Wednesday, December 31, 2008


For some reason, I've always been fascinated by these little Spatterdocks and Waterlilies in general. I like the diagonal composition in this image, and it's all I can really say about it.

I found this little Spatterdock at Sawgrass Lake Park when I went there the other day. They normally aren't in bloom this time of year and there were quite a few in bloom.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rat Snake

As promised 2 blogs ago, this is the image of the Rat Snake I got. He's about 2 1/2 feet long--they grow to about 5 feet and he was just crossing the boardwalk in front of me.

Rat Snakes are constrictors and crush their prey before they eat it. They prefer small birds and rodents. They're coloring differs depending on where in Florida they're found. This race (yellow with 4 black stripes) is the most common and can be found throughout the peninsula. In the Panhandle, they are gray with white blotches and no stripes, and in the Everglades, they are orangish with faint stripes.

By the way, if you noticed my new bio picture, it was taken by my boss, Michelle Alfonzo. I think she did a great job.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Red-shouldered Hawk

As promised, here is the photo of the Red-shouldered Hawk. I like the way he seems to be looking down his nose (beak) at me, like he's so superior.

I would've missed him if someone on the trail didn't point him out to me. He was right at eye level sitting on this branch. That's a place we never think to look for birds, since they're usually overhead.

With the way I love to take photos of birds, I have a hard time splitting my view between up in the trees and down on the ground. This guy was easy. I can't believe he just stayed there and let me make all the photos I wanted. He didn't seem afraid or bothered at all.

He sure is a beauty.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today was my day!

Wow! Today was my day for photos! This afternoon I got an amazing shot of a Red-shouldered Hawk close-up then I got a shot of Rat Snake; both shots were made at Sawgrass lake Park. I usually don't go out in mid-afternoon shooting because the lighting is too harsh and the wild life isn't moving around, but today I just felt the need to go out for awhile, not expecting to see a thing because of the time.

The Red-shouldered Hawk was just sitting in a tree eye-level and sat right there letting me make all the photos I wanted. About 10 minutes later, a Rat Snake crossed the boardwalk directly in front of me. It was the first Rat Snake I've ever seen in the wild.

Tonight, about 10 minutes ago, I was outside and saw something white move on the electrical wire right in my front of me. It was pitch black and I couldn't tell what it was, so I got my camera attaching my long zoom and a flash hoping I'd get a better look.

It was so dark, the lens wouldn't focus on auto-focus, so I focused manually on the wire. I still didn't know what it was. I was hoping it would be in focus enough to tell what is was. To my surprise, the focus was nearly perfect and I caught this Eastern Screech Owl. He only stood still long enough for me to get 4 shots; this was the only one full face. I've only seen an owl in the wild twice before in my life. This one is very special.

I'll post the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Rat Snake at a later date. Watch for it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas in Straub Park, St Petersburg, FL

Every year I look forward to the Christmas lights in Straub Park, in downtown St Petersburg. Last year, due to budget cut-backs the lights were scaled down a bit. This year, they were scaled down so much that they were no longer such a big deal.

It's so sad to see everything around us just falling apart. These times certainly are tough! Hopefully, for us all, my Christmas wish is that things will
turn around quickly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

White Ibis Fighting in the Air

I went to Lowry Zoo today with my friends, Kathy, Gary and Frank. I was lucky enough to spot these two Ibis fighting in the air.

I just held the shutter button down and hoped I caught them. What a surprise when I saw this image!

The squabble didn't last very long, but it was exciting to watch them. Nothing became of it. They just landed and each went their own way.

It's really something; I have flocks of White Ibis in my yard all day, and I go to the zoo to photograph them. :) Actually, we went to the zoo today because it was the first day the baby White Tiger cubs were outside. They're about 2 months old. The mother had a female and male. This shot is of one of them.

You can see the mother here: Aren't they just adorable?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is a very old fountain found on the wall of the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, Tampa, FL. If you click on the photo, you can see the amazing detail and all the work that went into creating this fountain.

Throughout Ybor City, one can find some amazing Cuban relics and ornate decor from beautiful mosaic tiles along with sculptured stonework and fountains like this one.

We had a meetup on Monday to do an Ybor City walk-around. For Florida, the weather was quite chilly (60 deg. F)--especially for this time of year. Yet, 23 members showed up for the walk. We split into groups of 5 or 6 and wandered around the city looking to photograph anything we spotted that might be interesting. For me, the most interesting thing I noticed is that the streets were virtually empty. Ybor is one of the busiest places I can think of in the area. The night life is usally blazing with crowds out having a good time.

Most of you from the North would think that 60 deg. is fairly warm, but with us surrounded by water, it really is very chilly. I can remember my daughter visiting one April from upstate NY and it was about 64 deg. F. She was so cold, she went out and bought some sweats to wear. She couldn't believe how cold 64 could feel when we're so close to water.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turk's Cap

This was taken in my back yard. The red and green remind me of Christmas.

Turk's Caps are strange flowers. They look like Hibiscus that haven't opened yet. The stamen look the same and the petals have the same texture as Hibiscus, yet they never open. These are fully in bloom.

The shrub is getting a bit out of hand and for some reason, the limbs are weak. We're going to have to prune it back quite a bit and I wanted to get some photos before we do it. I wish I knew what was causing this. I've never seen another shrub have this problem; and these are all over Florida. They're native and grow wild.

Turk's Caps have no fragrance and are not bothered by Deer. Hummingbirds love them, however.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cockle Shell

Do you remember the little nursery rhyme about what little girls and boys are made of? Have you ever wondered what Cockle shells are. Well, wonder no more. This is a genuine, Florida Cockle shell.

If you've been following my blog, you know I've been spending a lot of time on the beaches of Ft. Desoto lately trying to capture the elusive sun rising between the spans of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

After the sunrise is over, I leave East Beach for one of my favorite spots for capturing birds at North Beach. Ft Desoto is one of the best places to create awesome bird shots, and this time of year is perfect. It's not too hot, there are few people on the beach this early in the morning; mostly other photographers with the same idea and a few people just walking the beach for exercise.

North Beach was voted the #1 beach by Dr. Beach in 2005. This beach is pristine with its fine (as talc) white sand, beautiful sand dunes dot all around the beach and a gorgeous lagoon situated between the main beach and a little island or key. The key has a sand bar leading up to it that during low tide, one can walk right onto it to explore its beauty. Part of the key is a protected nesting site for both native and migrating birds, so we need to be careful not to go too far towards the end of key; however, the conservation area is well marked. We also need to carefully watch the tide coming in. It's not bad though, since it's a short distance if the tide covers the sand bar. The lagoon is only about 4 ft. deep at the deepest spot and Florida water rarely dips below 71 deg. F. Worse comes to worse, one can walk or swim back to the mainland.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Redding Egret

This was taken while it was still pretty foggy out the morning we tried to catch the sunrise.

Of all the Egrets and Herons in Florida, these are probably the least commonly seen. You'd never guess that if you were on North Beach in Ft Desoto lately. There are so many of them.

This one seemed like he was too lazy to hunt for food. I think he figures if he stands there long enough the waves might bring in a snack or two.

I never knew that birds didn't come out in the fog--or so it seems that way. I don't know if it's true, but there were only a few birds on the beach until the fog finally lifted. Then, all the birds started flying in. It was a little too late for us, though, because by the time the birds flew in the lighting was too harsh to photograph them.

I imagine that's life. We can't predict the weather no matter how good the weathermen try to be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I went to Busch Gardens again; this time in pursuit of a Chimpanzee photo that one of my stock agencies was looking for. Unfortunately for me, the Chimp never struck the pose the art director was looking for (head and shoulders profile with hand on chin, like he was thinking).

I did get some great shots anyway--especially of this magnificent Gorilla. I was standing next to 3 other female photographers and this Gorilla posed for us for a good 15 minutes or so. As you can see, he was looking right at the camera and kept changing positions as if he was modeling. I swear any minute, his keeper was going to ask us for a modeling fee.

Once he got tired of showing off, he moved to the side of his habitat where he's separated from the people by some thick glass. I'm sooooo glad that glass was thick! Someone in the crowd ticked him off--big time. Just as we were trying to inch our way up front for more shots of this amazingly powerful Gorilla, he spotted something in the crowd he didn't like. He walked back a few steps, then charged at the glass. I was so glad that glass held him because he wasn't a very happy camper. Get a look at those forearms!

Monday, November 10, 2008

North Beach, Ft Desoto

This beach is so beautiful and Sunday morning we had the prettiest clouds! It was cool, breezy and very dry. One of the best days we've had since the hot summer.

The sand dunes are planted for conservation. They help keep the sand from eroding. Keeping our beaches in shape like this is a lot of work and very expensive.

This is North Beach at Ft Desoto in Tierra Verde, FL. In 2005 it was rated #1 beach by Dr. Beach. You can see why in this image.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Herring Gull

This Herring Gull had just landed on the beach at North Beach in Ft. Desoto, in Tierra Verde, FL. My friend and I headed to North Beach right after watching the sunrise on East Beach.

I went to Ft Desoto this morning chasing the sunrise again. It was another incredible sunrise. It rose right between the spans after we moved to catch it there. It's still coming up a bit left, so with a little luck we'll still be able to photograph it between the spans for another week.

Friday's my day off, so I'll be giving it one more shot (not pun intended).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

African Crowned Crested Crane

This is one of my favorite zoo birds--even if I can't say its name 3 times fast. I took this shot at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL, but I've also seen them at Lowry Zoo in Tampa as well.

I just love that crest and those pink cheeks. You can't see it in this photo, but his pupil is lined with a pretty aqua color.

Here is a full-size photo of him showing off his beautiful plumage. In this image, you can see why I think they're so beautiful. They don't have much of a fear of humans, though. Although, I've never been to Africa, so I can't say how much they're really afraid of humans. Most zoo animals are pretty much used to us from seeing us on a daily basis.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Sunday, I went to Busch Gardens with a couple of friends and had a great time. It's been taking a while to go through all the photos I took--especially since I've been playing around with Lightroom 2 and trying to make up my mind if I want to stick with Lightroom and give up ACDSee Pro 2 for organizing and quick editing of my photos.

It's a tough decision, since I've been using ACDSee Pro for years so I'm comfortable with it, and I'm new to Lightroom, so it's a bit more difficult to use for me, and I'm not sure of the organizing, so it's really slowing me down.

Enough about my problems with my software. This Chimpanzee looked so sad sitting against that tree. I can't help wondering what was making him look that way. They're so cute. I think he's a little older than most of the ones we usually see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Daybreak, Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Yet another trip to check where the sun would rise. I'll be doing this until I catch the sun rising right between the spans of this bridge.

This morning, though, I got a very pleasant surprise. I also caught the moon setting. In all the times I've been here, I've never seen the moon set over the bridge. It made me happy I didn't opt to sleep in today.

This image was taken from the turn-around on East Beach at Ft Desoto Park in Tierra Verde, FL.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Sunrise Check Up #2

We went over to check up on the position of the sun as it rises yesterday. This first one is a look at it in total darkness.

The next shot was taken at dawn.

The third shot, almost at sunrise. And finally, the sun rose. It still isn't between the spans, but I'll be going back to check it on Monday. Hopefully, it'll be a bit closer.

In 2006, it rose between the spans on Dec. 2nd, and in 2007 the date was Nov. 15th. It appears that it's about 2 weeks earlier every year.

It only lasts for about 2 days, so we have little chance to catch it until we have to wait another year to try it again.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sawgrass Lake Park Pond

Today I started another self-assignment with my group. The challenge is to produce 3 photos of the same subject that are totally different. It wasn't as easy as I thought, but it sure gets you thinking before composing.

These are my first 3 compositions. I took them of the little pond at Sawgrass Lake Park, which is less than a mile from my house. It's going to be interesting to see what I can come up with for the next 6 days. So far, I'm the only one who has posted anything. We'll see how many join the challenge.

All three images were taken of the same pond. I took the first and second ones using my wide-angle lens (18-55mm). For the last one, I used my telephoto (75-300mm) lens. I also changed my angle of view. I was standing when I took the first shot and sitting on the ground for the second. I believe I was standing for the 3rd shot.

Tell me what you think by leaving a comment.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron was just at the end of my fence under a tree when he spotted me trying to get a shot of him. Just as I was about to give up because he kept moving further and further behind the tree, he moved. I got really lucky because he moved to the stump just in front of the house with no tree cover.

I made the shot and for some reason, he didn't mind me being there--or he didn't see me, because he never moved at all.

Little Blue Herons and Tricolored Herons are similar in color except the Tricolored Herons (a.k.a. Louisiana Heron) have a bit more maroon color and have a pure white chest and neck. They are quite a bit smaller than the Great Blue Herons that we're used to seeing. These smaller herons are a bit more skittish than the Great Blue Herons as well.

Taken in my backyard at Joe's Creek, in St Petersburg, FL.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Muscovy Duckling

This cute little guy is one of 5 ducklings that hatched from a nest behind my Amaryllis plants in my backyard.

He's about a month old now. There were 12 originally, but the 'gators and/or hawks got the other 7. These little ducklings and their mother still come into the yard to rest out of the sun. As you can see, they have absolutely no fear of me.

This is one of 3 broods that were hatched here this season. The first set were originally 17 born in July. Only 4 remain and they're almost as big as their mother. The other set also has 4 out of 11. They're about the same age as these guys. It appears they all have the same father.

All the sets had one pure yellow duckling. In the one hatched in July, the yellow one has a pure white neck and breast. The two younger yellow ones are beginning to get their darker feathers now and I believe they'll also have white neck and breasts.

It's so much fun watching them grow. I can't believe how fast they grow up. The mother will stay with them probably for 2 1/2 months before she leaves them. The 4 who were hatched in July still stay together. I'm waiting to see how long they do that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ft Desoto Sunset and Fisherman

This was one of the most incredible sunsets I've seen in a long time--even the birds cooperated.

This was taken during a workshop with my friend, Jim Sykes, on sunsets and moon rises. We went to one of my favorite places, Ft Desoto in Tierra Verde, FL. We started at the old fort, than as soon as the sunset faded, we headed for East Beach to catch the moonrise.

East Beach is still in Ft Desoto about 3 or 4 miles to the east. We were hoping to catch the full moon rise between the spans of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, but it rose a bit to the left of the bridge. I think I'll be going back once a month to try to catch the full moon rising between the spans. With a little luck, I won't forget about it and not go.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vinoy Basin

Today I went to a meetup/workshop for using off-camera flash. During the workshop, while waiting for my turn to shoot the model, I noticed this amazing light and beautiful clouds and just had to take a shot.

The condos in the mid-ground are the Vinoy Condos. They're just to the right of the famous 5-star Renaissance Vinoy Hotel here in St Petersburg, FL. The water is a little inlet on Tampa Bay where a few sailboats are moored. Just in front of the condos is the Vinoy Marina, the hotel's own private marina. Out of the photo, further to the right is The Pier.

Oh yes, I did finally get my chance to shoot the model. You may see her photo at a later date.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle was at Lowry Zoo. He's there because I believe he's blind in his other eye and can't be released out into the wild. I had to wait quite a while before I could get his picture with his good eye showing.

There are 2 Bald Eagles in the exhibit. I don't know what's wrong with the other one, but they're both equally beautiful.

I like the position of his head in this shot. It more closely resembles the portrait of the Bald Eagle as our nation's symbol.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, please visit my website here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diamondback Rattler

Ever get a really close look at a Diamondback Rattler's fangs? Well, here's one for you.

Before any of my kids read this a get too excited, this particular one was just yawning and it was in Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. There are plenty of Diamondbacks here in Florida, and I see a few a year, but I'm not crazy enough to tempt one and get this close--even with my longest lens.

I had a great day at the zoo with a few of my friends from my photo group. We all got some outstanding shots during our visit.

I don't like faking zoo shots for live (in the wild shots) and feel photographers should be honest enough to tell the truth when their photograph was taken in a zoo.

Even though zoo photos are so much easier to get, and it's the only place that one can get more species than they'll see in a lifetime in the wild, I miss the hunt. I think that's the biggest thrill for me--the hunt--then the capture (photographically). Although, some things like this one are nearly impossible to get without putting yourself in harm's way.

If you like my work, please comment; if you'd like to see more, visit my website by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ukranian Catholic Church

I don't know how come I never saw this church before. Way back in the '80s when I was still living in CT, I worked for the Manchester Evening Herald. It no long exists unfortunately. It was a nice local paper featuring local news.

My beat at the paper was women's news and the Sunday church news. Every week I had to feature one of the area churches. I really enjoyed this part of my job, because it allowed me to be more creative.

As you can see, I still love to photograph beautiful churches. This one is no exception. I really like the spires on the top with the crosses atop them.

Excellent architecture and the stained glass is amazing. Gorgeous scenes were depicted on each side of the church.

If you like my work, please leave a comment. If you'd like to see more, please visit my website here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Northshore Daybreak

One of the best things about living in Florida is the beaches as we all know. I live about 5 miles of Northshore Park which is on the banks of Tampa Bay.

Saturday, a couple friends and I went to the park to check out the sunrise. We didn't have much of a sunrise, but daybreak was awesome, as you can see here.

Northshore is in St Petersburg and runs just adjacent to downtown and across from The Pier. Since St Petersburg's beginning, The Pier has always been the place for everyone to meet, shop, enjoy the sunrise, beaches and everything else that goes along with being in a tourist area. The Pier juts out into the bay for about 1/4 mile. It's an inverted pyramid design and the third pier built since St Petersburg was founded.

I hope you are enjoying my blog. If so, please let me know by entering a comment. If you'd like to see more of my work, check out my website here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Panoramic

This is daybreak at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tierra Verde, FL. It spans between St Petersburg and Sarasota, FL.

It's span is 5.5 miles with a vertical clearance of 193 feet and the world's longest bridge with a cabled main span. Building began in 1982, and after a cost of $244 million dollars, it was dedicated in 1987. The bridge was built to replace the old structure after the freighter, MV Summit Venture collided with the original structure in 1980 sending over 1200 feet plunging into Tampa Bay killing 35 people.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, visit my website here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Daybreak East Beach, Ft Desoto

Daybreak, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2007 on East Beach, Ft Desoto in Tierra Verde, FL.

This image was taken the same day, but a little earlier than the Sunshine Skyway Sunrise photo I posted previously. In the distance you can see the light trails from cars traveling onto and off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The sky was amazing this morning. It's rare to see clouds first thing at daybreak. I like the pink color near the horizon. This is one of my favorite spots right at the end of the turn-around to photograph the bridge. If I had waited a bit after sunrise, I could've photographed the birds coming in to feed. Unfortunately, I had to leave to go to work.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, please visit my website by clicking here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Every year the sun rises between the spans of this bridge for only 2 days. The problem is, we never know which 2 days it is. In 2006, it rose between the spans on Dec. 2nd and in 2007, it was on Nov. 15th.

So, every year I start going to my favorite spot to check it out and try to guess when it's going to rise perfectly in the center of the spans.

I went out this morning and it's not even close, so I'll check it in about a month. However, we had some really nice clouds at daybreak when I captured this image.

It's too bad the bridge is being painted because the spans aren't lit up. It's so beautiful lit up. It'll be a while before it gets done, so it looks like it won't be lit this year when I finally catch it in the right place once again.

If you'd like to see a larger image, just click on the image.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, you can check out my website by clicking here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

John's Pass

John's Pass on Madeira Beach in Florida is a tough shoot, but with a little patience and a whole lot of walking and looking around, one can find some pretty terrific shots.

This is not an actual lighthouse, I don't think; but it's atop the Friendly Fisherman restaurant. In order to get this view from above, I went to a competing restaurant higher up on the boardwalk and went up to the roof of the parking garage.

It's a unique view, and one I didn't know about until a waitress in one of the many eateries on the boardwalk saw my camera and told me about it. That was an excellent tip!

It was pretty hazy out that day, and we all went up there to capture the sunset on Madeira Beach, but it was so hot, no one wanted to wait the extra hour. We all took what we got for images and left fairly quickly. I think it was something like 92 deg. F, if I can remember correctly. This was shot in mid August which is hot anywhere in the states at that time of year.

If you like my work, please leave a comment. If you'd like to see more, visit my website by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly

I found this dragonfly just sitting on the sidewalk as I was leaving work. I was particularly interested in the detail of his "saddlebags".

These Carolina Saddlebags dragonflies are the only dragonfly found worldwide and very common; yet, I believe this is the first one of this variety I've seen. Maybe it's because they are almost constantly moving and I was lucky enough to catch this one at rest.

This image was taken with my compact Canon Powershot A560. It's a 7.1 MP camera I carry around in my bag just so I don't get caught without a camera when I run across something like this. Although it doesn't have the control my DSLR has, it doesn't do a bad job capturing images.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more visit my website by clicking here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Osprey in my Tree

This one is the most elusive, hard to photograph bird I've ever photographed. He perches in this tree overlooking the river behind my house whenever he's hungry. For over 2 years I've been trying to photograph him but have rarely got a really good one.

It seems he's learned the chimes on my door from my alarm. As soon as he hears the chimes, he checks to see if I have my camera. Then he does one of two things. If I have my camera, he lets out a couple of screeches to let me know he's seen me and takes off across the lake. If I don't have my camera he buzzes my head and goes back up to the tree.

The only way I can catch him is if I go out my front door and walk all around the house while I keep really low and be careful to hide behind trees, my shed or whatever I can think of. Then once I think I'm close enough, I quickly come out, capture my image and he takes off. I only get 1 shot if I'm lucky and I have to be quick. This is the result of one of the lucky shots.

I think I like the hunt as much as getting the photograph. :)

If you like my work, please comment; if you'd like to see more, visit my website here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sea Oats

Sea Oats are one of the most beneficial weeds here in Florida. In fact, they are so beneficial the state of Florida has protected them.

They are cultivated and used in sand dunes to control beach erosion. The coastal cities of Florida spend millions of dollars every year replenishing sand lost to our many hurricanes. Most communities have tried to solve that problem by building sand dunes to prevent sand loss.

The hurricane season takes its toll on most of Florida each and every year. This year, we've had a couple damaging hurricanes already and the hurricane season isn't over yet. It still has 2 months to go.

So far this year I've been pretty lucky. I live in St Petersburg, which is a peninsula off the mainland on the central west coast. We haven't taken a direct hit as yet. Hopefully, we'll finish off the rest of hurricane season without too much damage.

When visiting Florida on your vacation please remember not to disturb our sand dunes, don't pick the Sea Oats, and don't feed the birds or alligators. Enjoy our state, come visit and leave nothing behind but footprints.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Immature Muscovy Ducks

It's amazing how quickly these little guys can grow. These 3 Muscovy Ducks were just hatched about 2 months ago and already they're nearly as big as their mother.

Every time one of the hens has another brood I'm excited and sad at the same time. This brood started out as 17 hatchlings. These 3 are the only ones left that the 'gators didn't eat. It sure is a cruel world out there. Thank goodness we're at the top of the food chain. As a mother, it makes me sad, but every creature on earth is here for a reason, and to quote another cliche, only the strong survive.

The hens are so proud when these little guys are hatched. They bring them right over to my yard to show them off. They know no one here is going to hurt them. The duckling in the middle with the white chest was the only all yellow duckling in the brood. Actually, it's the only all yellow Muscovy duckling I've ever seen. He got his dark feathers as quickly as his brothers and sisters, but I never expected a white chest. Maybe mom met a traveling salesman just passing through. :)

If you've never seen a Muscovy, they're not very pretty ducks, but they make up for it by being so friendly. They show absolutely no fear of humans. Maybe it's because of their size. I don't really know for sure. They don't quack or make any noise, either. The drakes have this very low air sound, while the hens sound a lot like a hatchling; just a soft whistling sound. They're really quiet.

I've watched them communicate with one another and they seem to have conversations with their head, tails and neck. They face one another and move their necks in and out while bobbing their heads and wiggling their tales. It's pretty interesting and funny to watch them.

Another hen just hatched a small brood of 5 in my Amaryllis bed. So far, they're all together but I don't know for how long. I know those 'gators are just waiting around the corner for a nice duckling dinner. :(

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, please visit my website here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Baptist Church

While out after the class on Tuesday we spotted this church and couldn't remember ever seeing it lit up like this before. The lights kept changing colors and it looked so beautiful, we just had to stop and capture the beautiful color with these lights.

We were all standing across the street trying to get the best vantage point to show it off, when these 2 guys with masks on came over and asked what we were doing. It turned out that this is a project they're doing just for fun. They call themselves the "Light Bandits" and identify themselves only as Light Bandit #1 and Light Bandit #2. It seems they will be picking an unknown place around town to light up once a week. They are featured on You Tube and have a My Space site as well. You can find them on My Space here.

I gave them my card and asked them for a link to their site and let them know we'll send on the photos that we took to them for their project.

The red and white streaks on the street in front of the church are the results of cars traveling by the church captured with a slow shutter speed.

If you like my work, please comment. If you'd like to see more, please visit my website here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tampa Skyline Pano & Explosion

Last night I attended another class with Jim Sykes. This time it was on night photography and skylines.

This shot is of the Tampa skyline as seen from Davis Island. Eight of us took the class and learned a lot of new tricks and techniques. We experimented with doing several zoom explosions which, at best were interesting.

This explosion was taken from the same spot. I used a 30 second exposure and zoomed in during the last half of the exposure. Of the different tries, I like this one the best. The splashes of colors is what attracted me to this one.

If you like my work, please comment--even if you don't like it, I'd like to hear what you think.

If you'd like to see more of my work, please visit my website here.

Gary Shoots the Sunset

My club has been so active lately, it's nearly impossible to keep up. Our regular Monday night shoot this week was at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, FL.

After walking the trails and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, we went out on the beach to photograph the sunset. With hurricane Ike being so wide, it has caused some incredible sunsets with beautiful waves out on the Gulf.

This is one of my friends and fellow club member, Gary. He's all set up for a beautiful sunset shot. We all got some incredible shots on Monday. This is just one of them.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

EarthDance 2008

Saturday, a few of my friends and I participated in the 2008 EarthDance in Safety Harbor. The event was simulcasted in 300 cities and 42 countries by Verizon. EarthDance was held as a dance for peace in conjunction with the many activities commemorating 9/11.

We had an art and photography booth there and I donated a free location portrait.

I originally got into photography seriously when my children were into dance, gymnastics and drum corps. I wanted to be able to take great photos of them to have for a lifetime. Well, due to too many moves, I no longer have the photos I took, but I still have the memories.

In addition to my photography courses, I also took a specialized course called, "Action, Dance and Sports". This is the first time I've had a chance to photograph dance since my kids grew up. I guess I haven't forgotten all that I learned. I was pretty happy with the way these turned out--especially since they were taken at night, handheld, outside on a portable stage. Lucky for me I was able to get close enough that I could use my fast lens.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Patriotic Sisters

These two sisters were all dressed up to participate in the 2008 9-11 Peace Walk in Safety Harbor, Florida, to honor the lost souls from the 9/11 World Trade Towers incident. They walked a mile with their parents after attending a ceremony which included fire-fighters from Safety Harbor who worked at Ground Zero. The looks on their little innocent faces said it all for me.

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