This is the old pier in St. Petersburg Florida. I took this a couple of years ago before they began tearing it down. In fact, they just removed the last piece of it couple of days ago. A new pier will be built in two years, but in the meantime pictures are all we have. It's a little sad.
I liked the old one, it had a certain charm to it. But St Petersburg is a thriving city and they want something new that reflects a more modern aesthetic. Two years is a long time to wait for the new pier.
From a photographic perspective I'm a pier fanatic. When you stand next to one it creates a leading line out into the water. When you stand on top of one it's more symmetrical. This pier is (or was) the largest in central Florida. It's the only one I know of that you could drive on. I suppose that's why the new one will take so long to build, it's a large project.
I just happen to notice this image at about the same time as I read about the completion of the demolition. A coincidence I suppose, or maybe it's the ghost of the old pier reaching out for one last hoorah. Whatever the case, may she rest in pieces.
I got this one afternoon when I decided to take a walk in the park. This is Stanley Park in Vancouver and is one of the best urban parks in North America. It rivals Central Park and Golden Gate Park. I took this at a little pond known as Lost Lagoon where there are some resident swans. You can usually line up a good shot if you just wait for the right moment.
Waiting for the right moment is good advice for landscape photographers. If you stay in a single spot long enough, something is bound to happen. It's all a question of how long you want to wait. Usually I'll walk up on a scene and not see anything in particular. The scene can be like a puzzle, however it almost as though a sixth sense tells me there's something there. I just have to recognize it, compose it, and take the photo. So it could be a matter of focusing in on a small area, or it could be just slowing down and waiting for something to unfold. It's an inexact science but the longer I wait, the more likely I am to walk away with something worth my time.
Another little technique to add to this is pick a time of day when you think something might happen and then get there a little earlier. For instance, in Florida, right at the crack of dawn the pelicans will fly from their nighttime resting spots to their daytime fishing locations. So if you want to get a sunrise with some pelicans flying by, you get there a little early and wait, but be ready because you might only get one chance, believe me I've missed more than I care to admit.
With this image I planned to come in the afternoon because I knew the sun set across the water from a section of the path. So I got there, waited, noticed the swan swim by, then click and I had my image.
Oh, and one other thing, if you're going to be out in nature, bring mosquito repellant. I got swarmed as I stood here and waited. Next time I'll take my own advice and bring some.