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.

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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.