This is another image from Bean Point at the tip of Anna Maria Island. There is no parking and so the only people that show up here are those living or staying within walking distance. That's why it's one of my favorite places for photography at sunset.
A continuing theme for me is to use clouds in an image to represent proportion and scale. So typically people or manmade subjects become small in relation to the clouds and surrounding environment. The purpose is to draw attention to the scale of nature around us. For me the message is one of reintegration into our otherwise ignored surroundings.
Only after I became a photographer did I even begin to notice things around me, such as the formation of clouds. Now I look at the world different from before, I see our existence in relation to our environment. That provides a sense of perspective, something to glimpse a grander scale of things. Without that we tend to focus on small things in front of our faces without ever looking up. It's like zooming out on a map; we begin to seem insignificant. But of course we are not, it just seems that way.
This morning I came to this tower to take a picture of the full moon as it set to the West. Only it didn't turn out all that good and as I stood here wondering what to do I turned around and noticed the sunrise from behind these clouds. This observation tower is at Neil Preserve in Bradenton. I came here at the crack of dawn and got eaten alive by the bugs as I walked the path from the parking lot. But on top here was a nice breeze and a welcome respite from the mosquitos below.
This is my Plan B shot, the one I didn't come here for. With photography, and life in general, it's always good to have a backup plan if the first one falls through. I have a little voice in my head that tells me to turn around. Well, maybe more of a habit than a voice. Nevertheless sometimes I listen and turn around and look for opportunities in the other direction. My own philosophy is that I should have everything I need, I just need to keep an open mind and look for whatever comes my way.
That makes every outing a challenge. Life is the same way, each day a challenge, each challenge and opportunity to find a creative solution. There I go again. It seems relating photography to life is also a habit of mine. At least it's not a voice in my head.
I took this during sunrise at Emerson Preserve. As the sun rises the light is truly rare for a few minutes and everything seems to take on a magical quality. Sometimes I like to focus on ordinary plants, placing them directly in front of the sun. At moments like this even the ordinary seems extraordinary.
I think that at times we all tend to underestimate our own value. I do it from time to time. Sometimes I feel just like this plant in the field. I'm not sure about the metaphor but you get my meaning. Yet, when I came along on this morning I was struck by this little plant and how the sun illuminated it for a few minutes. I think the plant neither knows or cares that I was impressed and took its picture. It just does its thing, whether someone notices it or not is of little consequence.
So maybe that's one way to look at it. Despite those moments of self doubt we all get, just keep on keeping on and know that we're awesome, whether anyone notices or not. Other people noticing is not the point, being awesome is.
I find my own meaning when I'm up at dawn with my camera. Its about being in the moment and aware of what's around me. That sounds simple, but for me, it's the key to awesome.