I was out without my camera feeling a little anxious as the colors starting blooming in the sky. They say that the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. I had to calm down and remind myself of that because the display in the sky would only last for a few minutes.
In this case I had an iPhone so I took three images using the Lightroom camera app. Later I combined them in Lightroom on my computer. The advantage of using the Lightroom app on the phone is that it saves the files in RAW and automatically syncs them with Lightroom on the desktop.
To be honest I’m biased towards my camera so I didn’t expect much from these; I almost forgot I had them. However when reviewing them in Lightroom later I had to do a double take. Certainly it’s not perfect but it’s not bad for a cellphone.
The sensors in smartphones are getting pretty good, even for landscapes under odd lighting conditions. If you’re a shutterbug like me it’s becoming less “necessary” to always carry a big camera.
I remember the evening well because of how the sky looked. I wasn’t expecting I could capture the essence of it with just an iPhone, however this image is helping me to rethink that mindset. I won’t be giving up my Sony full frame camera anytime soon, but I also won’t be so anxious next time I head out without it; unless of course I forget my cell phone as well.
This is a view of the Bradenton Beach Pier from the bridge. I’m facing west so the pier is on the inter-coastal waterway. The Gulf of Mexico is just behind the row of buildings. To get the whole bridge in the frame I walked on to the bridge between the mainland and Anna Maria Island. Other than that I’d need to be on a boat since there’s no other place to get the full view of it.
I took this early in the evening as people were coming home from the beach. Basically I was standing on the sidewalk next to a traffic jam. That’s because there are only two bridges leaving the island and all those thousands of people have to go home. Right after sunset it can time to drive home, good thing there is nice scenery along the way.
With all the cars crossing it causes the bridge to vibrate. That creates a challenge when taking long exposures like this. For instance, if I have a ten-second exposure and a car goes by in the first five seconds, the image will come out fuzzy. However my Sony A7rII camera has image stabilization so it was able to take a sharp image even with the vibration.
If you follow the pier back to shore, it leads to Old Bridge Street. That’s an area with outdoor establishments and live music at every corner. People are out walking around, listening to music and just seeing the sights. There are a lot of choices from ice cream to lobster, from smoothie to martini.
My favorite thing about Bradenton Beach is the small town atmosphere, something not so easy to come by these days. But now you know where you can find it.
It’s the Memorial Day weekend so we visited the Sarasota National Cemetery. What I didn’t expect is how it affected me. The number of markers is overwhelming; I’m not sure what I expected. I stood here amongst the rows trying to understand. The thought is that these people lived near me; this is not a far away place. It’s inevitable the emotions well up here.
There were quite a few others like myself that had come to see. We were milling about aimlessly, not knowing were to start or where it ended.
Then as I stood here I noticed a couple about my age stride purposely through the rows, they knew where they were going. My heart was in my throat as they stopped and stood at the far side over one grave in particular.
The purpose of my visit was not to make myself sad, but to remember. The sacrifices are not just some passages in a dusty history book; they are here living amongst us, in plain sight every day.
Some of us have the luxury of forgetting, only to remember on occasions like this. Others among us do not.