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.
I captured this Anhinga at Herons Nest Nature Park cleaning up and air-drying himself. Usually these guys are in the water swimming with just their neck and head showing, so it was nice to capture him drying out.
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!
Cormorant in Flight.
Next month we are headed to Africa in hopes of spotting the big five – lions, leopards, African elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalos. We’ve been to South Africa before, but this trip we will safari in Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa with a couple of other friends. On the previous trip, photography wasn’t my passion and as a result, the photos, were just so so. In anticipation of this trip, I have extensively Googled to death the camera gear I should take. We each have weight restrictions of 33lbs for carry ons on the small puddle jumpers we will be taking to each of the camps, so camera gear has to be minimal. I’d like to take two camera bodies and 3 lens so I’m not having to change lens in the dusty environment, but I’m still undecided. Right now I’m taking a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm but undecided between the 10-24mm or the 28-300mm.
I recently rented and tested the Nikon 80-400mm which would give me more reach but didn’t really see a remarkable difference from the 70-200mm when cropped in. Additionally, I found the 80-400mm a bit slow as you can see in the above photo when I tried to capture the cormorant in flight. It’s ‘SOOC (straight out of the camera)’ and you can see that it’s just not sharp enough. Of course, it could be the user!!! I’ve considered a teleconverter for the 70-200, so that’s my next test. I’d really like to take something in the 400mm to 500mm zoom range, but their weight really make them impractical for this trip, as well as their cost!
So fellow photographers, if you have any additional thoughts on gear, please share!
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.
Historic Spanish Point, Pioneer Boat Yard
A friend recently told me about Spanish Point in Osprey, and with the Holiday weather being awesome, we ventured down to explore it this past week. Through the years, the pioneer dwellings and prehistoric Indian remains have been preserved, along with the formal lawns and plantings and an actual Aqueduct. I enjoyed walking among the mangroves overlooking Little Sarasota Bay and taking in the serenity of this quiet oasis.
The original image was mediocre. So I went to work on ‘spiffing’ up the image, since I thought it represented the quiet solitude of Spanish Point. It was first edited in Lightroom using a Photomorphis texture and then over to Topaz Studio for some more edits. Hope you enjoy.
Sunset at Anna Maria Island.
One of our favorite places for sunsets is on the north end of Anna Maria Island. The sunsets are spectacular and the sugar white sands are an important habitat for an incredible array of wildlife. On many many occasions, we have shared evening sunsets with herons, sandpipers, ospreys, cranes, seagulls, skimmers, egrets and my favorite, pelicans. During various times of the day and year, you’ll see different species of shorebirds, sometimes hundreds, congregating at dusk for an evening feed.
What I always find fascinating, that at some point, as darkness nears, the congregation rise collectively and fly off to their evening roost, wherever that may be. I love that moment of unison against the setting sun.
(This was shot with an iPhone and edited in Snapseed. The sunburst was added with the LensLight app.)
Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
Yesterday, I joined some friends to view the Clyde Butcher exhibit at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. I most recently became aware of Butcher’s black and white nature scenes of Florida and instantly loved his work. Some call him the ‘Florida Ansel Adams’ and I agree. Butcher was approached by the folks at the Salvador Dali Museum to capture the rugged coastline of Dali’s homeland. Butcher spent 10 days in Spain in Dali’s childhood village of Cadaques, the Cap de Creus, Port Lligat and other parts of the Catalonian region. The results are striking with many 8-foot panoramas.
I couldn’t wait to get outside to capture the building’s beautiful design. It all ended up being a perfect theme for the ‘Geometric Shapes‘ assignment! I loved the reflections on the outside glass of trees and clouds and if you look closely, you can see the gift shop that lies behind.