Mood Swings

The weather can be a metaphor for emotions. It can be bright and sunny one day, gloomy the next.

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Mood Swings
A moody day on Longboat Key, Florida

I can imagine wind as a metaphor for thoughts, blowing through the mind, never-ceasing. We draw on the forces of nature to represent our inner experiences. Maybe our internal environment follows some of the same laws of physics; like fluid dynamics.

more images with a pier in the gallery

Anyway, this picture is of two people fishing at the pier on a foggy day. At least, that’s what it appears to be on the surface. Beyond that, it could be something much closer to home.

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.

Sky with Diamonds

The highlights in the clouds remind me of the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I don’t see Lucy, but I do see diamonds.

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Sky with Diamonds
Light patterns in the sky above Robinson Preserve in Bradenton Florida

In the sky, we see whatever we want to see. Psychoanalysts have been using this trick for years to pull things out of our subconscious. Clouds present a daily Rorschach Test, teasing out things we hold below the surface of awareness. The key is to notice what we see and then think about why.

more cloudscapes in the gallery

The more abstract something is, the less rational it is. While rationality is necessary to navigate life, suspending it from time to time allows us to experience a different perspective. In my mind, a little vacation from the demands of an overactive mind is probably healthy, and maybe even necessary.

Obstructed View

There are so many mangroves along the water that quite often the view is obstructed. But maybe in some cases, it’s a good thing.

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Obstructed View
An obstructed view of the gulf through the bushes in Emerson Point, Palmetto

I was walking along a hidden shoreline at Emerson Point in the afternoon when I took this photo. I’m not sure what prompted me, but it seems the focus on the foliage is the subject of this image.

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Foreground elements are essential, especially in environmental or landscape shots. They’re a good idea anyway because they tend to be the first thing we focus on. As our eyes wander, we travel from foreground to the background. The trick in photography is to make that journey enjoyable.

Remote Beach

At the tip of Longboat Key is a beach strewn with the remnants of past storms. It creates a surreal scene, and it’s a nice place to hang out.

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Remote Beach
A remote beach at the northern tip of Longboat Key in Florida

The beach is only accessible by hike so, it becomes a bohemian camp of sorts. You feel very much away from it all here. Each time I come, there are groups of people in temporary camps with hammocks hanging from the trees. Sometimes they are playing music or singing, like gypsy gatherings in a Patrick Rothfuss novel.

more from Longboat Key in the gallery

At around sunset on any given day, you’ll see photographers trek here with their clients. I’ve done that, but I also look for unique scenes like this when I come alone.

Window Shopping

I like to walk by restaurants and see what the people are eating. It’s also fun to take a picture and freeze the moment so I can decide later if I want to go back.

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Window Shopping
Another night scene from South Beach in Miami

This is another South Beach night scene. I shoot in places where there are a lot of folks out at night. People are relaxed, and it shows when you catch them unaware. But if they see you, faces change in a blink.

more from Miami in the gallery

We had friends over recently, and Marlise told everyone to act naturally as she snapped some photos. Of course, it had the opposite effect; we all posed and looked unnatural. I guess the tip of the day would be that if you want people to act natural, don’t announce you are taking a photo. Unless, perhaps, you are working with actors who are trained to look natural.

Steam Clock

On the east side of Vancouver is an old steam clock. In the Steampunk universe, these things are commonplace.

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Steam Clock
A night scene in the Gastown section of Vancouver

Everyone stands around and waits and, after about fifteen minutes or so it gives off steam. In the age Apple Watch, it’s fascinating to watch a relic mark the hours by vapor and gears.

more from Vancouver in the gallery

The area is known as Gastown, and it has a lot of places to hang out. You could eat at a different place each night of the year. Whenever I’m in town, I come here and shoot night scenes. It’s been a few years so I can’t wait to come back. And unlike the glass towers a few blocks away, this Gastown is in a universe all it’s own.

South Pointe

Shooting into the sun on an afternoon is not a great idea. But when it comes to experimenting, I’m full of not great ideas.

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South Pointe Afternoon
Afternoon scene at South Pointe Pier in Miami

In this image, I took about seven exposures to get a wide range of exposures. I then blended a few of them to make the final image. There are some cases, like this, where you need to think outside the box to create an image.

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I experiment quite a lot with my camera, and in a lot of cases, the experiment does not turn out well. But, more and more I’m able to imagine what the result should be in my head before I take the photos. Post processing is where the magic happens; it’s where the camera in my mind gets to work with the camera in my hand. In other words, it’s the creative process.

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.

Yet Another Supermoon

Is it just me or does it seem like we get a lot of Supermoons? This is a picture of the last one, which is the one before the next one.

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Yet Another Supermoon
The super-moon over the Manatee River in Bradenton, Florida

These moon photos are a bear to take. Unless you have a very long lens, like 600mm or more, the moon doesn’t look that big. Also, the composition is a little tricky because if you expose for the moon, everything else is too dark. If you expose for everything else, the moon is too light.

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In the end, I created a composite with two photos. The moon exposure is combined with the bridge exposure. Despite the challenges, it’s a lot of fun, and I’ll probably plan on doing another one. With all these supermoons coming, I’ll have plenty of chances to get it right.