Lighthouse and buildings, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine.
One of my favorite Maine artists is Andrew Wyeth who painted the land and people around him in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his summer home in Cushing, Maine. I’ve always found his art of everyday subject matter filled with a haunting sense of urgency and foreboding dread, yet contemplative and silent. A few days ago, we went to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse for dinner with the hopes of some good sunset photos. The contrast light on the lighthouse reminded me of Wyeth’s work … a silent and lonely abstract of the stark landscapes of Maine.
Venice Fishing Pier, Florida
After living here in Florida for two years, I had not yet visited the Venice Fishing Pier down in Venice. So last week hubby and I planned a late afternoon trip to the Venice Rookery and then on to have dinner at the Venice Fishing Pier while waiting for sunset. Since it was mid-week, I thought there wouldn’t be much of a crowd. Well, I was wrong! What a zoo! We were able to grab a last table at Finn’s upstairs as nothing was available at Sharky’s on the lower level, who had a very long wait list. It was 6:00 mid-week! We took time at dinner and afterwards went down to the pier to scope out best angles for photos. It was only after the sun went down, that folks began to leave, clearing the beach. And in my opinion, the best time for photos.
I am such a rookie taking sunset photos with my big camera. Once I uploaded the photos at home, I was not pleased with any of them. The one above was salvaged with much editing (see notes below). I see that our Club has an upcoming field trip to the pier so I’m thinking of joining them and getting some tips on how to take sunset photos. I just hope it’s not as crowded!!
Photo: Nikon D810, Tamron 70-200, ISO 800, 1/13 sec at f/13, 70mm, Exp. Comp. -1.75 EV, Lightroom + Luminar edits
Snowy Egret, Anna Maria, FL
This fellow had a challenge on a breezy day balancing on a pier piling hoping to snatch some discards from a fish being cleaned on Rod and Reel Pier in Anna Maria. He was never lucky, though, as the fisherman tossed the remains to the pelicans below. For this week’s theme of “Balance” where the left and right halves of an image draw the eye equally, I used this image as an example of an ‘imbalanced’ image where the visual weight of the egret is on the left where your eyes are drawn primarily, with nothing on the right to counter the ‘imbalance’ of the photo. Had there been a fish in the egret’s mouth or another egret’s head popping up from the right lower corner would have helped put this image into a more balanced pose, making the difference of a great shot versus an average one as is this one.
Reticulated Giraffe at Water Hole, Lewa Wilderness Conservancy, Kenya
Before our safari, I was unaware that there were different varieties of giraffes. To me, they were all the same … beautiful, long-necked creatures. As I was searching for an image for this week’s ‘Rule of Odds’ (where an image is more appealing when there is an odd number of subjects), I thought this image of a mother, daughter and baby were a good example versus had it only been mother and baby. These are Reticulated Giraffes with their striking and crisp geometric patches, with males being darker as they age.
Below, although a nice image, I find not as interesting as the one above. But it does provide an example of the difference in giraffes. These are Masai Giraffe, whose irregular brown patches are on a yellow-buff background whereas the Reticulated Giraffes’ pattern is much more crisp. Just another little interesting fact I learned from our wonderful guides in Kenya.
Cheetah in the Masai Mara, South Western Kenya
We saw a number of these beautiful cats during our visit to Africa. The Cheetah, the world’s fastest land mammal, stalks its prey alone, getting as close as possible before attacking with a burst of speed, eventually tripping its prey and seizing it quickly by the throat in a suffocating grip. They immediately try to drag the carcass into cover to avoid scavenging hyenas, lions or jackals who will steal it from the cheetah. An interesting fact I was unaware of is that the cheetah’s tail terminates with a series of black rings and a white tip and that the tail rings are as unique as human fingerprints!
I used this image for Week 25’s Golden Ratio category which placed the cheetah’s head in the exact location of the beginning of the Fibonacci Spiral with the four squares. I actually use the Fibonacci Spiral frequently in the crop guide overlay in Lightroom. It is always helpful but sometimes I just go with my gut!
My backyard has two pine trees that stand high above others in the area. Because of its height, it provides a great view for avian predators on the hunt, such as bald eagles, hawks, owls and an occasional great blue heron. Early in the evening the other day, I kept hearing a “who-who” nearby so I grabbed my camera and went out to investigate. It took a few moments to find him, but there he was, high above me, staring down at me … a Great Horned Owl! And he wasn’t alone. There were two of them. I took a bunch of photos hoping for some decent shots since the light was fading and they could fly away at any moment. But it provided me an image for this week’s theme “View From Below”. Hope you enjoy!
My back yard in Lakewood Ranch.
One of the things I love about Florida are its beautiful sunsets. Each one is unique unto its self and oftentimes I am left in awe at such beauty. When we purchased our home two years ago in Lakewood Ranch, one of our criteria was to have sunset views. Before putting an offer in on our house, we asked our realtor to bring us back around sunset so we could evaluate the view. Well, as you can see from this image, we were not disappointed …. SOLD!
The above image was captured a few days ago with my iPhoneX and edited in Lightroom.