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.
This is from a place known as City Island here in Sarasota. It's not a city, but if you turn the other way it has a great view of the city. This is where the Mote Marine Laboratory is located. It's a world class not-for-profit marine research facility, they also have an aquarium and ocean mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility. It's a great place to visit if you're in the area.
However I was here early one morning to get photos of the city at sunrise and then decided to turn my camera in the other direction. This is one of two herons that were there that morning as I walked about the park. They didn't seem to mind that I was there, probably because it was prime fishing time and couldn't be bothered with the human and his tripod, can't say that I blame them.
I've taken pictures of this tree before, it's distinctive and just begs to be photographed. The problem is there are a lot of distractions if you point the other way towards the city; buildings, boats and bushes. So on this day I took a different approach and aimed away from the city towards City Island. Come to think of it that should be a riddle: How do you turn your back on the city and face the city at the same time? Stand on City Island in Sarasota.
Here is a shot of The Rod and Reel, a local favorite on Anna Maria Island. I took this after dusk on a Friday night. It was the tail end of dusk so the clouds had a hint of the color.
Here you can get a brew or have a meal while you sit on the pier surrounded by the tropical waters of the Gulf. For a few dollars you can get some bait and rent a pole. The nice thing about that is you won't need a fishing license so it's usually the first place I take out-of-state guests that want to fish. I could think of worse places to sit for a few hours.
If you watch the waters you'll see dolphins and manatees swimming by. People come here at night to fish for shark, it's not uncommon. Not something I might not do, but hey, I could if I wanted to.
This is a thirteen-second exposure and so it causes the water to appear smooth. That's an effect I like a lot, I could do long exposures all the time and never get tired of it. A little like time surfing, whatever that means. I think of it as taking a stretch of time and compressing it. When we do that to water it creates a wave. So here I'm letting some time pass and then compressing it to make this image. Maybe a little bit shaky as a metaphor, but I'm on Anna Maria Island so who cares.