Another hot tip if you’re looking for cool place to hang out in St Pete’s beach Florida, try the rooftop bar at Hotel Zamora. If I’m not mistaken it’s fairly new because when I look it up on Google Maps it looks like a bare roof. But rest assured its been transformed into a swank pad with a great view of the Gulf.
I have a friend that’s getting married here shortly so I’m looking forward to coming back to hang out and taking some great photos.
It’s the kind of place I would go to if I were on vacation, only I live here so I need another excuse. The best excuse I can come up with is the day of the week called Saturday. Short of that I might even consider a staycation.
Along the back is Castile Restaurant overlooking the inter-coastal waterway. My wife and I stopped in for dinner, almost as an afterthought. We were surprised at the quality of food, presentation and service. It’s a hidden gem that we’ve just discovered.
Just down the street is the better-known Don Cesar hotel; it’s the pink building in the background. That’s a much bigger place with all the amenities of a large resort. But the photographer in me will choose a place with a rooftop bar over the better-known location any day. So for me, the Zamora is on the shortlist in the very near future.
I took this in St Petes Beach a couple of weeks ago. The sun was coming down over the beach and there were people relaxing in hammocks just behind the dunes. I thought to get this low perspective and focus on the scrub rather than the scene. Basically I’m using the prominent part of the scene as backdrop. At times like this I try to look past the obvious and see something different in a scene. In this case I chose to focus on the dune and scrub while leaving hints of the hammocks as backdrop.
As a photographer I am immersed in the visual arts. As such I tend to be stimulated by visual nuances all around me. I’ve learned to allow myself to see more than the obvious. It reminds me of a simple rule for photography which is to look the other way. There’s a lot of wisdom in that because it challenges the idea that the obvious is most interesting.
When the sun is at a low angle there are all sorts of compositions that present themselves differently than when the sun is high in the sky. Something as simple in a change of light is enough to create highlights that accentuate the shape and nature of things less obvious. Noticing this is a simple pleasure and just one of the many rewards I get through the practice of the art of photography.
Last week I met my friend at St Petes beach here in Florida. The thing that struck me was how empty it was. It seems like just a few weeks ago we were knee deep in spring break and the beaches where super crowded. Now that it’s warm up north most of the visitors have gone so beaches are just sitting empty.
In a way it reminds me of the best time of year to go to Disney World. Years ago I went the week after school started. You get all the same attractions without the lines or crowds. The park is still geared up for the crowds so you get amazing service as well. It’s the same here at the beach, the hotels are in top form so you can pretty much have your cake and eat it too.
My friend had a room up on the fifth-floor overlooking the beach and I was blown away at how few people I could see from that vantage. Yes, I was there in the evening, but still, what a beautiful sight. Later we sat down at an outdoor restaurant by the water and just before sunset we got up to grab a few pictures. Rather that shoot into the sun, I looked the other way to catch the warm colors against the yellow concession stands. Anyway, aside from the odd tropical storm in summer, this is the place to be and right now is the time to be here.
Couple of weekends ago I was at the beach and this lady was creating huge bubbles with soap, string and the ocean breeze. She was like the pied piper with all the kids chasing and popping the bubbles as they floated over their heads. Does that sound like fun or what?
Today I went to the Treasure Island Kite Festival here in Florida. It goes without saying there were a lot of kites and this is one of the more exotic ones. It bounced up and down in the gentle breeze and attracted all manner of children that played under it as it gently landed on the sand. There was also a competition with “professionals” displaying flying skills that, quite frankly, astounded me. I had no idea this was such a serious endeavor and the precision demonstrated uh, blew me away. To top it off there was a kite ballet where a group of people would fly kites in unison to music. Lets just say I got a little carried away.