Friday morning in Miami is no different than any other place. Oh who am I kidding, it’s WAY different!
For me, a big advantage of taking a cruise out of Miami is, well, Miami. An average view from the deck of a large ship is still better than a great view from a skyscraper. Nevertheless, the new boats are big enough to be skyscrapers.
Miami is a favorite city of mine to photograph. You have it all, the beach, the nightlife, the cityscapes. No matter how you look at it, it’s not your average city. I’m sure it has its problems, but as with many things, I tend to look at it through rose-colored glasses.
Sometimes I look for places to shoot using Google Maps. It helps me find places tucked away that I may have missed, like this at Grassy Point.
This is a short drive from my home to Anna Maria Island. I showed up before dawn on a cold and windy morning. By cold, I mean it was cold for Florida; low fifties. Nevertheless, it has a path from the parking lot through the Mangroves and ends up here on the intercoastal waterway.
The clouds were low on the horizon, so the sunrise was not as spectacular as I hoped. Nevertheless, I stayed around for a few minutes to get this shot of the water through the mangroves. It seemed like a long cold hour standing out there waiting for a shot; however that made the hot coffee afterward all the more enjoyable.
This was taken one evening somewhere on the Adriatic on our way to Montenegro. When at sea you could stand on the balcony in the evenings and see these interplays of sun and cloud. Sometimes it’s nice when you have nothing more important to do than watch the scenery.
Minimalism in landscapes is a theme I continue to study and practice. It could be either a seascape or cityscape, both can fit into a minimalist approach. By placing the horizon low in the frame, it allows the sky to take center stage and creates a sense of space. Minimalism is created when space is the main character.
Anyway, when you are at sea your eyes have few options. There is nothing to look at but sea and sky with the line between them often indistinguishable. A few hours of visual deprivation will lead to heightened sensitivity to changes. It’s then you have a glimpse into how mariners operate, as much by sense as by training. Then when you finally see something like this, you have an appreciation that might have gone otherwise unnoticed.
This is another HDR photo that I created using AuroraHDR 2018. Actually, this was a little tricky to make because it’s a long exposure using an ND filter shooting directly into the sun. The aperture of F14 is what creates the starburst effect. I combined five photos ranging from one to six seconds in length which gives the water a smooth quality.
Even though I spent hours on this I’m not totally happy with it. That’s because I’m aware of all the technical flaws it has; noise in the shadows, lens flare and lack of detail on the rocks. I’m posting it anyway because I like the overall effect and feel. And also, each time I work with photos I learn a little more. In this case I know what I need to do next time I have a similar scene; each time I get a little better.
In the end, it’s the scene and the mood that are most important to me. The technical aspects are important also, just not as important. I was able to recreate the idea I had in my head at the time, so it’s a win. I’m posting it because on balance, I do like the image. And to tell you the truth, that’s why I do photography in the first place.
Here is another sunset from Lido Beach in Sarasota. I took this a few months ago around eight o’clock but now that it’s almost winter the sun goes down three hours earlier. If you ask me that’s a big change to adjust to. Part of it is due to the seasons but it’s also due to daylight savings that we have here in the US.
Why do we change our clocks twice a year? As far as I can tell it’s based on an outdated notion of efficiency. In this era of automation I think that daylight savings may have outlived its usefulness. One thing it succeeds at is confusing our bodies twice a year. Wouldn’t it be more natural to just stay in one time zone? Other countries do it without problems.
If the sun set a little latter then we could enjoy longer afternoons. In Florida it would make a difference for folks who come down in winter to go to the beach. Anyway, I’m not the only one thinking about this, the idea is picking up traction. Maybe we can do away with daylight savings soon. Something tells me this might be one thing we can all agree on.
I’m driving home early one morning and look over to see this scene in the East. Sights like this are like unexpected bonus points. I look over and say to no one in particular, “Okay, you got my attention”. Of course I want to take a photo. I was a few minutes away so I kept my calm, made it home and ran in to grab my camera.
Lately I’ve been taking photos around my town. I’m finding spots I never knew existed. Or sometimes I just stick with places I know. This is obviously of the latter variety.
To get an image like this I took five bracketed photos and combined them. I blended them manually because different areas of the frame look good depending on the exposure. Without that technique the sky would be over exposed and the foreground under exposed. Our eyes see a wider range of light than a typical camera sensor, especially in extreme cases like this.
The sun rays are what caught my attention. I see these regularly around here because of the low clouds in the morning and afternoon. The trick is having a camera ready because it doesn’t last long.
Occasionally we all see nice scenes when out driving. If we happen to notice we’ve usually forgotten in the next minute. However as a landscape photographer I try to notice. It drives me crazy if I don’t have my camera, but when I do I’m very happy. I’m not sure if that’s completely mature of me but I suppose there are worse things to get emotional about.