Emerson Point

To get here, you walk through a jungle trail, and it’s easy to get a bit disoriented. That is until you pop out from the brush at sunset.

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Emerson Point Clouds
Looking out to sea from Emerson Point

The image I took here is similar to one I did from the same spot a half dozen years ago.

The clouds and weather ensure each image will be different, and I never tire of it.

more from Emerson Point

Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.

When I See It

If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.

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When I See It
The sun sets over Emerson Point in Palmetto

I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.

more images with clouds

Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.

Longboat Key Public Pier

Docks are kind of a big thing here; everybody seems to have one. Dock Life is the new Salt Life; only you don’t get wet.

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Longboat Key Public Pier

Not that I know the first thing about docks or salt. I’m one of three people that doesn’t have one. Most of the docks in Florida are private, and they have No Trespassing signs posted. That’s a shame, but I suppose it makes sense.

more images featuring piers

Anyway, some of the best are public, like this one in Longboat Key.
It’s next to a couple of restaurants so you can dock the boat and have dinner. Near my home is a commercial marina with a couple of hundred yachts. It’s also next to a restaurant, appropriately named the Dockside Grill.

Bradenton Causeway

The Bradenton causeway has advantages over the beach. You can park at the water’s edge, and there aren’t nearly as many rules.

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Bradenton Causeway
The causeway in Bradenton Florida

At this spot, you can generally see horses in the water. But I was here on a Monday, and they weren’t. The causeway isn’t fancy, but if you want to spend time at the water without the parking hassles, this is it.

more palm trees in the gallery

Many people prefer the beach with its powdery white sand. However, a lot of the locals come here. Just drive up, pull out a lawn chair and Bob’s your uncle.

RR Crossing

If you’ve ever had a drink of orange juice, chances are it crossed these tracks. The Tropicana train crosses this river.

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RR Crossing
Tracks crossing the Manatee River to the Tropicana Plant

I live within earshot, so I hear the horn in the morning and at night. It’s part of the soundscape of my hometown. The idea of a town having a soundscape is new to me, but if I were blind, I’d know it very well.

more railroad images

If you look closely at the patterns on the water, you can see the direction of flow. The eddies caused by the supports are on the downstream side. But as this river flows into the ocean, the direction changes with the tide. As the tide changes, the flow is non-existent. But that’s another shot for another day.

Wave Motion

The best things about the water are the feeling of weightlessness and, the motion of the waves. Makes me wonder what it’s like to be a dolphin.

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Wave Motion
At the beach on Anna Maria Island

Speaking of which we see them all the time along the beach. Generally, dolphins swim by in pods or family groups. Many have returned since the end of the last red tide.

more from Anna Maria Island in the gallery

I take a lot of these shots and just can’t seem to get enough of them. It reminds me of times I visited Hawaii and would float for long stretches in the water, rocking with the waves. Now that I live in Florida, it’s ironic that I can go whenever I want but seldom do.

Beach Dunes

This picture is another in a series of dunes on Anna Maria Island. This might not be the most exciting thing you see today.

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Beach Dunes
The dunes at the beach on Anna Maria Island

A lot of effort goes into protecting these dunes and the natural flora that grows here. There are signs every thirty feet or so warning people to use the bridges to cross over to the beach. Even so, I’ve seen a few idiots disregard the signs and walk over the plants. I guess not everyone has a brain.

more like this from the gallery

Anyway, I love taking photos of these because they are an additional dimension to the landscape of the beach. And for the most part, they are the only place that the plants have a place to grow freely. Unlike dunes in the Sahara, these don’t blow away or change their shape. We have the untrampled plants to thank for that.

Mouth of the Manatee

I took this photo at the mouth of the Manatee River. I live further upstream in the esophagus.

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Mouth of the Manatee
The view from DeSoto National Memorial Park in Bradenton, Florida

It’s curious how we anthropomorphize everything. DeSoto National Memorial Park is in the heart of Bradenton. Having grown up in the west, I still find it odd to have a national park in an urban area.

check out the panorama gallery

To see the sunset like this, you walk into the park after closing. Doing so I thought I’d be alone but found a crowd along the shore, all with the same idea. After sunset, I took a quiet trail back to avoid the crowds. However, the trails have lifesize cutouts of historical figures, and more than once, I was startled by conquistadores and aboriginals staring back at me. It was a little unnerving, to say the least.

Week Ends

The feeling at the end of the week, knowing there’s no work the next day, is pretty awesome. Before a long weekend, it’s even better.

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Week Ends
Dusk at the beach on Anna Maria Island

This photo is a reminder of how good we have it here in Florida: that’s directed at those of us that live here because it’s easy to forget.

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Living along the coast, you develop a sense of normalcy about living where others vacation. So it’s good to get away for some perspective and then come back. It’s human nature; nothing lasts forever, even that feeling at the start of a long weekend.

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.