Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blue Cypress Lake

I was extremely happy to discover recently that we live just a few miles from Blue Cypress Lake here in central Fl.  I was unaware that a beautiful natural wildlife preserve was in our backyard.  We have been in our new location for a year and much of that time has been spent setting up a home and finding our way around the community we live in.  Blue Cypress lake is part of the head waters that form the St. Johns River which flows north to Jacksonville.  It is Florida's largest river and originates in St. Johns Marsh in Indian County.  We plan on spending many days out on the lake exploring the cypress trees and the abundant wildlife that live there.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Flame House

 I made this image of an Anasazi cliff dwelling in Utah back in the mid 90's.  At the time I worked with a large format camera using Tmax 100 film.  I have made many trips to these locations over the years and always enjoy the hiking and the discovery of ancient sites of the Anasazi Indians.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cedar Key

Cedar Key Fl. is a great place to go for seafood and doing some photography.  A few weeks ago we camped there for a week and worked on getting our fill of Cedar Key grown clams.  The area is know for it's littleneck clams and they have several farms in the area. This image was made in the middle of a marsh at low tide. It was a difficult hike into the location and the muck was deeper than I had expected.  I was able to make this image but nearly got stuck in quicksand.  I made a three minute exposure with a -16 stop neutral density filter.  When the exposure was finished I was sunk in to my knees and it was a bit nerve racking getting myself and equipment out of the muck.  The tide was on it's way back in and was flowing in and around me.  It is probably an experience I won't repeat anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Photographing from a kayak

I am still early in my attempts to do photography from a kayak.  There are a lot of things I need to work out before I feel comfortable taking camera gear along with me.  The first thing I do is check the weather and have a look at the current radar map to know what storm systems may be out over the ocean that could move in quickly and bring gusty winds and rain.  Today I bought a water tight bag to store my gear when I go to and from a location I want to photograph in.  It will offer some protection for my equipment but there still is always a risk of being out on the water and becoming distracted by other events going on around me.  I am certain that in time I will become more comfortable with it and hopefully produce some interesting photographs. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cypress Trees

I bought a used kayak the other day and made my first attempt to photograph from it.   Living here in Florida I have noticed there are some inland lakes with beautiful stands of cypress trees in the water.   I could see a real opportunity to make some interesting photographs if I could access the grasslands of the lakes and float in and around the trees.  Today was my maiden voyage in the kayak with camera gear.  It is an uncomfortable feeling to be floating around in a very tipsy boat with expensive equipment.  I had a pretty good time other than the soaking rain shower that hit as soon as I got out on the lake.  It was fairly calm the first couple of hours until a strong wind blew up and made some white caps on the water.  That was my signal to head in and not chance being out on the lake with some strong winds blowing up.  My first year living in florida has been interesting and I need to educate myself a little more about the Fl. habitat.  I have seen some rather large alligators in some of the areas I plan on boating that are bigger than my little kayak.  The water moccasins are another concern and there seems to be a lot of them around.  It is exciting to find new subjects to photograph and having a new challenge in accessing these wild locations.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The old and the new

In our recent trip up to the panhandle of Florida we stayed out on St. George Island. Much has changed there since our last trip there 15 years ago.  A few hurricanes have hit the area since then and they usually bring change with their destructive winds.  Old buildings are gone and replaced with new ones, roadways rebuilt, and fishing boats blown away from their moorings and beached.