May might be the best time of year here along the gulf coast. I get the feeling I’ve said that before, perhaps I need to change up my story a little. In any case, it's low season and just before summer kicks in. It's warm, not too hot, the clouds are high, the evenings are late, and the sunsets are golden.
Today I've focused on the foreground element along the beach. It's a blanket of needles from an overhanging branch. The texture and loopy pattern look to me like a carpet, as though the needles are organized that way. If nothing else, the image is a study in natural textures.
Everyone else was watching the sun go down, and I'm back here concentrating on the ground. That sounds a little loopy I know. But I have a million shots of the sun, and my real motive is to see how many times I can use the word loop in a blog post. Looping back to the main point, I try to look for things that are visually interesting to put in the foreground. Then, I wait for the sun to set and they seem even more pleasing to the eye. Anyway, this is another compositional idea that I use from time to time.
I took this about four years ago when I was in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. It's a part of the Wild Pacific Trail that traces the coastline. It's a well-maintained trail with benches like this every half mile or so.
I was here in late August (or "Fogust" as the locals say) when a thick fog would roll in most afternoons. You could see it sitting just offshore, and then at the right time it would approach and before you could say Foghorn Leghorn, you were in it. In this image, you can see it about a mile offshore.
Benches or empty chairs in an image allow us to imagine sitting there in the scene. Our eyes follow the direction it points, similar to a leading line, only with a different device. When a photo makes us look in a particular direction, it has captured our imagination as we weave our own story in the scene. However, if it has thick fog, that would be something different entirely.
In this picture, I'm looking south over the Manatee River towards Bradenton. These are the Mangroves that line it from its source to the sea. Mangroves form an essential part of the ecosystem by protecting the shore from erosion.
Believe it or not, this is across the street from the Bradenton Area Convention center, so while it looks like a nature shot, it's in the middle of a suburban setting. Mangroves are protected in Florida, so there's little chance they'll be affected by development. Despite the activity all around, they continue to protect rivers and coastlines.
The reason I took this was for the reflections. Its a repeat of a shot (https://justenoughfocus.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Full/i-7NMML9G) I've done in the past and the results are similar. However, the clouds are never the same. And because it's only a 2-minute drive from home, this is something I see often. No matter how many times I see this, I never get tired of nature inside an urban landscape.