This is a panorama of the pier on Anna Maria Island on another one of my Sunday drives. I take a disproportionate number of photos on Sunday because I usually end up going for a drive. I’ve also been taking a lot of panoramas lately. This one I’ve shortened but it is actually another twenty-five percent wider on the right. It looks better on a wall that way but what you see here is cropped for the web.
One thing I will say about Anna Maria Island is how quiet it is. That may seem like an unusual statement for someone living or visiting here, but it’s true. I just got back from New York City and the contrast couldn’t be more apparent. Comparing apples and oranges (pardon the analogy) is not a fair comparison, but take away everything else and you are left with the sounds.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE New York City. But coming back to Florida after a little visit there reminds me how much I like quiet places as well. Quite frankly I can use a little more New York in my life, but I sure am fortunate to live here in Florida. We have open spaces, sea breezes and the quiet sound of the waves.
Now that I got that off my chest, I have half a mind to plan another trip to NYC. But in the meantime I’ll go for Sunday drives and look for scenes like this and listen to the sounds of a tropical island right here in Florida.
This is another image I took on Independence Day. Normally the fireworks are launched from the other side of the river but not this year. Had we known we would have crossed and sat on the south side. Nevertheless we made due and in the end I rather like this photo from just before nightfall. These were someone’s private fireworks before the real show by the city. The clouds on the left were alive with lightning and we had man-made and Mother Nature’s fireworks exploding in unison.
Most of my photos do not turn out the way I intended. That was the case this evening with the obstructed view. But it’s not always a bad thing. We think we know what we want, but chaos and randomness dictate otherwise. Go with the flow and work with what you have. Adaptability is the key to success in photography and life.
Before a shoot I have scenes in my head of what I want to end up with. The majority of the time I get something different. But knowing what I want those scenes to be is an advantage. The scenes will eventually appear and I’ll be ready because I will already have thought about it.
For instance, imagine a sailboat in front of a setting sun. If I have my mind set on that I might not get it on a particular outing. But at some point I will see it about to occur and I’ll be ready. The catalog of ideas in my head grows when I look at works of other photographers, or simply when I fail to get the scene I came for. The bigger the catalog in my head the more I’m ready for.
On Independence Day I did not have this image in my mind at all, not even close. But I went with the flow and ended up with something I liked very much. But that other image is in the catalog waiting for it to come up again, and on that occasion I’ll be ready.
Another hot tip if you’re looking for cool place to hang out in St Pete’s beach Florida, try the rooftop bar at Hotel Zamora (http://www.thehotelzamora.com/). If I’m not mistaken it’s fairly new because when I look it up on Google Maps it looks like a bare roof. But rest assured its been transformed into a swank pad with a great view of the Gulf.
I have a friend that’s getting married here shortly so I’m looking forward to coming back to hang out and taking some great photos.
It’s the kind of place I would go to if I were on vacation, only I live here so I need another excuse. The best excuse I can come up with is the day of the week called Saturday. Short of that I might even consider a staycation.
Along the back is Castile Restaurant overlooking the inter-coastal waterway. My wife and I stopped in for dinner, almost as an afterthought. We were surprised at the quality of food, presentation and service. It’s a hidden gem that we’ve just discovered.
Just down the street is the better-known Don Cesar hotel; it’s the pink building in the background. That’s a much bigger place with all the amenities of a large resort. But the photographer in me will choose a place with a rooftop bar over the better-known location any day. So for me, the Zamora is on the shortlist in the very near future.