Once again, we traveled within Florida to find images to shoot. This time we went to Lake Okeechobee....all the way around it. I was amazed by the people who live there. It was a very productive day.
I was honored to be asked to shoot the portrait of P.A. Kessler, a wonderful watercolor artist. Please check out her work at pakessler.com. Here are a few of the images.
The photography group I belong to organized a model shoot at a place called Gallop Ville in Tampa, Florida. I had forgotten how much I enjoy shooting people. Here are a few from that day.
I haven't been posting as often as I had planned. I have been making images and been active in other ways. Here are a few artistic images that you may or may not like. Artistic images are not always what you might expect. Photographic art comes in many forms and goes well beyond the standard images seen in National Geographic!!! Here are some of my works of art....
In 1998, we took one the greatest adventures of my life. My sister and her boyfriend agreed to join us for a two week drive through France to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday. Little did we know that they would get married the day before the trip! We went on their honeymoon with them that wonderful month of May.
We only made reservations for the first few nights and the last 3 in Paris. The rest of the time we traveled without a firm destination, only a vague direction. It turned out to be a great way to see this unique country. We stayed in some beautiful towns at quaint hotels and never had a bad meal. I only wish my sister and brother-in-law were still alive so we could take another road trip. I've included a few "honeymoon" images for those that knew them.
Another excursion today with fellow photographers to downtown Tampa. We visited The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts which was a very inspiring place. I hope to exhibit there during a members show....as I am now a member!! This area of Tampa is wonderful. The Museum of Art is nearby as is The Straz Center for Performing Arts. It was a wonderful day. Here are a few inspired images.
Earlier this year we lost a brother. He went quickly, unexpectedly. We went to Arizona for a service and to spread his ashes. These are some of the images I saw while doing that.
We went to Colorado for a wedding over the Memorial Day weekend. I didn't take wedding pictures......not my thing. We did do a little scouting for a future photographic trip. At first we stayed in Boulder and explored the area on route 119 up to Nederland. What a beautiful drive. It was so nice to see and visit the mountains after the last four years in Flat Florida! We actually had to turn around at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park. The road was closed due to heavy snow and wind. I expect to go back, hopefully next year, and spend more time catching the early and late hour light.......
My photographic friend and I visited this wonderful place a couple of weeks ago. It was overcast with light rain off and on. For me, that equals perfect light. The people who run this place know how to create beautiful still lifes for photographers!!
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I've finally sat down and processed some of the images I've taken since my recovery. I'll start with the latest. This is a set of my new grandson, Gabriel. He was born on January 31st. I witnessed his birth. It will be the last one I actually see. The first had been his mother. She was kind enough to let me see my last grandchild enter the world. It was very exciting to see. Now I have a good model for the next few years!!! I'll try not to overdo baby shots in the future. I hope to improve my skills during each session I have with him.
Over the past nine years I have been cut by orthopedic surgeons 5 separate times. Each of these has required a rather long rehabilitation. I haven't posted recently because my right knee needed to be replaced. It was in terrible condition, I had put this off far too long. Now after 5 weeks I am finally feeling strong enough physically and mentally to restart my quest to become a fine art photographer.
I've had plenty of time to ponder my place in the "here and now". Recent events have certainly emphasized the short amount of time we are all allowed to have in this wonderful world. I am determined to make the most of my time! Hopefully, I will soon begin a new project that will drive my skills to a higher level. In the meantime, I offer you the final Hawaiian Island we visited in September. Here are my images of Kauai........
Lava, Lava everywhere....that was our first impression upon leaving the Kona airport. We soon broke out into sloping grassland that went from the ocean to the top of the ancient volcano. The old lava flows cut through in stripes of black and red.
This island has the greatest variety of climates and vegetation. In the rain forest there are towering Eucalyptus Trees walling the two lane roads. At the southern tip locals dive from the high cliffs for a photography crew that was filming them. Surfers catch huge waves on the southeast side. In the middle there is a huge cattle ranch that covers the grassy slopes and old volcanic cones. and is spectacular in the late golden hours.
We stayed at the beach on the Northwest side above Kona. This is the only island that I felt the need for more time to explore. Maui was wonderful and a place where I could easily live. Hawaii, is different. The people were even more laid back. The places to go were numerous and weather turned wonderful as the "Trades" finally kicked in......
Our bucket list is somewhat jumbled, but, we've always wanted to visit the Hawaiian Islands and see what true paradise is supposed to be! So when my Brother-In-Law called and asked if we wanted to meet him in Maui, we jumped at the idea. We figured 5 days on 3 different islands would quench our desire to soak up a little paradise.
Our first stop was Maui. We spent 5 days with our relatives here. I'll add the "Big Island" and Kauai in future posts. Maui was more than we could have expected. Rain forests, dormant volcanoes, fantastic coastline and wonderful residents. Our room was right on the beach with a south western view of Molakini and Kaho Olawe islands. We toured by car most of the time and took a bus tour on "The Road to Hana".
I've tried to stay away from the normal images that everyone takes on Maui. There are a few "postcard" shots. I apologize for that. My goal is to give you a taste of the lush countryside and a little bit of the wonderful culture.
This week I went to Manasota Key with a couple of good friends. The south end of the island ends at Stump Pass, which, is a perfect name. There were many dead trees and stumps on the beach that were sculpted by waves coming in from the gulf. It was a great place for long exposure photography.
I brought a new Sony A6000 camera with a Zeiss 16-70mm lens. Using a 10 stop filter, I took many shots. Most of these did not turn out because I had the wrong focus setting on the new camera. This is one of the reasons I chose to use only this camera that day. I needed to learn the camera settings before my upcoming trip to Hawaii.
My friends began the return hike before I did. They knew it was too hot to continue. I, however, wanted to shoot more of these beautiful stumps and stayed longer. Too much longer. By the time I began the hike back it was very hot, well into the 90's. At about the halfway point I had finished the last of my water and felt like I couldn't take another step.
I was lucky that a lovely couple saw my predicament and offered to take me back to the parking lot in their boat. The Universe was certainly tuned into my situation!!! I was in serious trouble and have no idea how I would have made it back without their assistance. Life is good in Florida, but, I may stay out of the afternoon sun for awhile.....
I just heard that one of my good friends is in the hospital getting a triple bypass this morning. It seems like my generation is slowly deteriorating. I'm alone this week as my lovely wife is vacationing with her friends in Destin, Florida. I don't mind being alone for awhile, but, I don't think I'd like it all the time. Yet I know that one of us will be alone sooner or later. The evidence that our time is getting shorter keeps hitting me in the face.
This week we ventured north of Tampa to a beautiful state park that was originally an amusement park in the late 30's and 40's. It is a beautiful natural spring that flows into a wonderful swimming area. Back in the 30's they created a number of small waterfalls, which, are all but nonexistent in Florida. It was one of the hotter days with 100% humidity. We were all soaking wet and exhausted after a hike around the park. From here we had to visit a village called Yankeetown. With a name like that, it had to be interesting for photographers.
We drove through Inglis and found Yankeetown flooded from the days storm. The road continued toward the coast and we followed it hoping for some coastal shots. We passed through coastal grasses that reminded me of Low Country Carolinas. The road ended on a small peninsula reaching into the gulf. There was no wind and the water was like glass. There were small islands everywhere and it looked like a wonderful place to kayak, and fish. We found the most beautiful location of our recent trips.
Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls.
I was lucky again last week. My good friend Shelly asked me to take a few pictures of another recording session. They were recording a track for his new jazz album. It's the second time I've been allowed to shoot one of Shelly's sessions. This time he had all new artists for a Brazilian inspired piece. They set up in an empty condominium. It was small and the lighting was terrible at best. I had to use either flash or very high film speeds to get the images. I don't yet have approval to show the faces, but, I do like some of the low light, high ISO shots. I hope you do too.
Just north of Sarasota across the Intracoastal Waterway from Anna Maria Island sits the little commercial fishing village called Cortez. There are a few restaurants and a couple of very good fish markets there. It is as Old Florida as it gets in this part of the state. There are old boats that have been bringing in the catch since the middle of the 20th century. The people that live there are as interesting as you'll find anywhere. I spent the morning near the Starfish Fish Market taking photos of things that caught my eye. I hope you enjoy them.