Being in the wrong place at the right time...

It is very common for photographers to scout out locations ahead of time. You want to check out an area to see if it is worthy of getting up before dawn and traveling there, or staying out until dark. We often do this with no guarantees of what the dawn, sunset or any other time will bring.

When shooting in the outdoors, we are completely at the whim of Mother Nature.  But, we also have to be aware of what goes on around us, because sometimes, the 'good stuff' is happening where you least expect it.

This happened to me recently. I was scouting out an area late one day with the idea of coming back the next morning for a possible sunrise shot. I was on the East coast facing the ocean in Florida. As the sun was setting behind me, I started to notice that there were a few wispy clouds in the northeast quadrant, which started to get a little bit of color. As the sunset continued, the colors got better. The sunset itself, was very average, but the 'light show' with the clouds and surf on the opposite side was quite nice. Being in the wrong place at the right time!

 

 

Seeing, and really seeing...

A lot of times I hear people tell me, as they look at one of my photos, that they would never have thought to take a particular shot. Their comment being that they would never have seen what I saw! It is intended as a compliment which I certainly appreciate. I like to think that I am usually open to visual stimuli, but I have realized that if I have my camera with me, I tend to be much more open to ‘seeing’ the ‘unexpected’.

A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting my son in Brooklyn. I had brought the camera with me in case something caught my eye and to just be a tourist. One day while he was at work, I rode the subway into the city. I got off at the Fulton Street Station, as I was headed to the 9/11 Memorial and this was my stop. Unbeknownst to me, this is a beautiful new station, which opened in late 2014. I looked up, and started seeing all kinds of angles, colors and possible pictures to take. Here’s a couple from there.

Happy New Year everybody. Always keep your eyes open!

 

Fulton St Station 3.jpg

Florida Fall Color

When most people think of fall color and 'leaf watching' they think of places like New England, the Smokey Mountains, etc. It's usually places which are all north of an imaginary line from North Georgia on upwards. Florida is probably the last place where most folks would think to go looking for fall color. But here in North Florida, we do indeed have a change of color! It just isn't as obvious as it is further north. You kind of have to work for it to see it. It will be scattered in areas where there are concentrations of deciduous trees such as cypresses, maples, dogwoods, some oaks, and hickories. As it is further north, it is dependent on the particular weather conditions we have encountered in our 'fall season', which doesn't typically start until late October or early November for us. If my memory serves me correctly, if we have an early cold snap with temps in the low 40's or high 30's, it tends to create better color than if we don't get those conditions. Peak color here is typically around the last week of November.

One of my favorite places to go for color in this area is the Santa Fe River. The riverbank has lots of maples and cypresses which will all drop their leaves and will usually provide a nice, though often subtle, color palette.

The two images below were both taken by the shore of the Santa Fe River.

 Small spring on Santa Fe

Small spring on Santa Fe

 Cypresses on the banks of the Santa Fe

Cypresses on the banks of the Santa Fe

Just got back from...

I just got back from a week in the Hudson Valley area of New York State where I did some shooting, attended a workshop, and got to spend some time with family and friends not seen in a long time!  Also,  I used Airbnb for the first time, and it was a positive experience!  We got there a little too late for the peak fall color change, but there was still some good areas, though you had to work for them.  I always find it harder to get good shots the first time I visit a location, unless I am shooting with someone who knows the area well. Otherwise, it’s hit and miss and lots of research, but well worth it!

Driving in a state park, constantly looking for possibilities, I found this little cascade just off the road. A nice patch of lovely golds, and the little creek.

 

Catskill's Creek

"I have a picture just like that"...

As a photographer doing street art shows, I have heard that line many times from the public. It is often said in relation to images depicting a sunrise or a sunset. Most everyone has indeed photographed at these times of day, and they may believe that theirs is 'just like' the one I am exhibiting. I always smile when I hear that.

There was the sunrise over the Grand Canyon where I am laying down on a ledge over a precipice to catch the shot; there was the morning I got up and walked through the marsh hoping no gators or moccasins were around to get the sunrise; there was the one day in a week of waiting where the sun/clouds/sky and weather all combined to make a magical sunset, etc. Yeah, I guess they do have one 'just like that'. :-)