Every now and then I'll come to Sarasota to take pictures before dawn, more often at night, but once in a while in the morning. I'm fascinated by bridges and I can never get enough of them as it pertains to photography. The challenge is finding a new way to compose a photo of a bridge I've already shot dozens of times. This is the Ringling bridge, named after John Ringing of circus fame. Since this area is the original home of the circus a lot of things around here have Ringling in the name.
For some reason I never shot this perspective from this side, I've done it from the other side but not this side. You can just make out the other side which is known as Bird Key, it has a bunch of beautiful homes along the water.
I shot this on a Saturday about an hour before sunrise, even so the bridge was already full of runners. It's a magnet for joggers since it has huge sidewalks and it's the only thing around resembling a hill. In any case, I walked around here for about a half hour until I was satisfied and then headed to another location across the bay where among other things, I composed more photos with this bridge in the background.
I guess you could say this bridge is a muse of sorts.
Florida is a retiree heaven. Afternoons like this are when you find people out strolling about, sitting on piers and basically passing the time. I wonder if I'll ever do that, it seems a little to passive for my taste, I'd rather be taking pictures or riding a bike, but you never know. All the retirees I know say they are more busy after retirement than before. That's counterintuitive but in a way makes sense.
This is a lazy afternoon scene at the pier in Terra Ceia. These mangroves created a natural frame leading to the water along the boardwalk. Mangroves are everywhere along the coast and are responsible for Florida being on the map. A slight exaggeration but they prevent the erosion against the tide and storms. So unless you are on a beach, you'll see these mangroves everywhere, and thanks to them Florida hasn't yet washed away.
Getting back to the main subject, I do spend a lot of time where people are strolling, even if I'm not strolling myself. People like to stroll where the scenery is nice and of course that's where I like to take photos. So even if I don't end up retiring and going for a stroll in the afternoon, I'll have plenty of knowledge on the subject. I'll become what is known in industry as a SME; a Subject Matter Expert. Having lived in retiree heaven I'll have an encyclopedic knowledge in the ways, means and methods of strolling.
It was fairly early when I came upon this heron in Sarasota. My plan was to get a sunrise shot over the city from the end of the boardwalk, but at the same time I didn't want to disturb Mr. Heron, he was there first. I stopped a ways back and contented myself taking his picture. After a few minutes he didn't move so I decided get closer so I could shoot the other way. As it turns out he let me come right up. As long as I didn't make any sudden movements and looked the other way he didn't seem to mind. For me it was a nice standing there in the quite of the morning, doing what I love to do and in the company of Mr Heron.
Turns out he was scanning the water below for a fish that might swim by. Not too far off in the other direction was another heron along the bank next to a tree. It was in that direction I was shooting the sunrise so I tried to incorporate her in the composition as well. But before I left this spot Mr. Bird flew over to other one, ...Mrs Bird perhaps?
I walked down to where they both now stood in the water and took a few more shots, incorporating them both as best I could, not always with success. Again, as long as I didn't show any signs of aggression they both let me get pretty close. At one point, they even got into a little tussle amongst themselves; most certainly a Mr and Mrs. Nonetheless, they didn't seem to mind my presence.
Whether or not I got any good shots on this morning, just being here in the presence of Mr and Mrs Heron made the entire excursion worthwhile.