Maybe it’s of all the lights, or the mass of humanity, or the scale of it all. Whatever it is, I’m in not much use until I snap out of its initial spell. Perhaps there’s some part of our DNA that attracts us to a hive or colony or tribe. Or maybe, it just all the cool lights.
This is looking up the Manatee River in summer. After a few minutes we got a thunderstorm for about twenty minutes, then a crazy sunset; every day like clockwork.
The one-second shutter speed makes the water smooth, like the calm before the storm. I’m nervous when out in these conditions, the air is thick, and it’s only a matter of time before lightning strikes. We get more lightning than anywhere on earth because of the geography. My heightened state of nerves battles it out with my need to get a good picture.
The thunder clouds always come down the river, from east to west. Often, if we’re at an outdoor restaurant along the water, we can watch the clouds heading towards us. The river is about a mile wide, so it has its own micro-climate. After the storm passes, we brush the water off the table and, enjoy the rest of the meal, just like clockwork.
This, as they say in the business, is SOOC, or “straight out of camera” for the rest of us. I process images mostly to restore the colors, however in this case no processing was needed. This is exactly what the scene looked like.
It was early in the morning and I remember thinking how strange the red glow looked. Of course, I took a picture but so did a bunch of other folks that were out walking or jogging. So, you see? It’s not just me that notices these things.
I’m always remarking on pretty or unusual scenes when I see them, it’s part of my nature as a photographer. Now I’m seeing similar behavior in friends and family. Noticing beautiful scenes is contagious and possibly addictive. Once you start, it’s nearly impossible to stop. But, here’s some advice, it’s okay. Having good habit’s, even if they’re involuntary, is a good thing. And lord knows, we can use a few more good things these days.
I took this two years ago and just now got around to processing it. I have a lot of little shots like this that sit on the hard drive waiting their turn. If I go out today and take some pictures, chances you’ll see it by 2020. But if some of them are really good, next Tuesday after my one o’clock.
Here is another panorama of Sarasota from Bayfront Park. Last year I posted an almost identical image that was taken during the day but have been waiting to do it again at night. Back then that big building (third from the left) was still under construction and it wasn’t lit up. So, now that it’s complete I wanted to shoot it again since the scene seems more complete to me.
To take this I mounted my camera vertically on a tripod and took ten shots from left to right. With the resolution of the Sony camera, it will be about seven feet across when printed!
Here are some links to other panoramas I’ve taken in and around Sarasota…
I was on a tour boat when I snapped this row of houses in Nassau. It was my first time to the Bahamas and it pretty much lived up to expectations. At least as far as what I saw on the tour, which included some amazing waterfront homes.
Our tour took us to a beach where we sat under umbrellas and watched the waves. I know that sounds great, and it was, but I’m from Florida and I get that at home. Since then I decided to visit places unlike where I live.
Nonetheless, what I saw is still quite nice. We took a last minute weekend cruise and this was the destination. The Bahamas are very close to Florida yet a different country all together. In that respect it’s something fun to explore without needing an airline ticket.
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 panorama of the Sarasota waterfront. This section is known as Marina Jacks and is the main marina in town. If you want to take a fishing tour or sunset cruise, this is the spot. I’ve done both from here and it never gets old.
I’m going to come back here, this weekend perhaps, and get the same scene at sunrise; this was closer to dusk. As with many of my panoramas I’ve combined several photos so that the resolution is higher than a normal, enough to see very small details. For example, if you zoom in you can see the baseball game on the TV inside the restaurant on the left. That’s perhaps way too much detail, but I think it’s cool nonetheless.
In a panorama the view sweeps from one side to the other. There is something epic about the perspective; it gives you a sense of scale. Anyway, this is one way to capture the waterfront without taking a shot from an aircraft or drone.
I was walking my dog when I took this. I held the leash in one hand and the camera in the other and took five images from left to right; no tripod was involved. That says more about the capabilities of the Sony camera than it does about my camera holding skills. It’s perhaps not the best way to go about it but the dog needed a walk and I needed a picture, so we compromised. In the end we both got what we wanted.
It was fairly early when I came upon this heron in Sarasota. My plan was to get a sunrise shot over the city from the end of the boardwalk, but at the same time I didn’t want to disturb Mr. Heron, he was there first. I stopped a ways back and contented myself taking his picture. After a few minutes he didn’t move so I decided get closer so I could shoot the other way. As it turns out he let me come right up. As long as I didn’t make any sudden movements and looked the other way he didn’t seem to mind. For me it was a nice standing there in the quite of the morning, doing what I love to do and in the company of Mr Heron.
Turns out he was scanning the water below for a fish that might swim by. Not too far off in the other direction was another heron along the bank next to a tree. It was in that direction I was shooting the sunrise so I tried to incorporate her in the composition as well. But before I left this spot Mr. Bird flew over to other one, …Mrs Bird perhaps?
I walked down to where they both now stood in the water and took a few more shots, incorporating them both as best I could, not always with success. Again, as long as I didn’t show any signs of aggression they both let me get pretty close. At one point, they even got into a little tussle amongst themselves; most certainly a Mr and Mrs. Nonetheless, they didn’t seem to mind my presence.
Whether or not I got any good shots on this morning, just being here in the presence of Mr and Mrs Heron made the entire excursion worthwhile.
My eye is always in the sky whenever I’m outside. I suppose that’s a side effect of being a landscape photographer. It’s my opinion that clouds are fifty percent of what makes an image interesting. That’s a generalization and there are exceptions to every rule, but ninety percent of the time, clouds are fifty percent of the picture; photography by the numbers.
Of course I’m being a little facetious, art cannot be divided and multiplied. At least I don’t think so. But I think art gives inspiration to ideas like mathematical theories. It’s a side effect of how we work. We look at something abstract and try to make sense of it. We look at clouds and each see something different. I think abstractions give our subconscious an opportunity to communicate with our conscious selfs, only we don’t realize it so we call it “sub-conscious”, one of life’s little ironies.
Back to the math. In photography we have something called the rule of thirds. Dividing the subjects on boundaries of one-third makes and image more interesting, so they say. Some of my images, like this, are a little more extreme. I’ll call it my rule of tenths. One-tenth of stuff on the bottom and nine-tenths of abstract at the top. That way, my sub-conscious has more room. It’s just a theory mind you, but you never know, I could be on to something.