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! 🙂

1929 Cadillac

As a photographer living in central Florida, it’s always nice being so close to great places like Disney. I get to go on photo excursions that I have lovingly named “Disney Days!” This particular day was indeed a fun one as I came back with lots of images I was pleased with.

My day started out at the newly opened Art of Animation Resort where I got this shot: Wheel Well Motel. I spent all of my time here exploring the “Cars” themed area. The detail that they put into this place is nothing short of amazing.

My next stop was the Grand Floridian Resort. This Victorian style hotel is absolutely breathtaking when you step inside. As I walked in I noticed the reflection on the floor and got the idea in my head for this shot: The Grand Entrance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a floor so shiny in all my life! And the magnitude of the chandelier hanging from the ceiling is awesome.

After spending some time exploring inside, I ventured outdoors to see what I might find. Parked out in front of the hotel is a carriage and a 1929 Cadillac. Perfectly fitting in with the theme of this resort, this car is certainly a showstopper.

Huge headlights, whitewall tires, running boards, and a fancy hood ornament were all common in this time period. Even details like a fancy belt to hold the spare tire on were not overlooked.

In an upcoming post,  I will be featuring an image from my final stop of the day, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, so be sure to watch for that one.

If you would like to view more pictures on my blog from Disney, just click here.

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! 🙂

Head of Tennessee Baptist Church

On my way to the Smoky Mountains in March of 2011, I stopped in the small town of Dillard, Georgia. I stayed the night at a wonderful place called The Dillard House. They have a fantastic restaurant and outstanding accommodations. The plan was to get up early the next morning and visit a few different sites that I wanted to photograph in the area before continuing on. One of the places I went to on this same day was Toccoa Falls which is featured in this blog post – The Falls Behind The Trees.

Now while planning a trip beforehand is a great thing to do, sometimes it’s the unknown gems that you find on your journey that really catch your eye. (Like this other church I discovered later in the day which was in this blog post – Lufty Baptist Church.)

Upon my arrival the night before, I spotted this church located just up the street from where I was staying. As someone who has a fascination with older architectural styles, I knew I had to shoot it. The sky was beautiful that morning with lots of clouds and a rich blue color. The front of the church faces due east, so the lighting was perfect. The bell tower with the stainless steel top, the brickwork, and the double arched doorways were just a few of the elements that attracted me to it. On the south side is the cemetery with a beautiful and peaceful mountain view.

Construction of this building was completed in 1932. The opening service was held on August 21st. To read more about this church and it’s history, click here to visit their website.

Also if you would like more history on this area, you can click here to see early photos of the church, The Dillard House, and other historical buildings.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the images 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

Wheel Well Motel

On a recent photo excursion that brought this image to the blog, I took a visit to the newest addition of Disney lodging: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. There are a few different themes going on that are very exciting. I found the Cars theme to be very interesting. I enjoy scenes with lots of color and this certainly was a treat to my eyes. As a photographer who shoots lots of HDR, this was like heaven! It is set up to resemble route 66. The sidewalk looks like a paved street with power poles and streetlights  running alongside it. Several different characters from the movie were strategically placed for your viewing pleasure.

This scene in particular was setup in front of the Wheel Well Motel. Lightning McQueen and Sally Carrera were parked out front like rock-stars. Even fine details such as the fuel pumps bearing the name “Butte Gas” were not overlooked. Disney always goes all out to bring magic to their guests.

The resort is opening up in phases with two phases complete and two phases scheduled to be open real soon. For more information about this resort property click on the link above or right here.

To view more pictures on my blog from Disney, just click here.

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! 🙂