Epic Saturday Sunset

On Saturday evening I visited the pier at Fort Desoto Park. I don’t know why I waited so long to return here; it’s one of my favorite places. I was lucky because as you can see, the sunset was epic.

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Epic Saturday Sunset
Frome the fishing pier at Fort Desoto Park in St Petersburg, Florida

From the moment I got out of my car, I was busy taking pictures. I go camera-crazy whenever I’m in an idyllic setting. I dare say we all do; when I looked around nearly everyone was holding a camera of some type (be it phone or DSLR) taking pictures.

beach gallery

To make this final image I combined three exposures into Aurora HDR, made a few adjustments and then used Luminar 2018 to make a few more. I never repeat the same process twice. I do everything by feel, and I don’t write anything down. It’s a form of improvisation, similar to what a musician might do. It’s no wonder, so many photographers are also musicians, the creative process has certain similarities. Which got me thinking, I wonder what this scene would sound like if translated into music?

Silence in Grace Cathedral

A few years ago, I was in San Francisco and while walking around I stopped at Grace Cathedral. It’s in an area called Nob Hill which is a nice little hike up from my hotel in Union Square. I was looking for a place to rest and the cathedral seemed like a good option.

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Inside the hushed atmosphere of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Because of the hushed atmosphere, I didn’t feel comfortable just walking around taking photos, although it probably would have been okay. However, my camera has silent shutter mode that allows me to take photos without making a sound. Churches are one place I use that, I used it a lot while visiting cathedrals in Europe. But it’s also useful at weddings during the ceremony.

more cathedrals from the gallery

For an American city, San Francisco has some nice cathedrals. My other favorite in the city is Cathedral Of Saint Mary Of The Assumption which I saw on a subsequent trip. I think the best time to photograph cathedrals is on a weekday when no one is there and the sounds are hushed. I suppose we could say that both sights AND sounds played a role in the making of this image.

HDR Sunrise

This is a re-edit of a photo I took over two years ago in Sarasota. Like an image I posted a few days ago, this was taken right next to the Ringling Bridge. It’s an area of Sarasota where the view is good in all directions which is why I keep coming back.

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HDR Sunrise
A sunrise from Sarasota’s Bird Key – this is an HDR image

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which in this case was created by merging three images together. A few years ago, HDR photography was most of what I did, in fact it’s what got me back into photography after leaving film. But lately, I’ve not done much HDR. The main reason is that the cameras are so good you don’t need to combine images to get a High Dynamic Range. The other was my impatience with the software, it wasn’t always easy for me.

Fast forward to now. The reason I like this edit better than the original is because of some help I had with improved software. Recently a new version of Aurora HDR was released and it’s so good that I’m looking at HDR again. The image I posted the other day as well as this one was produced using Aurora HDR 2018. It’s easy to use and I’m very happy with the results.

more HDR images

So, there you have it, a little behind the scenes on what goes into these photos. That, and just hanging out at my favorite places along the water.


This is the Posthoornkerk Church not far from the hotel I stayed at Amsterdam. In fact I took this out the window of the room. It was a cloudy day, perfect for photography, and just as I returned to my room I noticed the light streaming down along the horizon. However the way the hotel was designed there were two walls of glass between me and the outside. Nevertheless the image turned out without any reflections.

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Posthoornkerk Church in Amsterdam

When I wasn’t out walking around I’d stand by the window and watch the people ride bikes past on the street below. They’d ride at all hours of day and night. When I first arrived I was on eastern time and so was up quite late. Even at two and three in the morning people were riding bikes to get around.

This church is just a five minute walk. I didn’t manage to get in, each time I tried it was it booked for some event. The last time I tried it was a film crew setting up for a production. The time before that I think there was a wedding. Its a busy place, at least when I was here.

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Next to the church I sat in a little cafe in the morning with a cappuccino as I watched the activity on the street. I then walked next door to the chocolate shop to get gifts to bring home. Across the street was a cheese shop and then meats across from that.

My impression of the neighborhood is of a little village within a big city. I think that’s true for many sections of the city.