Thursday, December 31, 2009

Open Mind Discovers Florida Keys Photos

This month I spent a windy, overcast and for us Floridians a chilly week in the Florida Keys enjoying the out of doors and taking a break from pushing pixels around on a computer screen.

No long philosophical essay here on the renewal of creative juices for those in the visual communications business. Nor will I evoke Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond to describe the spiritual benefits derived from being out-of-doors.

Just a short note to say I love the outdoors and being alone for a few days with nothing I have to do, and lots of optional creative outlets - photography and sound recording - available should I be moved to leave my campsite reading chair or find ocean kayaking in 30 mile per hour wind no longer relaxing.

You may click on any of these photos to enlarge them.

Without the pressure of having to produce a photograph to a client’s specifications I wandered about Bahia Honda State Park - one of the most beautiful state parks in the country and which has a beach once voted the best in America - struggling to abandon any previous techniques that would box me in to capturing the same old same old photo.

I arrived late in the afternoon and set up my tent in the wind and rain, and it was after “sunset” that I was walking along Sand Spur Beach on a very gray day when I noticed lightening bolts opening up the inside of storm clouds off shore in the Atlantic Ocean. “Thats cool”, I thought, all lit up from inside.

I threw my camera on a tripod, guessed a 30 second time exposure at F 11 might blur the water and if I was lucky I might catch a lightening flash. I was lucky, on the first frame only and created a photo I had not anticipated.

During the day I was looking for a way to make the drab, flat, overcast light interesting and was poking around the dry, sandy scrub land that makes up the interior of the island. I noticed some new bright green Sea Grape leaves, about five inches across, and wondered what they would look like if I lit them with just a light from behind. I placed a flash underneath, blew the light through a white diffusion cloth, and exposed to see the veins and detail thingies inside the leaf. Sorry I’m not a botanist, but I loved finding a new way to discover the complexities of a leaf.

The next evening there was a five minute window at sunset as the sun sliced under the heavy cloud cover and skimmed from the West right along Sand Spur Beach, highlighting the wave ripples as they quietly created patterns that changed several times a second. Here a telephoto lens and fast shutter speed gave me a new insight.

Here's a link to more editorial photography from Florida.

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