This is Bradenton Beach under the light of a nearly full moon. I was taking pictures with a friend and everything was illuminated by the glow from the moon. Coming to the beach at night is an experience that is completely different from daytime. For me it's a meditative experience. The overwhelming sensation is the sound of the waves.
If possible I try to take pictures of people in night scenes like this. That's not always possible but with a moon glow and a high enough ISO it sometimes works. In this case there are people with a lantern at the end of the pier. Generally taking pictures of people during long exposures is not possible because when they move they appear invisible. To appear invisible is an oxymoron, but I digress.
Also when shooting at night around urban areas I'll get those light streaks in the sky from aircraft. Normally I don't notice them at the time but afterwards the streak is obvious. I suppose you could calculate speed based on the distance of the streak and the length of the exposure. Nevertheless these also occur with moving boats on the water.
Taking photos by the beach at night is a lot of fun. If I didn't have to get up the next morning I'd probably stay out all night. However I'll usually leave in a relaxed state of mind with the sound of the waves faintly echoing in my head. After that I have no problem falling asleep.
When I visit big cities I like to take pictures of buildings. Repeating patterns are like puzzles for our brains because we automatically look for slight differences. Maybe that's related to an evolutionary survival trait like looking for predators in the tall grasses of the African savanna. However this is neither Africa nor a big city. This is an urban scene at sea, aka a cruise ship docked in the Bahamas.
This is Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. If I'm not mistaken it's the largest cruise ship in the world right now.
I was on a small ferry traversing the port as we passed this behemoth docked at the terminal. It is about twenty stories high and as long as an air strip. This is just one small section of one side. These mega ships are more akin to cities than boats.
This last weekend I was on cruise ship several times smaller than this, and even that was still quite big. Big enough to have several pools, a rock climbing wall, a casino, clubs, bars and restaurants. So take all that and multiply it by three or four.
A few years back I was on the Aurora of the Seas, which at the time was the world's largest. To be honest, it took me a week to figure out where everything was. It's a little like visiting Disney World, it takes a while to get your bearings. Since that time we've cruised on much smaller ships, like the one this last weekend. And even then there were places on the ship I never saw.
If they make these ships any bigger they might just become indistinguishable from big cities.
This is the morning sun over Co Co Cay in the Bahamas. Over the weekend I found myself on a cruise ship. Living in close proximity to ports it’s easy to drive to a cruise terminal for a weekend excursion. In this case we left Miami and were scheduled for two stops, here and Nassau. However the wind and swells were too strong to safely disembark so the captain decided to sail on. That didn't stop me from taking a few pictures as we passed by and continued out to sea.
Every so often its good to get away and decompress. That’s a funny word but it describes what we do to ourselves in everyday life. We take on challenges of life and we tend to layer them one on top of the other. Soon we are squeezed under the normal weight of life. By getting away the layers are temporarily lifted and we decompress, if even just for a day.
I spent a lot of time looking at and taking pictures of the sea. That’s not necessarily interesting from a photography perspective but for me it was a study in the on-going theme of sea and sky. There were clouds and in the morning and evening and it was fun to see how they could interplay with the sun.
Of course I took plenty of other images that are not so abstract, but this one is special because for me it represents a few days of doing nothing. Now back to normal life.