was a little over fifty dollars. I preferred this display because I got to see them in person with a front row seat. All I had to do was turn my lawn chair around from the campfire.
This is a photo of the village of Dobrota in Montenegro that I took from a ship in the Bay of Kotor. We spent an amazing day in Kotor and were leaving when I took this. The geography of the area reminded me of fjords. There are narrow inlets surrounded by towering peaks and the view is amazing.
In Kotor we rode in a bus up an impossible single lane road to the top of these mountains. Even though the bus drivers are some of the best in the world half the passengers were praying fervently. It’s said the bus drivers in Montenegro bring more people to religion than the priests. After twenty-nine hairpin turns, I believe that to be true.