Recently we drove through Park City Utah and stopped in at the Olympic training center. It was about eighty degrees outside yet skiers were practicing ski jumps at a specially constructed summer training facility. This athlete was practicing multiple rotations before landing in a pool of water. It was amazing because anyone could just walk up and watch and there were no crowds. Once I got over the surprise I setup to take some images sitting next to the pool.
After each jump the athletes would discuss the jump with a coach standing along side of the pool, then they would walk back up the ramp in their boots and carrying skies. I was thinking to myself the act of getting up to the launching point would be exercise enough, but from what I could tell they didn’t seem winded at all. I suppose that might be why they’re Olympic athletes and I’m not.
That aside it was a beehive of activity. Some athletes were working out on equipment; some appeared to be in rehab, ostensibly from recent injuries, and others were training on the ramps like this.
To be honest this was my first time seeing Olympic winter athletes in person. Normally I watch them on TV like everyone else, but being able to watch them train in the middle of summer was an unexpected surprise of our little day trip.
After watching for about an hour we headed into town for some lunch. With little shops and sidewalk cafes the town is pretty cool as well. Park City is an awesome place that reminds me a little of Banff, but different and unique. We only had a few hours but in that time we saw a lot. We decided right then and there we would make it a point to come back a stay longer.
Here is another shot of Miami that was taken as we were pulling into port after a three-day cruise. As far as cool cites in Florida go, Miami is number one. There are a lot of high rises and yachts at every turn and you easily get pulled into the alternate reality of South Beach. I can never get enough of this place and as I write this I’m talking myself into another trip down.
Speaking of alternate realities, have you ever noticed how different places have their own feeling? Cities and regions are made up of the landscape and the people that inhabit them. Together that forms a unique energy that you can almost feel. Take New York City and Des Moines Iowa, completely different. There’s no good or bad, just different.
Anyway, Miami is an international mix if hyper excess and tropical dream, what’s not to like? I have a little tradition in that every time I visit I go to South Beach for dinner, sit at an outdoor table and order Paella. There is nothing like the sites, sounds and flavors of Ocean Drive. Just don’t be in a rush, anyone who’s anyone cruises the strip in their hot cars and bikes and no one is going anywhere fast.
Then, after a few days, it’s back to small town I go. I live in a city where the population could barely fill a block of Miami. But that’s kind of nice. I’m no high roller and a small town suits me just fine. I love the suspended reality of places like Miami, but I can only suspend it for so long.
When I get home I will walk my dog on the quiet evening streets with hardly a sound. That’s puts me in a different reality all-together.
The other day I stood at the waters edge of Sarasota Bay and watched the skimmers ply their trade. To get this I used high-speed settings to freeze the bird in mid flight. The skimmer flies inches above the water while scooping up food with its beak and leaving a small wake. It’s a graceful act to watch or photograph on a warm summer evening.
I just returned from the high desert. It was beautiful and very different from the Gulf Coast of Florida. Photographing the desert takes a different set of eyes than those I’ve developed for Florida. The dry land made me realize how fortunate I am to live near the water. But I would say the same thing if I lived near the mountains.
If you like photography then you will find something interesting no matter where you are. Being open to sights around you is not always as easy as it seems, it requires being flexible. Preconceived notions can block your vision when it doesn’t materialize. For instance, maybe you have a notion to capture a hillside, but there is an interesting wildflower right at your feet. It’s not just a matter of looking the other way, it also means adjusting your field of view.
When I took this I had setup to take pictures of the moon and a bridge. However I was drawn by the action of the skimmers. In the end I got different shots in addition to the one I came for. There will always be something unexpected, even in the most familiar setting. So put yourself in a setting and look around. You never know what you might see.