Friday, May 25, 2018

Cypress Forest

I finally had a chance to get out on the lake for a few hours yesterday to do some kayaking and photography.  It has been several months since I have been out there.  This past winter has been extremely windy and it has been hard to find a day that the lake was calm.  When I photograph from my kayak I have to take several photographs of the same subject in order to get the proper composition because I am always moving and drifting around.  I also need to be very aware of my surrounding when focused on photographing because I can easily float into a overhanging trees limbs or come close to a good sized alligator lurking in the weeds nearby.  In this image I would drift from left to right as I passed by this stand of cypress trees.  In each attempt I keyed on getting the bow of the broken limb of the large tree perfectly framed so it did not merge with the tree or the other limbs.  Getting good results while photographing from a small boat can be tiring and time consuming.  There are many days that I make these trips and return home without making a single photograph.  While this can be frustrating, it is all part of the process and has to be accepted.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Wild Monkeys

We spend some time at Silver Springs Florida State Park this week camping and kayaking.  Florida is starting its rainy season and this week has had periods of hard rain each day.  Silver Springs in a magical place where over 50 million gallons of fresh clear water springs up from the ground each day forming a river.  We made three trips down the river in our kayaks and each time we were soaked by the rain showers.  The plus side of the wet week was that we had the area to ourselves and got to see plenty of animals along the stream.  One encounter we had was with the wild Rhesus monkeys.  Silver Springs was once the movie location for the early Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan.  It is said that these monkeys that now populate the area are from the the early Tarzan movies that were made there.  As we drifted along in our kayaks we could see a caravan of monkeys with dozens of babies moving along the shore.  They would stop out of curiosity and look us over.  I rested my kayak against a tree and photographed a few as they moved by.  I noticed that two large males stood guard at the front of my kayak as the babies and their Mothers moved passed.  This monkey sat a couple of feet from my boat and put on a display of showing his teeth and giving me a stare as to warn me not to come closer.  I have never considered myself a wildlife photographer but I have to admit that there is an exciting aspect of coming in close contact with wild animals.