Tag Archives: sunset

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is composed of 7 islands approximately 70 miles west of Key West. It also contains and protects about 101 square miles of marine habitat. The most notable landmark of Dry Tortugas, however, is Fort Jefferson. It was thought a good idea to have the fort to help protect the straits connecting the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Construction began in 1847 and continued on through the Civil War, but was never fully finished. It served as a prison during the Civil War and its most famous inhabitant was Samuel Mudd, an American physician who was convicted and imprisoned for aiding and conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the 1865 assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

I had been wanting to get to the Tortugas for years and finally planned a trip this past December. I timed it for the full moon, so I could try some night photography. I booked a two night camping trip and got all my gear ready.

The trip started with 25 mph winds and made for a rough boat ride. I took the Yankee Freedom over, from Key West. I paid to have a kayak ferried with me, which never was launched do to wind. It also clouded over and I spent 2 days waiting for the wind to subside and the sun to come out. Snorkeling is supposed to be great down there, but with all the wind, visibility was pitiful. Just at sunset on the second day, the clouds began to break and I made sure to take advantage of it.

The clouds also stayed sparse enough for me to get something including the moon, or at least the light from it.

I went to sleep a little less nervous about a failed trip and awoke for sunrise. It didn’t amount to much but I knew what I wanted to do with the warm early light.

Although this image is iconic of Ft. Jefferson, I felt this light was pretty rare to capture. Most photographers are day-trippers and are never on the island when the light is this good. I camped for 2 nights and finally got this on the third day. Lucky me!

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Ft. Myers Beach Pier Variations

2 weeks ago I participated in Artfest Ft. Myers. So, after setting up on Friday I ran over to the Ft. Myers Beach Pier hoping for a nice sunset over it. I got a decent sunset but after that I continued to shoot. I never seem to be happy with just one take on a place and many times my favorite develops after I have gone through a few compositions. Anyways, here are a few different views I took. My personal favorite is the last, taken in the perfect balance of natural twilight and the glow of artificial lighting.

Thanks for looking!

Paul

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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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Summer Storms

Its that wonderful time of year in South Florida. We are well into the storm season and it seems a daily thunderstorm rolls around in the afternoon. I have spent a good deal of time chasing these storms over the years and am excited to hopefully add some new images this summer. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten out yet but I wanted to showcase some of my favorites from the past. Standing out in the Everglades when one of these whips up is an awesome experience. For one thing, the cool winds that precede the deluge feel great when it is 90 degrees plus; and it also helps blow the mosquitoes of my skin.

The lightning shows can be incredible and the sheer size of some of these storms just helps put things back in perspective. I hope you enjoy them.

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Boca Chita

Boca Chita is a great little barrier island about 10 miles across Biscayne Bay, and 12 miles south of Key Biscayne. It is only accessible by boat, but has a nice protected harbor to dock in. It is a perfect place for some winter camping, but in my case, a great place for some photography. There are some nice little Red Mangroves on the eastern shore that face right into the Atlantic. These have been visibly stunted, probably by the harsh weather and coral rock they try to grow in. On this night, I wanted first and foremost, to get a good shot of these guys during sunset. I was lucky the clouds cooperated, and after getting what I thought would work, ran back to the other side of the island.

Boca Chita Lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse made form the local limestone, and using a 10-stop neutral density filter, was able to lengthen the exposure to about 100 seconds. With the last of the directional light hitting the lighthouse, this gave it a nice glow but allowed the clouds and palms to show a lot of movement in the image. I wanted to get something a bit different and think I succeeded. Enjoy!

Mangrove Magic

Boca Chita After Hours

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