Midday at New Pass in Sarasota

The West coast of Florida is lined with barrier islands known as keys or cays, We call the water behind the keys the intercostal waterway. In a boat you can travel up and down the state inside the intercostal. Every five miles or so channels appear between the islands. This is midday at New Pass in Sarasota. For some reason the water here is always a turquoise green color, probably due to the white sand.

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Midday at New Pass in Sarasota
Midday at New Pass in Sarasota

I’m standing on a bridge that connects Ledo Key with Longboat Key. We were out for a Sunday drive and it seems our Sunday drives always end up here. At mid-day everything is so bright you really need to wear sunglasses. In general I like to shoot scenes in less harsh light but I’ve always liked the colors here and wanted to capture it.

This spot where I’m standing is next to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. It’s one of the foremost marine biology research and rescue centers in the US. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. Standing by the water you’ll see all manner of marine life. I’ve seen manatees, sharks, dolphins and manta-rays not to mention all of the fish that keep the anglers busy.

Sarasota gallery

This is also one of those bridges I love to get stuck on. It’s a draw bridge and whenever a sailboat comes along the traffic stops and you just have to sit there and look at this scene. I can think of worse places to be stuck.

An Ageless Confrontation

It seems there is an ageless confrontation between the water and the land. The water attempts to reclaim the land. The land fortifies itself with mangroves. I think the water eventually wins. Sooner or later the land is consumed by the water. Then during another ice age, the water will recede and the land will again take prominence.

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An Ageless Confrontation
An ageless confrontation between the land and the sea


For this I used a wide angle lens. When I do that I am trying to capture as much of the sky as possible. This is an ultra-wide angle so everything seems to converge on the horizon. This was taken in an area of mangroves in a near by state park. The mangroves cover a narrow peninsula that extends into the Gulf of Mexico. If it wasn’t for the mangroves the peninsula would have eroded away by storms long ago. That’s a testament to how important mangroves are to the land.

Florida is so flat that it will be one of the first to succumb to the sea. In geological time frames, it wasn’t too long ago that this area was submerged, it will surely happen again.

landscape images

I think if it was possible you could re-visit the earth every million years and it would appear quite different. Nothing in the physical universe is permanent, nor should it be. We are all part of a slow motion cycle of destruction and construction. In fact, that’s one thing that never changes.

Bikes, Umbrellas and Canals

If I had to sum up my impressions of Amsterdam in three words I would say bikes, umbrellas and canals. There were a lot of each. To take it a step further, operating a bike shop here is steady employment. As well, I think that selling umbrellas might also be big business.

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Bikes, Umbrellas and Canals
Bikes, Umbrellas and Canals in Amsterdam

I stood on an adjacent bridge taking photos of people as they crossed this bridge. This scene typifies the central canal district and is repeated hundreds of times from one bridge to the next.

Because I was carrying a camera I didn’t have an umbrella, otherwise it’s a good idea to have one. It got me thinking that umbrellas haven’t changed much in a hundred years, they still look and operate the same.

travel related gallery

Lo and behold, a few weeks later I started seeing ads on TV about new type of inverted umbrella. Without going into all the details I think it’s an amazing idea and the only thing I can’t figure out is why nobody invented / inverted it years ago. My wife was so impressed she bought four and gave them away as gifts. So here is a tip, someone needs to open up an inverted umbrella stand in Amsterdam, I think it will be license to print money.

The Heron Dreams

As the waves lap upon the shore and the stars circle the night sky, the Heron dreams. In dreams we inhabit the same landscape, perhaps.

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The Heron Dreams
The Heron Dreams on Longboat Key

We miss so much when we don’t acknowledge nature. I have recently come to believe that the elemental spirits of nature, those we call animals, are so much more connected with the truth of life than we will ever know.

I am astonished at how much these beings revere us. We take it for granted, we always have. But if we stop and think, better yet, if we connect with them, we may learn something about them. We may even learn something about ourselves.

I am coming to realize that animals have so much to teach us. I think that in our current society we gloss over this to our own detriment. Perhaps it is just a temporary condition and in years to come we will correct this.

night photography

Perhaps one way to correct this is to make an attempt to respect and acknowledge the animals around us. They are all around, shouldn’t we take notice? When you look into the eyes of an animal you will see a window to a soul or spirit that is just as viable a life as our own. More often than not see love looking back.

I think that by connecting with our animal friends we will unlock something in ourselves. All we have to do is notice. This is my simple tribute to the elemental life all around us.

Public Boat Dock

This is the public boat dock in Bradenton. Anyone with a boat can dock here and walk over to the restaurants nearby. I like coming here in the evening and rarely do I see anyone docked at night. Nevertheless I’ll sit on the steps and chill for a bit.

Public Boat Dock
Public Boat Dock in Bradenton

I took this at dusk when the waters of the river are still. During the day the wind and boats make the water choppy and so it never really looks this nice. I normally have my dog with me and we’ll both just sit here on the steps. Of course he likes coming because he gets to meet so many other dogs.

more images from bradenton

This is just one of those amazing scenes I see so much of in the summer. The clouds are normally dramatic and it contrasts well with the stillness of the water.  If I didn’t have to wakeup so early I think I’d be out taking photos late into the night. Shooting scenes like this at night is a tonne of fun.

Sky on Fire

I have this place I go to take pictures but I go there so often that in the back of my head I think I’m repeating myself. But with the sky on fire like this, how could I possibly repeat anything? I could come here every day of the year and the images would be different; which is not so much my doing as that of mother nature herself. The display of clouds changes completely from one day to the next.

Sky on Fire
A view from Emerson Point in Palmetto Florida with the sky on fire

As a photographer who is interested in art I think about these things a lot. I think about scenes and what they mean. I try to extract a little perspective. It’s an exercise in self discovery because to interpret something as abstract as an image of clouds requires imagination, vocabulary and some self awareness. And therein lies the heart of the matter.

images featuring the sky from the gallery

Self awareness is about as ephemeral an idea as they come. But I find just a little bit goes a long way. That’s because the ideas and thoughts about self awareness are best described in metaphors. Bingo, images make good metaphors. So if you think about it, we’re not interpreting the image, rather ourselves through the image. So, in the case the this sky, it’s really just a metaphor for something within.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Midday in Sarasota

Midday In Sarasota
A daydream of midday In Sarasota Florida                                          Order a print

I took this at midday in Sarasota while driving around last weekend. For me this is more of a daydream than a real picture. I daydream when I drive sometimes. Some things are so automatic that they get relegated to the autopilot side of the brain while the other side goes in a different direction. I’m headed that way right now.

When I look at a scene I look for an impression. We’re each so different no two impressions are the same. For some reason this takes me back to when I was about five years old and our family went on a road trip to San Jose. I remember the hotel and that it had a pool. I have no idea why this reminds me of that, it’s not logical. The blur in this image represents my faded memories of my five-year-old self; looking through a glass darkly.

Isn’t it a paradox that some people revert to their childhood memories as they grow older. I think something gets inverted. Maybe memory is like a fabric we can fold in or out and expose different surfaces. Not that I have a clue, but I think it’s a little different then I might think. Anyway, this has been a little trip down memory lane. Time to stop the daydream and drive.

Another Backyard Sunrise

Another Backyard Sunrise
Another Backyard Sunrise over central Florida                                        Click here to purchase a print

This is another backyard sunrise from home. I don’t really have a backyard and this is not “my” backyard but, it’s in my hometown so figuratively speaking it’s “in” my backyard. Having said all of that, and having said that this is sunrise, you know I’m facing east. For some reason we get a lot of amazing sunrises happening in the east due to the way the clouds form in my backyard. Let me explain.

More images of Florida sunrises

The geography and weather patterns of central Florida are such that the clouds often park themselves over the land, not over the water. For instance, on this morning while we had a brilliant sunrise to the East; to the West there were no clouds, only clear blue sky. I’m not complaining, just making an observation. Well, as a photographer maybe I’m complaining just a little.

If you think about it, Florida is one big peninsula with oceans on both sides. Somehow that creates unique weather patterns which most of the time I ignore. But one of those patterns is that clouds will hang over the land and stop at the coast. So when they do that in the morning this is the result, a backyard sunrise. Actually my backyard faces the West and, ….oh good grief, there I go again.

Keeping it Real

Keeping it Real
Keeping it real on Fort Lauderdale Beach                                        Purchase a fine art gallery print

Keeping it real can be harder than it sounds. Putting aside all the things that we think are important, a little quality time is a pretty good way to start. In the end all we really have are connections. The rest can come and go, it’s connections that define us, or so I think. But when I think of the people that have made an impression on me, it was their gift of time that made that possible.

This is another photo from Fort Lauderdale Beach. I could just stay at the beach and take photos all day long, it’s a natural place for images to just happen, especially if you know what you’re looking for. I take a lot of photos of people walking on the beach. The initial snapshot is a reminder of what I saw in my mind and the idea that I had. Only later when the time is right do I express it, sometimes artistically like this. This image conveys the idea I had in my mind. I never really know how the image will turn out, but if I work at it enough I get close. Close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. Bad reference, scratch that.

I’m going to go back to the beach sometime this week. Who knows what I’ll see or which beach I’ll go to. The main thing is to go and then just let the rest happen; kind of like keeping it real. I think that a lot of things can happen if we just let them. I rarely know what way the wind will blow, I just keep doing my thing and somehow it all works out.