These boats are in Collioure in Southern France. It’s a Catalonian village known for sardines, among other things.
After I took the photo, I saw a couple of street artists selling paintings of these same boats. They seem almost picture-perfect, almost as though they were placed here for effect. But that could just be my jaded view of things, and it’s not something the French are prone to do.
One of the primary industries here is sardines. The last time we came through, I ordered a plate of them at a seaside cafe. For all I know, these may be sardine boats that returned in the morning. The rest of the day, they are click-bait for photographers like me. That was a lame joke.
What do you get when an architect designs a city? A collection of eccentric-looking buildings along the Mediterranean.
La Grande-Motte is a French beachside resort town. Spain has dozens of these that attract their French neighbors. However, someone got smart and built this town in France about fifty years ago. Now there are many beach towns along the French Mediterranean, and no need to cross into Spain for a holiday.
These marinas are cities within cities. People in them live semi-nomadic lives and form communities; coming and going with the wind.
The marina in Barcelona reminds me of similar ones close to home. I’m heading back and have been looking at my photos from there. Marinas are enormous along the Mediterranean. We have many in Florida, but I think they are generally not as big as the ones in Europe. Maybe boat life is more prevalent there.
Anyway, I know an American teacher who leads on-line courses remotely from her boat in Spain or Italy, depending on the season. No house required; have a boat, laptop, and internet connection; and the world is your oyster.
I took this from the Green Bridge in Bradenton on a particularly bodacious evening. Does anyone use that word anymore?
Bodacious is a west coast word, but I’m from there, so I get a pass. For some reason, a lot of new words come from California. When I was ten, I made up the word “bad” to mean awesome. I actually thought I invented that. Imagine my surprise when I heard it on TV. Surely I picked it up subconsciously somewhere.
My vocabulary is not particularly great, enough to get by. But I do get impressed by words all the time. I love the dictionary feature in Kindle. Depending on the author, I might just spend a lot of time in there. It’s not as easy as making up my own words, though.
This is a section of Nice where cruise ships dock and people come ashore on a tender. That’s what I was doing when I took this picture.
While waiting for transport to other parts of Nice, I walked up and around the narrow streets. It was in the middle of summer and hot. I remember trying to decide whether to have a beer or ice cream to cool down. My only hesitation was that it was nine in the morning so I opted for ice cream.
The famous beach is west of here, but since I live close to beaches in Florida, I visited other parts of the city including an art colony in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. As that was up on a small mountain, it was a little cooler, but still quite warm. I ended up getting a beer there, but it was midday at that point. Such are my memories of ice cream and beer.
Hang out at Longboat Pass in the evening, and you’ll see a stream of boats returning to dock just after sunset. It keeps the drawbridge operator quite busy.
This is a shot using a Playpod at the water’s edge. In this age of drones, it’s nice to have a tool that helps create a somewhat unique low-down perspective. Not that I have anything against drones, they are fun and provide excellent viewpoints. But angles like this are just as rewarding.
I’ve not been to the beach for sunset in a while, so I almost forgot how to photograph the whole golden hour; I nearly left too early. I was heading to the car and noticed another photographer just getting out. That reminded me that sometimes the best light occurs after the sun goes down. So I headed back to the shoreline and took this along with a few others. Then, after squeezing the last ounce of light from the sky, it was finally time to head home.
I took this image from the dock at Regatta Pointe Marina in my hometown of Palmetto. The marina is a few miles up from the gulf on the Manatee River. It has a restaurant that does good business on account of the views. I’m not a boater or sailor so, when I come, it’s to have a meal or take photos, or both.
I have sailed out of here once and also out of the marina on the opposite side of the river. Both were charters, and both times it was a great experience. You bring cheese and wine, sit topside and enjoy the views and breeze. That’s my idea of a good time.
I came here because the colors in the sky were shaping up and this was only a few minutes away. When I feel the urge to capture a sunset without planning, I’ll rush to the river and point west. Here at the marina, there were plenty of people walking along the dock. A few were diners, a few were boaters, but just about everyone stopped to watch at the view.
This image is an example of the kinds of things you’ll see just by showing up to a location and observing. It’s not staged, yet it has receding elements: a girl, a bird, and a sailboat, not to mention the evening sun. The objects are receding, and from a compositional perspective, that’s pretty cool. Let me explain.
There were other objects and people around, but I positioned the frame to simplify the image. Unconsciously our eyes are drawn from the close-up objects to those far away, and in that split-second traverse, each observer (you) creates a story. I refer to “story” a lot in my images, but what I mean is the musings of an observer (you). When you muse, you automatically make up a story. That makes me the story-teller, and now I’ve connected with you. It’s pretty simple really, and it’s the idea behind stories in photographs.
We can create stories in different ways; for me, it often involves simplifying a scene and engaging the viewer. But each person is different, and we could take a complicated scenario and do the same thing, there are no rules. My photos at the beach are simple, but I also like busy city streets with a lot of things to explore. (In fact, I’ll post one like that next week.) But I digress. When taking photos, you want to tell a story. No matter where you are, you can compose the shot in such a way that when I see it, I make up my own story.
I was La Grande-Motte a couple of years ago walking around with my camera. A friend who was running some errands dropped me off for the morning. It’s a seaside resort town on the Mediterranean and in that respect has a lot of similarities to where I live in Florida. I was here in the off-season so it did not have the normal crowds.
I could be wrong but it seems like there are more sailboats in Europe than in the states. I’m no expert but I think we have more powerboats in the US. Nevertheless these long rows of docks are common in southern France.
The symmetrical leading lines of the rows reflecting on the water fascinate me. For that matter, leading lines and water always grab my attention. It’s something I’ve taken photos of over and over again. There is a good explanation for it, I’m sure.
This is a long exposure of the marina in Palmetto. Once the sun goes down the glow on the horizon fades for about an hour. The last few minutes of the glow are almost imperceptible yet appears more pronounced with a long exposure. This is image is eight-seconds and of course was taken with a tripod. Because the glow is more pronounced it contrasts with the night sky directly overhead. It’s a unique lighting situation that I was fortunate enough to capture. The scene is enhanced even more by the color of the thin clouds above the boats.
I didn’t know ahead of time these conditions were occurring. But I had my camera and was looking for something to capture. Taking the time to notice what is happening is a skill. This scene was not apparent with a casual glance. To see a scene like this I need to slow down and put myself in a different mindset. In that mindset I’ll see scenes I’m not necessarily looking for.
My theory is that interesting things appear around us all the time. The challenge is to get past that little voice that insists there is nothing to look at. I get that a lot when I go out to do photography. To push past that takes will power. It produces rewards by simply continuing when I think I should give up. I surprise myself sometimes at the shots I get. It’s not that I’m super talented, it’s more that I give myself opportunities. The more I do that the better my chances. That sounds like a sports metaphor but it’s equally applicable to photography, or, any other worthwhile endeavor; at least thats my theory.