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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Bradenton causeway has advantages over the beach. You can park at the water’s edge, and there aren’t nearly as many rules.
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.
If you’ve ever had a drink of orange juice, chances are it crossed these tracks. The Tropicana train crosses this river.
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.
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.
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.
This picture is another in a series of dunes on Anna Maria Island. This might not be the most exciting thing you see today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The weather can be a metaphor for emotions. It can be bright and sunny one day, gloomy the next.
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.