This is a view of the Bradenton Beach Pier from the bridge. I’m facing west so the pier is on the inter-coastal waterway. The Gulf of Mexico is just behind the row of buildings. To get the whole bridge in the frame I walked on to the bridge between the mainland and Anna Maria Island. Other than that I’d need to be on a boat since there’s no other place to get the full view of it.
I took this early in the evening as people were coming home from the beach. Basically I was standing on the sidewalk next to a traffic jam. That’s because there are only two bridges leaving the island and all those thousands of people have to go home. Right after sunset it can time to drive home, good thing there is nice scenery along the way.
With all the cars crossing it causes the bridge to vibrate. That creates a challenge when taking long exposures like this. For instance, if I have a ten-second exposure and a car goes by in the first five seconds, the image will come out fuzzy. However my Sony A7rII camera has image stabilization so it was able to take a sharp image even with the vibration.
If you follow the pier back to shore, it leads to Old Bridge Street. That’s an area with outdoor establishments and live music at every corner. People are out walking around, listening to music and just seeing the sights. There are a lot of choices from ice cream to lobster, from smoothie to martini.
My favorite thing about Bradenton Beach is the small town atmosphere, something not so easy to come by these days. But now you know where you can find it.
This is a panorama of the Sarasota waterfront. This section is known as Marina Jacks and is the main marina in town. If you want to take a fishing tour or sunset cruise, this is the spot. I’ve done both from here and it never gets old.
I’m going to come back here, this weekend perhaps, and get the same scene at sunrise; this was closer to dusk. As with many of my panoramas I’ve combined several photos so that the resolution is higher than a normal, enough to see very small details. For example, if you zoom in you can see the baseball game on the TV inside the restaurant on the left. That’s perhaps way too much detail, but I think it’s cool nonetheless.
In a panorama the view sweeps from one side to the other. There is something epic about the perspective; it gives you a sense of scale. Anyway, this is one way to capture the waterfront without taking a shot from an aircraft or drone.
I was walking my dog when I took this. I held the leash in one hand and the camera in the other and took five images from left to right; no tripod was involved. That says more about the capabilities of the Sony camera than it does about my camera holding skills. It’s perhaps not the best way to go about it but the dog needed a walk and I needed a picture, so we compromised. In the end we both got what we wanted.
There is a colony of skimmers on the beach not far from my home on Anna Maria Island. They have a patch of sand that they come back to each year to hatch and nurse their young. It’s normally taped off so we don’t interfere with the hatchlings. Anything that hatches and nests in the sand is quite vulnerable. The adults take turns guarding the nest. In fact the whole colony, whether they have chicks or not, pitch in on security detail. It takes a village to raise a skimmer.
This is taken at a different location in St Petersburg. Lowering the camera close to the water helps see from the perspective of the wildlife. The small flock of skimmers was picking at the sand while some children swam behind them. With me in front I was surprised they stayed in place for as long as they did. Like so many birds in Florida they’ve grown accustomed to us.
Now is the time of year we also find turtle nests in the sand. Isn’t it odd that the turtle just lays the eggs and then takes off? It’s so unlike other creatures that stick around and nurse their young. After hatching the baby turtles make a dash to the water to avoid being eaten, and then try to avoid the same fate in the water. I don’t blame the mom for not wanting to stick around; the odds seem so slim.
Every now and then if there is no wind and the tide isn’t moving, water in the river becomes smooth. When it happens it creates the conditions for night photography with reflections on the water.
This is an area where I walk my dog near the Manatee River. However I rarely see it like this. So while walking Mr. Wiggles I noticed and decided to come back. Later that night I packed my camera and drove back to this spot in a residential neighborhood. It was a little strange because I probably looked suspicious there late at night. After a few minutes I decided it was enough and decided to leave before someone called the police. Not that I was doing anything wrong, I’m just saying I had that feeling.
I will tell you that getting good photos is damn inconvenient. There is effort involved and it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. So I try to get as many compositions as possible when I’m out. If I’ve already expended the effort I may as well make the most of it. At least I’ll then have more images to choose from. Often my favorite is not the one I planned on; more often than not actually.
Despite the bother of it all I wouldn’t trade it for anything. For the little bit of energy I expend I get a lot in return. In my world, images are art and the more I’m doing that the better life is. But nothing in life is free, even if it doesn’t cost money it takes effort. However I get way more out of it than I put in, and that makes it worth all the effort and complaining of my alter ego.
This is a long exposure I took while walking under a bridge in Central Amsterdam. The hanging vertical lights and their reflections created an eerie effect. It’s a public space that’s transformed into a surreal display of light, reflection and color by night. Just one of many surprises I found while walking around the city of Amsterdam.
I spent a lot of time along the canals at night. It seemed perfectly safe, save for the odd solicitations in a certain quarter not to be mentioned; but that’s another story for another day. No matter where I turned there were lights reflected on the water. If you’ve followed me you know that’s too much for me to resists; the lights that is.
I stood at this spot for a while taking pictures. Every now and then this space was filled with the rumble of trains passing overhead. I passed this same spot in a canal boat tour earlier in the day and it didn’t look anything like this. I would never have guessed it could be transformed like this at night.
The reason I came to Amsterdam is that I had some photos being shown in a Museum in Harderwijk at an event sponsored by BTP and Rinus Bakker. My plan is to come back for the next showing and spend a little more time exploring places like this. Until then I’ll have to be content with my memories and photos.
Each time I travel to San Francisco I pass over the Bay Bridge. This new section was recently completed after a monumental construction project. Now they’ve started deconstructing the old one which sits adjacent to this. Finally after many months it’s getting so you can take a picture of the new bridge without it being crowded by the old one.
I took this from Treasure Island which is halfway between San Francisco and Oakland. Fortunately it was calm that night so as to produce the colorful reflections on the water.
I take pictures of bridges because I find them fascinating and especially enjoy images at night. That’s because bridges form leading lines for our eyes to follow. They also have repeating elements to provide a sense of scale and direction. The link below is a collection of bridge pictures from places I’ve been.
I grew up near San Francisco so I’ve been over the old bridge countless times. Maybe in a hundred years we’ll all fly drone cars and won’t need bridges. Until such time they’ll keep building new ones and i’ll keep taking pictures of them at night.
To took this picture as I stood over a canal to the intercostal waterway. I was in the village of Cortez where there are many little outdoor restaurants by the water. Its one of my favorite places to come for an authentic Florida experience.
This bridge is one of two that cross over to Anna Maria Island. Both are draw bridges and each time I cross I secretly hope to get stuck. The draw bridge takes five or ten minutes to operate and during that time you turn off the engine and watch the sailboats, dolphins and fishermen.
As I write this we are in peak tourist season. Its spring break and people are here to enjoy the weather and beaches. Because I’m a resident I don’t always keep track of these things. But as soon as I walk into a restaurant or try to drive somewhere it becomes apparent.
As well it is also spring training season for baseball. We have a perfect storm of sun seekers and sports fans. It’s fun to see and good for the local economy. Merchants look forward to this all year. I’m pretty relaxed about it all and as I said, even look forward to getting stuck on one of the many bridges.
Not that I should need an excuse, but traffic over a bridge is one way to slow down, enjoy the sights and imagine what its like to be a visitor on spring break.
I remember taking this one morning across the river. I recently posted a similar shot from the same morning. This is a long exposure of about three minutes so that everything appears smooth and serene. That’s a theme with me, gravitating toward images that convey still and calm; that’s probably a response to living in a frenetic world.
Often when I come here in the morning to shoot a sunrise the joggers and walkers will remark to me about what a nice shot I’m getting. They have that subtle pride of ownership in their voice as though they are sharing something of theirs with me. They are here every day and I’m not a regular. So perhaps in their eyes they are sharing “their” sunrise view with me. If I think about it, it begins to make a little sense.
I relate to the sensibility because as I reflect I realize that I do the same thing. When guests come to visit us in Florida I “share” beautiful locations with them, and almost subconsciously do it in a way that indicates it’s something I own. Of course nothing can be further from the truth, a person cannot own a view or scene. Nonetheless, something inside of us feels the need to impart ownership of a thing we cannot own. Funny, eh?
I took this from the baths at Point Lobos in San Francisco. There were so many things to take pictures of that day, it was a lot of fun. As I write this I’m on a flight to the west coast again. I’m doing the West coast thing. I’m leaving the West coast of Florida to the West coast of Canada. Then I’ll travel to the West coast of the United States. I think whomever said go west young man, must have had me in mind.
Growing up in California I was steeped in west coast sensibilities. New age, new thought, new ways of doing things. Of course I didn’t know any of this until I moved away and got a little perspective, I just took it all for granted. That sensibility is in my blood. I’m not particularly concerned with which west coast, just as long as it a coast and the sun sets that way. If the earth spun in the other direction then maybe I’d be an east coast guy. I’m fortunate because in Florida I can watch the sunrise over the Atlantic on the East Coast and then drive to the West coast and watch it set over the gulf.
It’s not just me; most people are like this. We are attracted to the arc of the sun. That’s a geeky way of saying we are attracted to light and it’s our natural tendency to follow it. If you look at a picture or painting our eyes go to the brightest areas. It’s something primal, or spiritual, or both. If nothing else, its something to think about, perhaps we can figure out the whys and wherefores another day.
This water is normally choppy but just after sunset the breeze dies down and the water becomes like glass. That’s when I see all kinds of opportunities for compositions like this. It’s amazing how much difference an hour makes in the look and feel of a place like this. I love summer evenings by the river.
The spot where I’m standing is popular for Pokemon Go. Quite a few people show up here at night, more so than just a couple months ago. They create a festive atmosphere even if they are concentrating on their mobile screens. I haven’t tried the game myself but I have a feeling its just the beginning of a whole new wave in gaming. I should open up a hot dog stand here. I’ll have an app that they can use to buy the hot dogs even though they are standing right in front of me. It’ll be a big hit.
An hour or so earlier there were afternoon thunderstorms. After the storms move away they left small cloud remnants that collected the colors of dusk. You can see a little of that action going on here in shades of pink as the sun recedes well beyond the horizon.
I love how long the evenings are in summer. Pretty soon it will be autumn and it starts getting dark early again. But now its fun to be outside until well after dark; taking pictures, playing Pokemon or selling hot dogs with my new killer app.