I take so many photos from this spot at Bradenton Beach they may as well name the pier after me (no, not really).
Piers make great leading lines and they always attract people. So if you’re a photographer and you sit near one long enough you’ll see all kinds of things to take pictures of. And, by the way, this pier and several others nearby were recently built to replace old piers destroyed in storms. I’m happy to say that after a recent hurricane the new ones had no damage at all. Yay!
This spot is popular with surfers and sometimes they use the pier to launch. When I took this, another offshore storm was creating waves, which in turn brought out the surfers and photographers including yours truly.
The pier is made of massive concrete blocks attached to pilings. It took about a year to construct and I remember wishing it would be finished. The day finally came and now they’re magnets for everything from surfers to seabirds, not to mention photo guys like me.
Walking to the train one morning in Vancouver I noticed this cruise ship at dock. It arrived a few hours earlier and was preparing for another voyage to Alaska. A common site in the summer but nonetheless it looked awesome in the morning light so I took a few photos; this is what I saw in my mind. Let me explain…
I spent a lot of time on this photo to make it look like what you see here. The original photo didn’t look so pretty. It had a lot of distractions, including other boats and a parking lot in the lower right. So I manipulated it to make it look like what I thought I saw. What we perceive is usually different than what we see. In other words, we perceive what we want to see and have a tendency to screen the rest; so this image is now closer to what I thought I saw.
At the time I only noticed the boat, it stood out because it wasn’t there the day before. I also noticed the soft light of the morning sun reflecting on the side. I thought to myself that it was an awesome scene, but when I looked at the image later there were other things I didn’t remember seeing, like the parking lot for instance. Rather than get disappointed and throw it away, it became a challenge for me to see if I could replicate my initial impression.
To my way of thinking the practice of photography is an expression of art. If I just want to record an event I snap a photo with my phone. But “photography” can be more than that. That doesn’t mean it should always be manipulated, but it should tell a story. In this case I did indeed manipulate it so that I could convey the story what I perceived in my mind on that summer morning in Vancouver.
One evening in Barcelona we walked along the beach from one end to the other. At the far end is the Hotel W Barcelona, where we stopped for a drink before heading back. I took this as we walked away just after sunset.
The architecture is unique but also bears a vague resemblance to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, I think that’s why it caught my attention.
For miles along the beach are juice bars, ice cream shops, bistros and restaurants. Just a few minutes after taking this we stopped at an open-air bistro on the beach. Sitting next to us was our United Airlines flight crew from the day before. What was surprising was that they even recognized us; nevertheless we struck up a conversation and had a bunch of laughs as we enjoyed a fun evening with our friends.
Europeans eat late and so as we walked back the hotel, the restaurants were still packed. It was fun to see and experience all of this and it’s something I could go back and do again in a heartbeat.