didn't stay at a resort either. I stayed at an 'afterthought' of a Motel. The Key Largo Moose Lodge.
It all started with a wonderful evening planned with a group from the South Florida National Parks Camera Club. A member and his wife, Judy and Merv Waldman, invited the club to their house in Key Largo for hors d'oeuvres and a sunset. I decided to make a night of it and get a room in one of the local hotels. Unfortunately I waited until the last minute to book and found out most rooms were sold out or extremely expensive. Then I remembered the Moose Lodge in Key Largo has rooms. I took a chance and they had ONE room left. I took it. Under $100, I was happy.
Now, harmless as this looks, and it was, the room was very spartan, but good enough to sleep in. I don't need a dance hall. When I checked in I was told that my room was in demand. In hindsight, I kind of wished I would have let the other guy have it. The A/C had not cooled off the room yet. I was hoping they had just turned it on and would be cool when I returned. I left to go to the store to get provisions for later in the night and for drinks, and when I returned, it still had NOT cooled off. I then hoped it would be cool by the time I returned from the Waldman's later that evening.
So I ordered my Uber from the app and away I went to the Waldman's house. My big ole camera backpack and tripod, purse, and non-iced cooler. I always bring too much stuff and not enough of what I wanted. I should have brought water, and lots of it. It was HOT! Temp earlier on my drive down was 100°F! I sat and chatted a bit with others. Judy had a spread of food that would rival the kings! But, I wasn't hungry. I had a late lunch because, I'm late for everything, I'll be late for my own funeral. You watch! I left the house later than I wanted, I arrived later than I wanted, I had no time to do what I wanted when I arrived. All because I was late. Story of my life. Anyway...
I found a spot off their back deck and did a few rounds of time-lapse. Lots of billowy clouds rolling by. Jet-skis, speeding boats, people moving about, great for time-lapse.
Then I chatted it up with a few members. So relaxing, and HOT, but still very nice. It was great when a nice breeze would blow through the palms.
Again and again, I scanned the landscape looking for a good composition. I kept eyeing up the jetty to the right and hoped I could scurry off over to that property to photograph the sunset, but alas, it was not in the cards. Besides, all of these properties are fenced off. Very restricting to us photographers used to just roaming wherever we want. Perhaps during the week I'd be able to sneak off over there, but not today!
But, another composition revealed itself to me.
I thought maybe sitting on that little side pier shown in the above photo, but that was down too low. So I scurried on up under the tiki. Took a few test shots. All vertical of course. I could have sworn I took one in landscape orientation, but nope, I did not. Must have been distracted. Could you imagine how distracted I'd have been if I had been drinking? Phew!
This one turned out to be my most favorite of the night. I loved the reflection from the hazy sun on the tile bar. Oh well. I made due with what I had.
The sunset was less than spectacular. A bunch of clouds were accumulated at the horizon and we only viewed a wisp of the orange ball dropping. But what came after was a sight for the magenta lovers in all of us. Eat your heart out Serge Ramelli!
I suspect the best sunsets at this location are right at the summer solstice, the furthest north the sun sets. Tonight's was about a month off. From June 17th to June 23rd is the northern-most sunset at 296.5 degrees. On July 21st it was at 293.0 degrees. Not much of a difference, but enough that it would likely land just a bit further to the right of where it is shown above.
Either or, it was a beautiful night. Good friends, good food, good company and a beautiful sunset.
Back to the room I went. When I arrived it still had not cooled off. I was not happy. But, there wasn't much I could do about it. I just did what my Mom used to tell me when I was a kid and didn't want to take a nap, just lie still. I tried, but seeing the big palmetto bug so big I had to "let it out" the door earlier, didn't help. I kept imagining bugs were crawling all over me. It wasn't a comfortable night. I did see the SpaceX rocket blast off from Canaveral on my Space App. That was around 2am. Around 3am I noticed that it was actually getting cooler, finally. I was still lying above the covers. I finally fell asleep between 3 and 4 and woke before my 5:30 alarm. I know I was sleeping because of all the drool on my pillow. LOL
Well, up is up, I got out of bed and got a jump on getting to my sunrise spot. I packed up and headed out by 6am. When I made it to the Murray Nelson Government Center there was a pretty dark cloud above and it was spewing a lightning bolt or two. I decided against getting out to photograph anything and headed back north. I saw a spectacular sunrise over the big Jewfish Creek bridge (bridge over Lake Surprise), unfortunately, I couldn't pull over to shoot it. Lots of really neat places to photograph on the 18-Mile Stretch, if it wasn't for the fence of course. I'll have to do a little more Google Map investigating, but I found a few neat places to photograph in the future.
Got home around 7am, plopped my stuff in my room and proceeded to download all of my masses of images. With 3 sets of 400 image time-lapse rounds, I had a LOT of photos to download. Thank heavens it was an easy edit and sync. Then the exporting and importing back to Photoshop to make the movie. It was nearly 3pm by the time I finished importing, reviewing, culling, merging, and creating my masterpiece! :) I used the Animoto program to create a neat little video music and thanked our hosts with it. I'll add it later from the original MP3.
And that was my weekend! Hope to do some research and maybe head back down for the evening next Saturday. Just for the evening. We'll see if I can get someone to join me.
Thanks for following along on my adventures!