Last Light

It seems like every time I want to go out and take pictures, it rains. Well, this past Sunday was no different. I awoke to a beautiful blue sky with white puffy clouds. “Looks like a perfect day to go out and shoot” I thought. Florida’s weather changes pretty quickly, so you sometimes just hope for the best.

Needless to say, when I got out of the house, the sky had turned dark and it was starting to rain. I decided to press on and just see what I could come up with. After driving around for awhile, stopping at different places, I was not having a very photographic day. As the daylight was dwindling down, I started driving to this local beach park.

Sitting on Florida’s gulf coast, Fred Howard Park is a beautiful location to go to the beach, go swimming, or even have a picnic. Upon entering the park, you are greeted with lots of shade trees and picnic pavilions. Just a short way around you come across a causeway with a picturesque view of an island beach.

I drove all the way out to the beach just to get an idea for a picture. Nothing really jumped out at me, so I headed back to the tree lined picnic area and parked. I walked towards the causeway figuring I might see better, photographically speaking, than if I were driving. I was looking at the sky and noticing that there might be a chance for some color to pop out, so I continued walking.

I stopped along the way taking a few pictures here and there, not even realizing that I had walked almost all the way to the beach area. Since I was already that far and the sky was looking pretty amazing, I continued on my journey.

When I got to the beach, I figured I had about a 5 minute window of opportunity to make some pictures. As I suspected, the sun briefly broke through the cloud layer over the water, and there was orange sky for about a minute. I was shooting silhouettes of trees and had to quickly change my position.

This lone lifeguard chair was calling out to me. I surveyed the scene unfolding before me and setup my tripod. The sky was absolutely amazing and the beautiful light came and went in the blink of an eye. Before it was gone, I got this shot!

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

As always, I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Sunset on the Serengeti

No not the African plains but Florida! Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa to be exact. Photo opportunities abound when you pay a visit here. There is a variety of animals to see and learn about. This image features three of their stars: a Reticulated Giraffe and two Marabou Storks. This was a perfect day for taking pictures as it rained off and on all day. The clouds would come and go opening up briefly to let the sunlight in. I was walking around taking pictures of the birds when I spotted this lone giraffe. He kept getting closer to me and I had the hopes of getting a close-up shot. He stopped at a comfortable distance from me and stayed where he was. With him keeping a close watch on me, I setup the shot to include the two storks with the giraffe in the background. I got four shots before he turned and ran away. The color in the sky and the giraffe staring right at me was my favorite shot.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Sunflower Dreams

This past Sunday I went to a sunflower maze in a small town nearby. Armed with my tripod and camera, I set out to hopefully capture some beautiful pictures. The vision in my head was one of those shots where there is an infinite field of short sunflowers, the sun is low in the sky, and there are big, fluffy clouds. Well that didn’t happen. Most of the flowers I encountered were 8 to 12 feet tall. The sun was still relatively high in the sky. And clouds? Nada! But I am always optimistic about making pictures in any condition.

The maze itself was 5 acres in size. I spent roughly 3 hours walking through it, intentionally going the wrong way just to see what I could find. As this was the last day of the maze being open, a lot of the flowers were past their prime. But most of them were still blooming out nicely. I walked along stopping every so often to take a picture. I was nearing the end of the maze when I saw this flower. The sun was lighting it up from behind and the glow was amazing. I moved around looking for the right angle to capture it. When I found the right spot, I set my tripod up and shot. I looked on the camera screen and thought – no that’s not it. I turned the camera just a little bit and just as I pressed the shutter, the wind blew slightly, moving the other flowers and leaves around. I checked the screen and I was ecstatic. This was the shot I was looking for. The sun flares glowing across the frame in a diagonal line. The bright spot of sun in the upper right. The light cast on the back of the flower. All of these contributed to a shot that only required me to be in the right place at the right time.

I didn’t do very much post processing on this shot. A little bit of sharpening, contrast, and clarity were all that I needed to do in Lightroom.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

1948 Chevy Convertible

I like to hit a lot of the local weekly and nightly cruise-ins. This one in particular is every Tuesday night at the Prime Time restaurant. Jan’s Cruizin is a great place to see some awesome cars. I think classic cars and HDR photography go together really well. I prefer to take my bracketed shots on a tripod just to insure there is no movement between shots. This is a 3 exposure HDR. Please feel free to leave me a comment – I always respond and appreciate them!

Reflections of China

From EPCOT Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It’s a photographer’s paradise here. I can never take enough pictures. This was the first time I tried a night shot of this building. The intricate design and attention to detail make this a great subject. This is a 3 exposure HDR tonemapped in Photomatix and completed with Topaz Adjust.