I got up early one summer morning and caught this rainbow along the gulf coast as I walked the trails at DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton. In summer we have thunder clouds that change from one minute to the next. They combine the energy of the warm air and gulf waters to become powerful and, if I might say, rambunctious. By that I mean loud, dramatic and fun to watch, especially from a photography perspective. On this morning I also caught a rainbow as the clouds were breaking apart. This is an area were thunderstorms and rainbows are common as the waters of the Manatee River meet the Gulf of Mexico. The storms like to follow the path of the river and I’ve taken a lot of photos rainbows around here. In real life they are beautiful to look at yet don’t always translate into a good picture. One morning I watched as a double rainbow formed over the river in the soft light of morning. Many people were stopping to look at comment, it was amazing to witness. I took a bunch of photos yet when I got home and looked at them they didn’t look all that special. I think that in most cases, rainbows are meant to be enjoyed in the moment and trying to capture their beauty can be as elusive as the pot of gold at the end.
This is the Remarkable Mountains as viewed from Kelvin Heights above Queenstown New Zealand. Kelvin Heights is the name I get when I Google it, however the locals call it Deer Park Heights. There is some kind of family dispute over this land, maybe that has something to do with the names, but I digress. I posted this image about a year and a half ago without the clouds but I thought I’d update the image because I prefer clouds in the sky. That morning the sky was rather dull, it was just after sunrise and it had snowed the day before. So, as I do with many of my images, I made it look a little different, the way I wished it had looked. Its like doodling with an image to see what works. For me this is better than the original. At the time I was in New Zealand on a workshop with Trey Ratcliff and I was just beginning to learn how to work with new tools for this kind of thing. I made many friends there as we all practiced composition and post processing with beautiful landscapes like this from all around Queenstown. Since then I’ve learned quite a lot and have developed a preference for a more imaginative style that at times is not at all realistic. If you’ve followed my work you know what I mean. I’m more into creating images from my minds eye, using photography as a tool. So, having gone back to this image I think I like it better than the first version which was more true to life. You may not agree, but that’s okay, on any given day I might just change my mind and agree with you.
This is the view of Mount Edith Cavell from Jasper Park Lodge that I took one summer evening before sunset. I think it’s pretty amazing how long the days are in the summer up here. Its kind of hard to fathom, especially now that I’m writing this in winter when it gets dark many hours earlier. In the evening the angle of the sun is low enough to cast a soft light on everything. I understand that Iceland can be like that for months, I guess that’s next on my list. In any case, Mount Edith Cavell is one of the more iconic landmarks of the Canadian Rockies and having hiked up along side of it, I can say it is indeed massive, even when viewed from twenty kilometers away. A couple of days ago I wrote about the age of the trees in British Columbia. Well, these mountains are millions of years old. That really impresses me because just like the size of these mountains, their age is something I can never really wrap my mind around.
At times we need to be alone with the elements. Something about that reminds us that, in fact, we are never truly alone.
I recently read a book called The Light Between Us by Laura Lynne Jackson. It’s basically an autobiography of a person who grew up with a special gift to communicate with the “Other Side”. In it she details the struggles she overcame learning how to deal with that without having someone to help her. Nonetheless, she is one of a handful of scientifically certified psychics in the US and has helped many people bridge the gap between this world and the next as it pertains to bereavement. So, the moral of the story is we’re never really alone. The world we live in is just a subset of the real world and we are surrounded by many who love us all the time, whether we are aware of it or not.
Walking around the beaches of Anna Maria Island you’ll find houses along the water with a view of the gulf. Some are located on relatively isolated stretches so that even if there are a lot of people at the beach these sections are quiet. Walking past this area the beach was was quiet and undisturbed as evidenced from a colony of skimmers that nest and feed here. As I walked past they paid me little heed as they rested on one leg. I live only twenty minutes away but I keep telling myself that one day I’ll just rent a beach house and do a staycation. I think this remote strip suits me just fine.
On Anna Maria Island I have some favorite spots to hang out that are a little bit hidden and frequented more by the locals. This is opposite Coquina Beach and it’s a little dock where fishermen come to launch their boats around dawn. I was here walking around and noticed this guy casting his net and so stood a ways back trying to capture him in mid-throw. I think he noticed me and stopped throwing the net, maybe he was self conscious. I wandered off to leave the poor soul in peace. Hopefully he caught something because there were a couple of egrets waiting for anything he might pull up.
A couple of years ago I was in Jasper Alberta to visit the Canadian Rockies. I arrived by train from Vancouver and then drove and hiked around. Along the way I stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge situated just east of town on Bueuvert Lake. I used a water texture from the mediterranean on the sky and water to add a mystical feel to the image. I would say there is quite a bit of good energy up here in the Rockies, mystical or otherwise. This is another one of those places I need to get back to and in some respects reminds me a little bit of New Zealand.
This is one of many boardwalks at Myakka River State Park. Along it you can view mostly birds but maybe the odd alligator as well. Just like everywhere else Florida is experiencing growth and urban sprawl and so places like this state park are protected sanctuaries for local and migratory wildlife. I posted something similar to this recently from the same location. I like how the palms frame the path as it leads out into the swamp. A simple composition of the Florida landscape without the beach.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to the north jetty so yesterday evening I headed down here. It’s about 35 minutes from home along the gulf coast and every evening people flock here to watch the sunset. The minute I drove up a couple of dolphins swam by as they meandered about. These shells were deposited on the beach from recent storms; you could just scoop up a handful. The jetty connects the gulf to the intercostal waterway where most folks dock their boats. Evenings like this are a reprieve from the August sun as the breeze coming off the water is oh so nice. Somebody wake me up; on second thought, let me dream on.
Obtain fine art print
Yet another dazzling display in the sky above my home in Palmetto Florida. You must be getting tired of all my sunsets. However it’s that time of year when every night we get crazy colors in the sky and water. This evening I headed out to get a sunset shot but the sky appeared so flat I turned back home. From my living room I continued to watch the sky and only fifteen minutes later it started turning all crazy like this, so I jumped back in my car again and headed for the water. These high altitude clouds appear flat and featureless when the sun is up, but after it sets they turn into filigree wafts of color enough to turn many a head. They certainly had me running around like a chicken with my head cut off.