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.
Earlier this afternoon I got stuck in a thunderstorm, it was the first of many to come this season. I stood under a shelter for about twenty minutes while I waited for it to pass. It finally did and I walked home in a light drizzle and went about my business. In the evening I had it in my mind to see if the clouds would part a little at dusk so I drove to this spot on the opposite side of the river and waited.
This is a three shot panorama of the DeSoto Bridge in Bradenton just a few minutes after sunset. I was glad I followed my hunch.
In the center is one of three bridges, the other two are just behind it. One of the bridges is a railway and while I was here a train crossed the river. The sound of it's horn and bulk as it lumbered along was the predominant sound on this otherwise peaceful setting.
In fact I heard the train approaching as I drove over here across the DeSoto bridge. I debated whether I should head that way to get some type of train image, or this way for a landscape. In the end the landscape won the day. I've shot the train before but there are always opportunities for new compositions with every outing.
Sometime I can't find anything to shoot, other days I can't make up my mind which way to shoot. Life is a series of decisions that lead to other decisions and in the end we end up exactly where we should, despite our best intentions.