A collection of my favorite landscapes from all over the country; and soon from across the ocean.
Afterglow at Pine Glade Lake
This shot was taken in late October 2016 while waiting on an already-there milky way. We were just waiting for the sun to go down so we could see it. But the sunset was so beautiful.
Tranquility at Paurotis Pond
This day was one of those days. Big camera club event, shooting of the Perseids Meteor Shower, later in the evening. I decided to make a night of it. I went to my happy place. Because no matter what kind of day it is, I normally really enjoy it here. And this is a hard place to get a good shot. But it is so beautiful. Or was. Irma tore it up pretty bad, but I suspect will be back like nothing else soon enough. Back to my original story. I wandered from entry to entry (there are 3) and shot from each. This seemed to give me more of the colors I was looking for in the sky. This photo is testimony to the fact that when watching a sunset, don't leave after the big ball goes behind the horizon. Give it at least 30 minutes to maybe an hour. You never know what beauty will be reflected back. And TURN AROUND! Sometimes the most beautiful scene is right behind you.
"Happy Birthday NPS" Biscayne Sunrise
This one has a great story. 2016 was the year the National Park Service turned 100 years old. In celebration of this significant event, Biscayne National Park opened its gates early for anyone to enjoy the sunrise. The camera club was invited to come and photograph and even enjoy a sailboat ride, if willing. I found a nice spot on the boat docks behind this lonely bench. It wasn't looking good for a full sunrise as it was a bit cloudy but then the clouds split and pieces of light streamed through. I was lucky enough to capture it at the right moment as this didn't last long and the clouds closed in once again. Sunrises and sunsets are amazing but they don't last long. Get there early and stay late. And always be prepared.
Rise and Shine Redland
While having a "girls weekend" at a friend's house out in the Redlands, I decided to bring my camera and see if we could capture any stars. Unfortunately the moon was too bright to the south of us, and north we had to deal with the bright lights of Miami. Our girls weekend ended up being dinner and ID Channel fest (this is what happens when you get old) and then bed. I woke up early the next morning and saw that a blanket of fog was covering the ground. Still having my camera attached to my tripod from the night before, I ventured out in my PJs to see what I could capture. This was one of my favorites, a beautiful pastel spread. I was looking out over a horse farm and another image is available in the wildlife folder from this same shoot. Such a lovely morning.
Sunset Over the Anhinga Trail
Here's a second of my images from this shoot to make it to the website. I was playing with a new-used camera and testing what it could do. It was late winter or slap dab in the middle of tourist season. People were EVERYWHERE! I had a hard time capturing an image without people. This couple was nice enough to stay still for me through out my 3 shot bracket; well, still enough to know they are people and not some ghostly figures. This one is facing towards the sun over 'lily pad pond'. The Anhinga Trail is a beautiful boardwalk out over 'lily pad lagoon'. And yes, I do highly recommend seeing it; preferably during the day and not during the golden or blue hours (just kidding).
I couldn't explain where this is if I tried; I just know. This is the famous 'Z Tree' or I call it the N Tree, because that's what it looks like, an N not a Z. Anyway...
I took this photo one morning, a MONDAY morning (yes, I woke up early on a 'school day' to go shoot) out in the Everglades. I specifically went to shoot the 'setting' moon. The night before was a super moon and I captured it rising over Biscayne Bay, but thought it would be awesome seeing it set out in the Everglades. Trying to get a double-park shot of the super moon. Well, as luck would have it, it was way too cloudy for a moon setting; but not too cloudy for a pretty sunrise! So I turned around and there was the sky on fire. The N tree was due east of where I was (on purpose of course) and I got lucky. I have several shots of this image, different views and temperatures. All just as lovely. I just can't pick one.
"Swimmin' with the Gators"
Ahhh, 'slough slogging'. This was a fun day. My first trip inside of a cypress dome; Sometimes called a 'gator hole'. Alligators swish their tails in the mud and create a hole, for the collection of water, possibly to lay their eggs. I'm sure there's a NatGeo video on YouTube about it somewhere. But over time, the tail swishing creates a bigger hole and lots more water and the cypress trees, now with an abundance of water throughout the year, grow taller. Thus creating the large clumps of trees you see out in the middle of the swamp prairie or river of grass. More than likely they are cypress domes. Now for the fun part. People actually walk into them... on purpose... for fun...! Yes! I was astonished as well. And even more astonishing was that I did it myself. Took me long enough to generate that kind of courage to do it, but I did.
It was interesting to say the least. It definitely was muddy at the bottom. Years and years of organic matter (of plant and animal origins) settling into the bottom of the hole. We went in January though so the water was much lower than it gets in the summer. Very interesting in the domes. Once the initial shock of muck and cold water is over, its rather pleasant. Although you have to walk very carefully and take your time. Almost like walking on ice.
Fiery Sunset over a River of Grass
This was a fun day, started a bit rough, but ended up wonderful. The camera club's officers we treated to an airboat ride in the "other" Everglades, the Everglades across the street, where airboats are legal. We rode out north of the Tamiami Trail and were treated to an impromptu visit from one of the Everglades ambassadors, the alligator! Many birds were perched in the trees and then we were treated to a beautiful sunset. Just when you think you've seen it all in the 'glades, they surprise you.
If you get a chance to take an airboat ride in the Everglades, I highly recommend it.
Pre-Dawn Storm Clouds
The club went out to photograph time-lapse stars and whatever else we could find; but ended up with a big ole thunderstorm instead. We all ran for our vehicles and met up at the Anhinga Trail's Royal Palm Visitor Center, where we had shelter. A few of us decided to stay under cover and see what else we could capture. Thunderstorms are just as much fun to photograph as stars! We stayed through till sunrise, or what there was of it as it was pretty cloudy. But the fast moving clouds made for a pretty dramatic photo as well as time-lapse video.
Paynes Prairie Preserve Sunrise
What a beautiful morning this was. Day 2 of my big round-trip to Tennessee and back. I stayed overnight in Gainesville and passed this short overlook on my way in. Decided it wasn't too far away to go capture a quick sunrise before heading north into Georgia.
This morning's sunrise was blanketed in a shroud of fog and then bloomed into a beautiful pastel dreamy sunrise.
Payne's Prairie Preserve is in the Florida State Park system and I highly recommend visiting if you get up in the Gainesville area. I'm looking forward to a camping trip here this year, possibly fall.
Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge
What a beautiful and historic place this was! Don't ask how I came upon this. But I did. Doing research on what to see in Georgia I found this site and then determined this is going to be the subject of my 2nd night of my Tennessee Round Trip. I stayed in Warm Springs, GA, a place steeped in history and beautiful scenery. I believe this could be the southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains, nestled up near the Alabama border.
I was lucky to find it. As I was on my way out in the dark and foggy morning, I turned one stop too soon and ended up in the next town over. On my way back I could see the sun rising, faster than a speeding bullet of course. I finally made it there but was still able to catch a few of the suns rays. Very peaceful and beautiful. Would love to see it when the river is a bit more plentiful. Maybe another time.
On Day 4 of my Tennessee trip, I finally made it to the Smoky Mountains. I was on a workshop and after our welcome dinner we decided to start early and go into the Foothills of the park and photograph the sunset to the east. I had been through the Smoky Mountains further south several times, but never up near the park and never at sunrise or sunset. This was one of the most spectacular sights I believe I had ever seen (until the next night of course). The Foothills are on the Foothills Parkway just west of the Smoky Mountain National Park, just west of Townsend, TN.
Good Mornin' America, How Are Ya?
Day 5 of my Tennessee trip was our first day of the workshop. Funny thing was we weren't going to shoot a sunrise this morning. We woke early to get through Gatlinburg and into the more northern entry at Greenbrier Road, to photograph a flowing river. On our way though the park, between Townsend and Gatlinburg, we passed this break in the eastern mountains and witnessed the orange and yellow glow of a pre-dawn sunrise. All of us collectively made an emphatic sigh. I definitely think we made the right choice by taking a half hour to shoot this. One of the most colorful sunrises/sets I saw that trip for sure. The map said that this pull-out is called Maloney Point Overlook, just a bit further east from the Laurel Falls Trail head before the Sugarlands Visitors Center. There are three in a row so keep them marked for your next sunrise shoot in the Smoky Mountains.
Rolling On The River
As stated in the above sunrise photo, we were on our way to the Greenbrier Road to shoot a flowing river, the Little Pigeon River to be exact. This was a lot of fun, crawling down the river's embankment to the bottom, finding a vantage point with interesting foreground. My first time shooting flowing water and it was very nice. I can't wait to try it again.
Short Falls on the Little Pigeon
Here's a shot from the same river, a little further upstream. The sun was well above the mountains by this time and peeking into our little stream scene. Didn't seem to hurt the image though. I rather liked it.
Stream in the Enchanted Forest
This place was the most surreal place I had seen. Looked like a scene from an old fairy tale. I kept thinking Little Red Riding Hood or the Big Bad Witch was going to poke their heads out somewhere along the way. So beautiful and creepy at the same time.
On Top of Old Smokey
I used to sing this song as a kid. Now I know what they were singing about; I think. This was taken at the TOP of the Tennessee Smokies, Clingman's Dome. This place can fool you into thinking there will be a beautiful sunrise or set but then swap out the sun for blinding clouds. But not this day! We were treated to another beautiful sunset and one more gorgeous scene that just keep topping the others all day today. Temperature definitely did drop up there. At least 20 degrees colder than it was at Newfound Gap only a few short miles away and downhill. If you go, definitely bring a jacket, just in case. And never ever forget your camera and all lenses.
I couldn't pick my favorite Clingman's Dome Sunset photo. So I'm including all of them. Here's number 2.
Setting Sun over Clingman's Dome
I couldn't pick my favorite Clingman's Dome Sunset photo. So I'm including all of them. Here's number 3.
After Glow in the Smoky Mountains
I couldn't pick my favorite Clingman's Dome Sunset photo. So I'm including all of them. Here's number 4.
Old Bahia Honda Bridge
Here's a great shot of the old railroad bridge over the Bahia Honda Channel in the lower Florida Keys. I just love this vantage point as it's less crowded then the eastern side where the State Park is. But it is getting more and more popular. This was taken in June as a storm was passing by.
Blue Meets Gold Hour Sunrise
Another breathtaking morning, and that was just the drive there! I woke in Melbourne Beach to a foggy dark, drove to Titusville to meet a friend to shoot a sunrise. Due to Irma, we had to change plans on our location, but this place was just as good as any. The fog stuck around until the sun was well into the sky. Late November, just after Thanksgiving, this sunrise didn't disappoint.
Never give up on a sunrise or sunset because of clouds or fog. Those just sweeten the pot. Go for it!
Just a Cuki Sunrise!
Whereas Irma came and left it's mark, and not in a good way, it also moved many. Case in point, the Cuki. She was docked in Key West and somehow 3 days later she ended up on the shores of Melbourne Beach. My first trip there I didn't know where she was, but my second, the Christmas break, I did find her and was able to capture this between all the "models" and thrill seekers swinging from the mast ropes.
Honest Sunset Reflections
Over the Christmas holiday I stopped in at Honest John's Fish Camp and they allowed me to photograph the sunset, as long as I was out by 6pm. I almost didn't go as it was pretty nasty looking where I was staying, but just a few miles south, it was perfect. Like I said before, if the weather looks bad, go anyway. You never know what you'll get. Unless of course it's not safe. But that's rarely the reason.
Honest, it was this beautiful!
Another shot from Honest John's Fish Camp in southern Brevard County, Florida. Sometimes you can't miss.
Indian River Sunset
Christmas Eve on the Indian River. My first time at this location. Just north of US 192 in Melbourne Beach, Florida. It's a little HDR-y, but I like it.
Beam Me Up!
Out of this world? Well, kind of. This is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on a super windy night in January. Wind was blowing so hard it shook the camera. One time a large frame came in handy. I brought the camera down low and nearly covered it with my body. It worked! Next time I'll have to try it in the summer. When it's not so windy.
Irma's Destruction at Dawn
The headlines the morning that Hurricane Andrew struck south Florida were "Destruction at Dawn". Irma was nowhere near as strong as Andrew when it struck south Florida but it definitely did some considerable damage in Flamingo, where this shot was taken. The buildings are still standing, attributed maybe to the superior construction regulations after Andrew? Maybe. Or maybe Irma just wanted to rearrange the foliage.
Either or, it made for a desolate landscape to shoot the sunrise. I got there really early, nearly still dark. Used the CPL on this for a few minutes.
Sunrise Reflections at Flamingo
Here is the view from the opposite direction from the sunrise. Like I always say, get your shots in front of you but always be mindful of what's behind you. Turn around once in a while. You never know what's there.
Stiltsville Sunset on Biscayne Bay
The Baldwin-Sessions House, located in Biscayne Bay just south of the tip of Key Biscayne, Florida. I was out on a mid December bay cruise and took many shots of the homes of Stiltsville. This one came out the best. Difficult to shoot in a rocking pontoon boat.
Country Sun "Rise and Shine"
On a 2017 trip back to Wisconsin where I grew up, and now on my Great Grandparents' farm, I shot this sunrise from through the field corn. They were a few days out from harvesting the corn so I got lucky to be able to witness this. Not growing up on a farm, I never knew how beautiful and peaceful it was. Although I doubt I would have appreciated it then. Glad I can now.
These photos were all taken at night of various celestial bodies. The moon and stars (and collection of stars) are the main attraction.
City Scapes and Architecture
Here is a collection of my favorite urban landscapes, from all over the country and soon to be the world.
A vast collection of various animals, mamals, birds, fish, reptiles, you name it, if it walks, swims, flys, or slithers, I'll photograph it.
Portraits and Candids
Not my forte, people are the focus of this collection. I hope to add more to this collection soon.
Black & White, Monotones
And my homage to the master Ansel Adams, my black and white collection. I do rather favor the monotones, until colors are just too vibrant to be reigned.
Just as the name says... abstract photos. Happy accidents, fun techniques, again, just for fun.