Sometimes black and white photographs elicit just the right feelings for a scene. I generally prefer color shots, but here's a black and white conversion that I like because of the dramatic stormy skies overhead as the sun sets in Dunedin, Florida. The grain gives it a bit of a classic feel as well.
I've been wanting to shoot a sunrise at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from this vantage point. I wasn't expecting a band of dramatic clouds high overhead, but I'm very happy they were there. Typically I like long exposures to smooth out the surface of the water. Here I used a fast shutter speed to capture the birds flying in the shot and retain more of the fine detail in the clouds.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a sight to behold here in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area. Spanning 4.1 miles, it ranked No. 3 in the Travel Channel's special of the "Top 10 Bridges in the World." The wide angle focal length I used doesn't show the true scale and grandeur of the structure, but it is massive, rising 431 feet into the air. I don't have a fear of heights but the first time I drove across this bridge I was a little unnerved staring up at the sky and not being able to see the other half of the span. I felt like I was on a roller coaster, creeping upward and waiting to drop off quickly on the downward descent. In this shot the sun is still below the horizon but you can see the light starting to illuminate the sky on the right hand side of the photograph.
There's a reason why I photograph more sunsets than sunrises -- I'm not a morning person! But today I ventured out of my comfort zone and drove to a fishing pier in the Tampa Bay area to shoot what I hoped would be a beautiful scene. I was a little nervous about whether Mother Nature would cooperate. Fortunately, I was rewarded, and my 5:15 am alarm time turned out to be well worth it.
Lately I find myself taking a more artistic turn with my photography. I want to create photographs that look realistic and yet capture an artistic feel, not pushing the boundaries too far but moving in the direction of images that look more like paintings in some cases. In this latest photograph, I think there's an interesting blend of the realistic (the Monarch butterfly) combined with a watercolor look to the milkweed flower and background. Almost like a watercolor photograph.
I went hunting a couple days ago... butterfly hunting! I shot quite a few, but don't worry, no butterflies were actually harmed. :) This is a White Peacock Butterfly feeding on a milkweed flower as a touch of sunlight illuminates his wings. It's easy to see why I love to make pictures of these wonderful little creatures.
I attended my first Meet Up event with a group of local Tampa Bay photographers this morning. We had a shoot coordinated to make pictures of a Tampa Fire Department boat at Davis Island. But the rainy weather cut the session short, so I decided to go in a different direction with my photography today. Sometimes you have to work with what Mother Nature dictates, especially here in Florida.
Here's another picture I made of a beach sunset at Sanibel Island, Florida. This was taken last weekend, in the same location and about 10 minutes apart from the other sunset photo I posted recently. Sanibel Island is about 3 hours south of where I live in Tampa, but I will look forward to visiting again!