By Robert Stanhope
If my math is correct, I traveled to 20 states in 2022. Most of the travel was in a car. As I was sorting the 1000+ photographs taken this year, I decided to share some of my favorites, one from each month. Enjoy!
Heron's Nest Nature Park, Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Sarasota Cityscape, Sarasota, Florida
On a sandbar in the intercoastal waters near Anna Maria Island, Florida
Mystery Musician, Bradenton, Florida
Sunset at Siesta Key, Florida
Loggerhead turtle release on Anna Maria Island, Florida
From home, a gorgeous sky at sunset.
Somewhere in South Dakota
A morning walk at Celery Fields in Sarasota, Florida.
Wall decor in Austin, Texas
Car show in Sarasota, Florida
Reserved for live music.
I arrived at Siesta Key beach before sunrise. With just a hint of light as I stood in the soft white sand, I was inspired. The beach had been beautifully groomed during the overnight hours. I reached down to grab a handful of sand. The grain of the sand inspired me to bring grain to the photography of the day. The slideshow is of Siesta Key and Sarasota. Enjoy!
I photographed The Swan wedding a couple of weeks ago. The wedding was held at the beautiful Oaks at Devonshire in Arcadia, Florida. A native Florida landscape of live oaks provides a wonderful background to mix and match photos in black & white, spot color, and full color. It was my honor to capture the scenes of their big day and I wish them a lifetime of happiness.
The Florida Botanical Gardens are among the most beautiful in the state of Florida. I was honored when asked if they could feature one of my photographs from the venue in the Foundation's annual report. I didn't know which photograph they had chosen until I saw a finished copy of the report. The cardinal is my favorite bird. How did they know? Learn more about the gardens at this website. Visit the actual gardens when you can. You won't be disappointed.
These photographs are from my first visit to Hardee Lakes County Park in Bowling Green, Florida. I feel it's a hidden gem for the naturist and for landscape photographers. I only explored about half of the grounds, leaving me an opportunity to return. Enjoy!
The Bradenton Riverwalk offers a variety of views and sights along the Manatee River. There's plenty of room to walk, run, and ride a bicycle. These photographs are a small sample of what you'll see along a 1.5-mile walking route.
One of my landscape photographs, 'Around the Bend', has been published in Cadence 2020 on page ninety-eight. Cadence is the annual anthology published by the Florida State Poets Association. The photo was taken at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg, Florida. Copies can be purchased through Amazon.
We've been made aware of a few terms in the first months of 2020, social distancing, coronavirus, and shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders. These terms have unsettled our normal routines and lifestyles. If you're like me, I get a bit stir crazy after a couple of days indoors. I'm not under one of the orders at this time, but I've been staying at home to help slow the spread of the virus during a global pandemic. Every couple of days, I get in my car and drive. I don't typically stop anywhere. The change of scenery helps change my mood positively from a mild anxiety. I drive a convertible. Living in Florida, I'm able to drop the top and benefit from the Vitamin D exposure. I never know where I'll drive. Frankly, the destination doesn't matter. The journey clears my head and helps me focus on rest and renewal beyond the four walls that surround me during isolation.
I did make a stop today. The Bradenton Riverwalk had little foot traffic at the time I was passing the route. Good for maintaining social distance. I parked my car and walked the path along the Manatee River in Bradenton, Florida. As a photographer, I can't resist taking a photo. All I had on me for a camera was my Samsung smartphone, not the top of the line model either. I'm frugal when it comes to phones. Can I talk on it? Can I text? Can I do a Google search? Yes? Good enough for me. I clicked off a few scenes that I'm happy to share. I healed my mind and I'm back within the four walls for a couple of days.
Winter is a time of bird migration in Florida. Here are just a few photos from less than an hour of walking through Perico Preserve in Bradenton, Florida.