Monday, February 1, 2016

I love my state parks pass because it feels like every visit is free, and I can go as often as I like.  It's not free, of course, but if I go a lot it more than pays for itself.  Last week I went out with my camera to photograph in one place and ended up in another...Little Talbot SP.  These are two photographs from the far end of the beach.  Across the way is the U.S. Naval base at Mayport.  Sometimes warships clutter the view, but not on this day.  (Film)







Friday, January 29, 2016

These relics often serve as perches for the myriad of birds who congregate on their limbs.  On this day, they were elsewhere, but maybe next time I visit, they'll cooperate.









Sunday, January 17, 2016

A recent New York Times op-ed piece by David Brooks called When Beauty Strikes reminded me how often contemporary art discourages beauty as not gritty or significant enough to be a worthy ingredient.  It's true that it doesn't reflect the angst of the human condition, but does that matter?  Is it really the only mission of art to mirror of the woes of the zeitgeist?  For some, it surely is just that, but for me (and, thankfully, others) revealing an authentic response to what is beautiful is a higher calling. 

These several photographs were taken by the St. John's River one foggy morning recently.  It's rare for fog to last beyond the first hour or so of sunlight here, but on this morning it persisted much longer.  (Film)











Monday, January 4, 2016

Here's another from my drive on Route 21.  One drives for miles with nothing of interest to view other than endless pine forests raised for paper pulp, so it's nice to see something worth stopping for.  (Film)



Monday, December 28, 2015

I continue to try to find subjects that interest me away from the ocean and marshes. Yesterday, I took a long drive on the west side of the St. John's River (quite a bit away from it actually), and stopped for these. It's a challenge to find compositions I like in spite of the chaos, but that's the fun of it. (Film)





Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Among the many things I miss about NY, is autumn color.  However, the little bit there is here presents itself as a much lighter value than its surround.  In the north, it would be less evident as the context is also a lighter value.  These photographs are from around the corner.  I was hoping for late afternoon sun that would illuminate the trees from the side, but no such luck...near total cloud cover.  But, I did enjoy the contrast the remaining leaves on these plants offered.










Thursday, December 10, 2015

        Temporary guests
.       not percolating through sand
        Tide pools take sun baths.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trying to make something from not very much, it's interesting that, like a painter, manipulating tones can create something that wasn't there.  No, it's not Photoshop, but simple burning and dodging.  (Film)



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another place I've not been to before...Ft. Mose State Park.  Like Kingsley Plantation, it is part of the African-American experience in Florida.  Here's an account from Ft. Mose Historical Society's website:  "Hidden away in the marshes of St. Augustine, Florida is one of the most important sites in American history: the first free community of ex-slaves, founded in 1738 and called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose or Fort Mose (pronounced Moh-Say)."   http://www.fortmose.org/







Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Back to the beach!  Anastasia SP in St. Augustine again.  This particular park, while not permitting access to sensitive dune areas, does allow a lot of wandering where there are clumps of sea oats, vines, and other flora I can't name.  The day was actually cold with a strong wind which forced the hood on the hoodie to be on and the zipper pulled up as far as it would go.  Odd, after a lifetime up north, to call a day in the low 50s 'cold', but that's the way it felt.  (Film)









Monday, November 16, 2015

Part of growing in photography is taking chances with subjects and compositions in ways that differ from one's usual approaches.  Including the sun here was risky both because it is at the top of the frame, and because it is such a focal point.  But, that is also what makes it a more interesting photograph, at least to me.  (Film)



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Not wanting to rely solely on the ocean and marsh views I've photographed a lot lately,  I drove very slowly on the roads that make a loop on Fort George Island where the Kingsley Plantation and Ribault Club are.  I was trying out a new-to-me lens replacing one that has focus problems - a loose element -  that was about the same price as a repair would have been.  The forest here, as I've often written, is more like a jungle, and nearly impenetrable visually.  Still,  I found enough to fill a roll of film.  Here are the several I liked well enough to scan and process.  (Film)











Saturday, November 7, 2015

This photograph was made from a roll of film I started shooting a week or so ago, and finished today.  It's from Little Talbot Island State Park.  As described in a previous post, the Navy's Blue Angels' F18s were tearing up the sky, their roar a thrill to experience though not visible from the beach due to altitude.  The contrast of warplanes heard with serene scenes viewed was dramatic!  (Film)



Friday, November 6, 2015

Now and then, a 'mistake' can be an asset.  'Lens flare' is an aberration to be avoided most of the time, but not always.  In this image, the flare serves as proxy for the much too intense sun which would have been overpowering.    (Film)






Saturday, October 31, 2015

I may have posted this a few years ago, I don't remember, and don't feel like scrolling back that far to check   I just rediscovered it among some files, and thought it pertinent to the series I seem to be accumulating about the ocean, marshes, and swamps in this area.  How trees end up this twisted and gnarly is a mystery to me.   (Film)






Thursday, October 29, 2015

The beach has become my Zen garden... a daily cycle of renewal that holds no memory of itself yesterday, nor any inkling of itself tomorrow.  Though these words were meant differently,  I think they also lend themselves to this theme  (Film)

  "...of course you are not finished
   how can you be finished
   when the morning begins again
   or the moon rises..."

An excerpt from the poem, to the book,  in, The Lego Poem by W. S. Merwin









Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There are a lot of these flooded cedar swamps around here.  Fortunately, this was by the side of the road and didn't require slogging into the water wearing snake boots.  This is one of the rare instances where I might have preferred a color image as the leaves were yellow and really stood out against the dark water.  But, this is what I got, and I like it well enough.   (Film)



Monday, October 26, 2015

On my way to the place I photographed in my previous post, I passed this scene.  I turned the car around and came back quickly....didn't want to lose the sun on the water.  (Film)



Sunday, October 25, 2015

As I now have an annual pass to Florida state parks, I feel compelled to visit those nearby as often as I can. I made this yesterday at Little Talbot Island SP when the tide was nearly all the way out. As swimming is discouraged, and fishermen gravitate to other places, it's often nearly deserted,  I did, however,  meet some nice people who had an interest in photography which was an unexpected bonus.  The strand is quite large at low tide, and the feeling of solitude is magnified by the vast expanse.  (Film)



Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's not always about the ocean here; sometimes it's about the marshes too!   I've photographed at Pumpkin Point Preserve before, but there's never been as much wind as there was yesterday which made the otherwise dreary Spanish Moss a much more dynamic element.  (Film)


 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Well, back to the beaches.  Inland?...not so much.  (Film)






Friday, October 16, 2015

It is spectacularly easy to make a decent photograph around here if you're at the beach or the marshes.  But, away from them,  Florida forests are much more difficult and present a very different challenge than the boreal woods I've been used to for nearly all my life.  The light is often very harsh, and the undergrowth is cluttered and more difficult to penetrate.  But, I make the demand to myself that there is ALWAYS something in my own backyard that's visually compelling even if it's littered with junk (which, happily, it isn't).  This photograph attempts, using Photoshop Elements 11, to futz with the negative scan enough to make an image I don't hate. I'm at a loss to figure out what I'd do with it in the darkroom, but that's a problem to solve later...namely, when the damn darkroom is finished being set up!!  (Film)



Monday, October 12, 2015

Sometimes less is more in photographs, too.  (Film)



Sunday, October 11, 2015

I hope there's never a tax on the appropriation of cloud images in Florida.  It's the coin of the realm here.  The land is one huge, flat sand bar, but the sky is one huge melodrama more often than not.  Here's one from yesterday.  I was nearly hit by a car when crossing the road to this beach.  Partly my fault for being oblivious, but the damn driver didn't even try to brake.  At least, he is safe from zombies as he clearly has no brain at all!  Nothing to munch on....not a whit.   (Film)



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Here's one more from Anastasia SP from my Thursday trip there.  I love the little vines that act like leading lines.  And, just for silly, the sand goblin was photographed in mid dance yesterday at Big Talbot Island SP.    (Film)





Friday, October 9, 2015

The state parks in Florida I'm now familiar with are really beautiful and remain 'wild'.  Yesterday I bought a year's pass and expect to get waaaay more than my money's worth.  The photographs below are from my first visit to Anastasia SP in St. Augustine.  (Film, 25 A red filter)





Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I returned to Alpine Groves Park again yesterday with the same camera as my last post, but with fresh film.   There is a dramatic difference in the negatives on the fresh from the 14 year's expired batch.  But, once scanned and fixed up in Photoshop, those differences are muted.  I won't go back there again for a while, because I'll just be likely to rephotograph what I've done already.   (Film)









Tuesday, September 29, 2015

These two images were made on film that expired in 2001.  I was hoping to use it to experiment with long exposure, but the scene didn't lend itself to that procedure.  Instead, I used it to be sure the camera I was using was doing what it is supposed to do...it was.  What you cannot see here are the manatees who were swimming near the pier, and sounding ever few minutes with their loud exhalations.  You also cannot hear the guy who was not far away playing his Uilllean Pipes...a wonderful bagpipe sound that's more gentle than the Great Highland Bagpipe.  (Film)

Update.  It seems that Uillean pipes are usually played sitting down, so it must have been something different as the piper was standing.  I discovered that there are 16 varieties of bagpipes in the UK and Ireland alone and about 3 times that many in other countries.  Whichever kind it was, it was very nice to hear. 





Sunday, September 27, 2015

I have begun to experiment with neutral density filters to learn how to make long exposure photographs.  I don't know what's involved with digital cameras and this technique, but with film it's mostly a lot of careful calculation and consultation with reciprocity failure graphs.  (RF is the falloff of film's sensitivity with extended exposure that is compensated for with still longer exposure which  has to be fairly precise.)   To do this, I'm using my oldest medium format camera, a Mamiya C220.  The reason is that it uses no battery, so exposure can last as long as necessary.  This photograph was only a one second exposure, but I used a fast film (ISO 400) so couldn't extend the time given the brightness of the scene.  I'm learning.  More to come!  (Film, of course!)



Saturday, September 26, 2015

It rained the day before I made these photographs, but the sky remained sullen.  The ocean was also in a terrible mood hurling itself on the beach in a tantrum.  Not to be upstaged, the wind whipped water into froth and sand into stinging splatter. I kept forgetting to turn my peaked cap around when facing the wind so off it would go. I quickly developed Medusa hair chasing it.  It's also true that eyeglasses and camera lenses are inclined to attract vapor (thankfully, the camera ones have clear, protective filters). With all the cap chasing and glass cleaning, it's a wonder I had a moment to make a photograph.

The air was on the cusp of feeling cool, and on such a day at this particular state park, I was reminded of Cape Cod. It's the Atlantic Ocean's seashore in both places, and the dunes and flora are not too distant in character. In Florida, though, if I fail to dodge an aggressive wave, my toes don't suffer frostbite.  (Film)