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.
Each time I visit this preserve, I try to view it from a different perspective. With each head turn, squat, and lighting change, this preserve takes on a new appeal, like an ever-changing chameleon. While I'n sharing a mix of color and black & white images, black and white was screaming! That's not a shocker to those of you that have been following along. Nature preserves, like Perico, are best shown in a simplified image. The textures and shadows enhance the story.
After living in Manatee County, Florida now for four and a half years, I've heard year after year that I must attend the Manatee County Fair. Well, I finally attended last evening. I, along with my wife, entered the Arts & Crafts competition along with 100s, maybe even over 1000 others. She entered a crochet collection of Winnie the Pooh Characters in a basket. I'm proud to say we found a first place blue ribbon on that entry as we walked through the Arts & Crafts building.
I was presently surprised to find that there was a blue ribbon on one of my photography entries, "Downtown Blues" (shown below). I entered two other photos that also received runner-up honors. It's quite humbling to put your work before the public.
Needless to say, we walked the rest of the fair with smiles on our faces, We reminisced the old days when we walked, holding hands, the many fairs of New Hampshire in the fall. There was a bit of a chill in the air last night, but nothing to compare to September evening in the north.
Industrial isn't typically my style, but black & white is my favorite. I captured this scene in Apollo Beach, Florida while visiting the area to document the migration of manatees to warm waters generated by this power station. I won Photo of the Day from Florida Center for Creative Photography for this image on November 29, 2018.
Starting June off right, I was up before the sun, grabbed my camera and was off to Anna Maria Island. If you've been following along with my posts, you know that this is one of my favorite places to shoot. This morning's photos reflect my enthusiasm. I feel like the scenes paint themselves and that I'm there to capture the ever-changing artwork. Enjoy this small sampling from more than a 100 photos taken. If there is anything that captures your interest and you would like to see a photo displayed in your home, or office, just contact me and we'll discuss options.
The natural morning light always helps produce the best photography. On this early morning, I decided to use it to my advantage while shooting these black and white photos. The contrast is spectacular. I love the turquoise waters in the Gulf of Mexico. That can never be taken away. That said, I'm quite excited with these black and white photos of the beach, taken with my Samsung smartphone. They have a retro-postcard feel that is quite appealing. All captures in this series were taken at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island in Florida.
An early rise on a Saturday normally means that I'm off to Anna Maria Island. Today, was a perfect example. I woke up after a great night of rest, grabbed the camera bag, and was off in the dark. I was hoping to catch a beautiful sunrise, but the clouds were too think as daylight broke. So, I decided to shift gears and go with monochrome. This is one of my favorite formats. The crisp contrasts make the photos pop! Strolling for almost two hours along Coquina Baywalk and the beach, I clicked off 250 pictures. Here's a small sample for your viewing pleasure.
I don't normally go out for midday photography shoots in Florida. But, today was such a beautiful Spring day that I was drawn away from the desk when my writing slowed a bit. I drove over to Perico Preserve in Bradenton where there is some shade built into the trail. There weren't as many birds as there typically are in the early morning hours. Instead, I found other things with wings willing to pose for the camera. Understand, most of the creatures you see in these photos never stay still for long. I felt quite fortunate that they did today. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.