I live near the Manatee River and lately I've noticed large flocks of pelicans flying by in the morning. Pelicans will move at dawn and dusk between their feeding and resting areas. Maybe they have always flown by but recently it seems like there are more than usual. Amongst the hundreds are sub-flocks of white pelicans that are distinct and easily noticeable.
On this morning I was taking photos out of the bedroom window as they flew past the house and along the river. I took too many but that always happens when I see something amazing. Their graceful flight against the dawn sky easily caught my attention.
For about ten to fifteen minutes the skies were filled, and then a few minutes later the pelicans settled down and everything returned to normal. I'm not a bird photographer, but there are many around here and it's easy to understand why. The town of Palmetto where I live is a sanctuary for the seabirds and many of them seem to know it.
Here is a shot of the Bradenton Riverwalk on a rainy morning a couple of years ago, just as the sun is about to rise. Living where I do I prefer to have water as a feature in my environmental shots. If I go outside it's almost unavoidable. The water creates provides a basic building block with which to build a composition.
Another thing I look for is leading lines. In this case it's a guardrail, but it could also be more organic elements like a path or shoreline. The line leads the eyes of the viewer into the picture where our imaginations begin to find root.
Finally, quite often I prefer to have some human element. In many cases it adds a level of interest that subtly draws the attention even more. It's not uncommon to project ourselves into the scene through the perspective of a human figure. In this approach the person can be blurred or abstracted so not to provide too many details. These things are better left to our own imaginations.
Last night I made it to the beach for sunset and to take a few photos. Lately it's been a little cold here which keeps people away from the beach. Now by cold, I don't mean cold-cold, like you guys get up north. No, I mean cold for us, like maybe I should wear a sweatshirt, …or maybe not.
I'm being facetious of course, I'm perfect aware of the fact that I don't know what cold is. Nevertheless, my kinda cold keeps the locals away from the beach so that I can get these empty beach shots. In summer it's a whole different ballgame.
This is Holmes Beach, which is between Manatee Beach and Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. You can drive for miles either way and it's just one little beach town after the next. That's why so many people come down in in winter; to get away from the cold-cold and enjoy a little beach weather, even if I do think it's cold.