Tag Archives: Everglades

The Ultimate Guide to Everglades Photography

Hey folks, wow, it has been a long time since I put up a blog post. But, I am excited to release my first E-book, The Ultimate Guide to Everglades Photography. It is over 40 pages and offers insight into seasons, locations, landscapes, and wildlife.

After a brief introduction to the Everglades, I get into the meat of it. Chapter 1 is the bulk of the book and gives details on various shooting locations throughout the national park. I dived the park into 3 sections, North, East, and South. The South Section has mileage given for locations and has the largest amount of area to cover.

Chapter 2 covers shooting from water craft, Chapter 3 is camping and lodging locations, Chapter 4 is Clothing and Wet Hiking, and Chapter 5 is Dangers and Discomforts.

 

At the end, is a quick reference with what I think are the best bets if you are short on time. You can purchase it here: Everglades E-book, and any purchase in September from my website is eligible for a $100 gift card.  Thanks for looking and feel free to ask any questions!

 

 

 

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Long Lens Landscapes

Seems a bit of a contradiction but a telephoto can be a very effective lens for compelling landscape images. I started out shooting landscapes with the ultra-wide angle, which can be utilized to create depth in an image through an in-your-face foreground pulling the viewer in. Long lenses of maybe 200mm plus can be great for isolation or compression of elements to show repeating lines and patterns. I have been slowly adding images when they present themselves, but on my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I got 2 I was happy with and figured I would dig up some of the others.

At, 400mm I was able to isolate the layers of trees and the fog that separated them.

I was actually hoping to get an image like this from the Painted Hills before I even got there. I was happy the light cooperated, softly highlighting the center of the image so it was bordered in both color tone and luminosity.

A young slash pine among larger trees. The 400mm allowed me to isolate this tree and compress the depth of the background trees, giving the appearance of a denser forest.

Long lenses also can elp when the light is not ideal. Here, in tough light, I shot this scene in the shadowed side of the hill.

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Those Foggy Mornings

I am not a morning person. As a photographer, this can be a big hindrance. It means I am missing 50% of the good-light opportunities of the day.  If you look through my portfolio you will notice a lot of sunsets. The sunrises, however, are a bit limited.

One thing that sunrises have that definitely helps pull me out of bed, is the possibility of fog. I always strive to have a mood or atmosphere to my images. This can be created most easily by lighting at the ends of the day(sunrise/sunset). Fog, however, really can ramp things up.

In the Everglades, I  seem to gravitate to the pinelands when it is foggy. Sometimes hard to shot, the fog can really simplify things and allow you to isolate elements easier. I went out twice recently and got several images I am happy with.

The first morning I stayed around the Long Pine Key Campground. There is a lake there with an awesome island of pines that is a wonderful element. I created this panoramic before the sun came up and the moody blues really helped here.

The Still of Morning

This morning was so thick with fog, and you could hear the condensation dripping off the trees.  It was perfectly still and quiet. As the sun broke through the fog I hiked out in the pinelands to get a composition I had in mind but never with these conditions. As I was hiking out to this spot (1 mile away) I could hear turkeys calling. They were reintroduced to Long Pine key after several attempts and it is good to know they have stuck around and not become bobcat food.

A New Beginning

I hiked back to the lake to see how everything looked with different lighting conditions and got this tighter shot of the island.

This was the first shoot of the year and for several months. It definitely helped renew my desire to get out and to create new images.

As the forecast called for fog again, I ran out a week later and it happened to coincide with the full moon. What is great about the full moon is that it rises and sets opposite the sun. This can help with the evening out of lighting conditions and lead to some dramatic images.

As I was driving out this morning I noticed the fog wasn’t as thick as I wanted. I was thinking of running out to the dwarf cypress but decided to go to Pine Glades Lake. I figured getting the  moon setting would be a nice image. I waited until the sun was about the break the horizon and got this image. It is a single image double processed to just barely bring back the overly bright moon. The sun’s light on the foreground helped to even out the dynamic range.

Moonset Over Pine Glades Lake

I briefly walked back into the pinelands and shot this clump of pines, with a nice glow behind them.

Fog doesn’t always help produce dramatic images but sometimes subtle is what you need. Still there is no denying it helps set the mood. Have a great weekend everyone!

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One Mantis, Two Photos

Hey guys, miss me? It has been a while. This morning I finally made some images worth sharing. I have been shooting with John Moran and David Moynahan, two fantastic Florida nature photographers.

They have showed me some great new shooting methods and techniques, and while shooting a praying mantis this morning, I was able to try one out. First let me show you a traditional shot of how I would normally go about it. I shot this guy with my Tamron 180 macro, tripod mounted, with some off camera fill flash.

And now the “other” type of image. Both David and John use a Tokina 10-17 fisheye. This lens is WIDE! They usually shoot it on a crop sensor. I did try it on my full-frame 5d2, and it is really only usable above 15mm. Anyways, I dropped my memory card in John’s 7d with the Tokina mounted, and again, some off-camera flash. This is the result, a totally different feel, mood, everything. I have known about this wide-angle macro technique for some time, really getting it demoed to me by Clay Bolt. I definitely will need to play around with it myself more, but was quite excited by this quick result.

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The Mangrove

Florida has 3 or 4 species of mangroves, the Red, Black, and White. The button wood is also considered a mangrove sometimes. This post is dedicated to the Red Mangrove(Rhizophora mangle), the one I consider the most visually interesting. Mangroves are an extremely important aspect of the coastal ecosystem. They stabilize shoreline and provide feeding, breeding, and nursery grounds for fish, shellfish and birds. Red mangroves can be identified by their tall prop roots which help supply oxygen to the flooded roots below and also help stabilize the tree. Here are some of my favorite images created in South Florida of them.

Storm Over the Mangroves

Mangrove Moonrise

Reaching

Mangrove Magic

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