The sunrises and sunsets in the last week have been the stuff of dreams. That's because we are transitioning between seasons and thunderclouds are being replaced with wispy Stratus. This has had me a little stressed, as I've been too busy to get out, or more accurately, I've had really bad timing. By the time I notice its too late, or at least I think it is. All that aside, on this morning I grabbed my bag, still in my workout clothes and headed for the river. I stood out on this pier for a four-minute exposure of the sunrise over Bradenton.
What I find so fascinating is that the exposure shows the movement of the clouds which seem to travel in different directions depending on their altitude. I suppose a pilot or someone more acquainted with weather knows of the phenomena, but I'm a simple man and I get amazed by such things.
It was rush hour and the bridge was packed with traffic, but of course it doesn't show up on account of the length of the exposure.
So anyway, I managed to reduce a little stress by getting here on this morning, but there are many more times I have missed. I should be happy when I see a beautiful scene, but if I don't have my camera I end up wishing I did. I think that's a hazard of the occupation, as a photographer it's hard to turn off the need to capture and just enjoy the scene, unless of course I'm taking pictures. But I'm working on it and one day I'll be happy either way, with or without my camera.
The Sunshine Skyway is almost ten miles long and as you drive across you have great views of the sea and sky. When you are in your car it looks like you are driving into the sky. Maybe that's where it got its name, (that's just a guess on my part). On this morning I came to a little island on the northern stretch to take pictures.
In the summer the clouds form large columns that tower miles into the sky. When the sun is low on the horizon the light hits these columns at different angles depending on the elevation. What I notice is that the lower section of the cloud columns have warmer colors whereas those higher up tend to appear white. My guess is there are more particles in the lower atmosphere.
In Florida, when you see thunderclouds in the afternoon the variation in colors is hard to miss. In this image the clouds are about fifteen miles in the distance but you can still see the variation in colors.
This is another long exposure panorama. It's a thirty-second exposure that I took one morning just after dawn. I stitched two images to create the panorama. This vantage point is about ten minutes from home so it's an easy spot to get to. I had to cross the bridge to get here and then again to get back. I suppose that means I had my head in the clouds at least twice before breakfast. Not an unusual thing for me I suppose.
Lights reflecting in Sarasota Bay on a recent evening. I've taken similar images but of course each one is a little different. This is a long exposure panorama of three separate images; the exposure is about ten-seconds and it makes the water look smooth. Panoramas over the water work well only if the water is smooth. Otherwise there are noticeable lines where the wave patterns are stitched together. That's because the waves from each picture are in different positions and don't match when combined. A little tip for the day.
I'm addicted to long exposure photography, I love how it transforms a scene, making it seem almost serene. I'm also addicted to night or low light photography, I like how the mood shifts when the bright light of day fades. When I get to combine the two I'm in my happy place. It's a lot of fun and I never quite know what I'll end up with. The main thing is to keep experimenting and, of course, having fun.
Anyway, now that the weather here in Florida is finally cooling a bit from the long hot summer, an evening outdoors can be refreshing. A cool dry breeze is something I haven't felt around here in about six months, so now that thats starting I think its time to get out and enjoy the weather. Not that I need an excuse but for me that means doing more long exposure panoramas. Stay tuned, more images to come.