Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Best Camera you Have.....

Tim Irwin as Anonymous the Juggler

Is the one you have with you. Here is a classic example. Not a bad shot for the tiniest camera I own. I made a last minute decision to visit the Boynton Beach Pirate Fest while traveling and did not have the opportunity to pick up my regular camera so I went with the one I had at the bottom of my suitcase.

This is a lucky shot of Tim Irwin - I just happened upon his show in mid performance and shot this from the back of a packed audience with my tiny telephoto fully extended. He was performing all day so I had several more opportunities for a good shot but as usual, it's the unexpected, lucky ones that are always my best.

Special thanks to my good friend Beata for capturing my expression after she caught me with my little one.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hungry Turtle


This little guy came swimming all the way across his enclosure to get his photo taken... so I thought. As soon as he realized I was not going to feed him, he abruptly turned around and swam away.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fast Lizard - Faster Camera


I find my most memorable shots are of subjects that are not moving. Where I have time to look at the scene, get the best angle, make sure no one is photo bombing the back ground.... then there is this guy. I stumbled upon this lizard who jumped up onto a rock, posed for one second, then was gone. The other shots, now deleted, were out of focus blurs. I have seen millions of lizards in Florida of mostly common shapes and sizes but this was a first and a last for this particular creature.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Don't Text and Drive

Don't Text and Drive
There is way too much of this on South Florida roads to ignore such a simple message. Seemed rather fitting after yesterdays post. It is wonderful to share information like never before but we still have the responsibility to those around us to do it at appropriate times.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hollywood Beach Came to Me Today

Hollywood Beach

I could not make it to the beach so a friend of mine texted me this photo which I am now sharing with you from my phone. What a marvelous age we live in. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Not so Shy Mannequin

Hollywood 049

I remember as a kid it was shocking to see a mannequin undressed. Most were barely recognizable as far as anatomical correctness. Now it seems you need to take a second look be sure it's not a real person staring back at you from a store window. Provocative appears to be the current theme.

This is certainly not my typical posting but I thought it would be interesting to see if I could generate a few comments on the topic. What do you think?

Hollywood 051

Monday, October 14, 2013

Roosevelt Bridge - Stuart FL

Roosevelt Bridge
I have seen some really fantastic shots of the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart. This is not one of those. This is my attempt at capturing what others have done so well but with the wrong camera settings. So why is this such a moving picture you ask? My Dad was standing right behind me when I took it. We got up at 4:00 am to do a little photography and have breakfast. My intention was to capture a good night shot of the bridge then a sunrise lighting it up. Although is was a clear day, the clouds offshore didn't cooperate. 

I really want to go back and revisit this shot and hopefully do a little better. My Dad is probably past the point where he can stand around for hours in the dark while I set up various shots. I do have this one though and as happens a lot with me, the memories are far better than the photography. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Children with Special Needs Family Resource Fair - 2013 Signature Grand, Davie

South Florida Pirate Sirens

South Florida Pirates

South Florida Pirates

I never plan to take photos that emotionally impact me. Usually I am moved in some way by what I am experiencing and if I'm lucky, I have a photo that reminds me of it.

Recently I was invited to photograph an event my good friends at the South Florida Pirates were participating in. I had just taken my new camera out of the box and I live about five minutes away so how could I say no. In the year that I have been a camp follower of the South Florida Pirates, I have enjoyed some very special moments. The few events I missed I have regretted. Even so I was not sure what was in store for me.

This was a more solemn and reserved event than I'm used to where families with special needs children can interact with vendors who provide special needs services. I have several photos from the event so please [click here] if you are interested.

I attended to simply capture my pirate friends at the annual event that is most meaningful to them. I have often wondered what it is that drives these very dedicated individuals to donate so much of their free time. As waves of visitors came within sight of our group, I witnessed over and over the children's eyes light up followed almost instantly by their parent's wide eyes and flashing smiles. The pirates and mermaids are only too happy to pose for photos, hand out toys and coins, tell stories, entertain and create smiles. There was no shortage of beaming little faces.

My photos may not seem all that moving to one casually passing by my blog but I saw the magic my friends brought to the children and their parents and they will be some of the most memorable photos now for me. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow

I am creating this post completely from the iPhone Blogger Ap including the photo. You just never know when and where inspiration will strike. 

Normally I wouldn't think much of a shot like this but when I posted it to FaceBook , I got a lot more response than I expected. 

I remember growing up in Pennsylvania I witnessed one rainbow in my life to that point. I now live in tropical South Florida where you can see them much more frequently. Double, triple, from two different cloud bursts. I once saw a full 360 degree rainbow. Now that was a momentary, once in a lifetime event. I yelled into the house for everyone to come see. No one could be bothered. 

Several of my friends commented they have never seen a double rainbow. I have seen several. I suppose I spend more time outside looking up in the rain when most people run for shelter. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Castillo de San Marcos - St Augustine FL


Castillo de San Marcos

What is it that I find so moving about Castillo de San Marcos. The fact that it is the same today as when I brought my daughter many years ago and even when my family brought me when I was a kid in the late 70's? There is a little pizza restaurant across the street that had a similar photo as one I took. When I looked at the date it was 1910. My grandfather was a sailor about that time. He may very well have made port here as there were not many options to make land in Florida at that time. This has been going on for some 500 years.

You never know where you will make a memory. I can only hope my daughter visits again with her children and remembers the time we walked these streets and visited this place.

For more of my photos of Castillo de San Marcos [click here]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Much Needed Getaway to St Augustine, FL

St Augustine Lighthouse

Life has been challenging recently and I was well in need of a vacation. I had a long list of possibilities but very limited funds. Living at the south end of Florida adds even more limitations if you can't afford a plane ticket. A driving trip it was. Now to choose some place I have not already been a dozen times. Some place that would fill three full days. I am not one to sit around on vacation. I want sights, activities, great food, museums, and maybe a romantic evening carriage ride.

St Augustine seemed to be the answer. 

Oldest Store Museum St Augustine

I had visited many years ago and was totally clueless about the area. Before this trip I did many nights research including driving up and down the streets on Google maps. My advice, research the trolley tour packages long before you go, figure out what package is right for you then see what kind of discount you can get from the trolley vendors all over the city. It's also a good idea to figure out what you will have time to see. I managed to visit everything on my list and my list was long. There are still a few sights I may want to explore on a future visit.

St George Street - St Augustine, FL

If you have not ventured to St Augustine or it's been a while, you may want to consider it. This is a town that really wants your business. From the staff at the hotel, to the store and restaurant folks, to the live actors, everyone was simply amazing. I brought back 500 photos, five pounds, and plenty of memories.

For the best photos from my trip [click here]

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

St George Inn - St Augustine. FL


I don't get up to St Augustine very often. The last time was about nine years ago with my daughter. Even though I stayed very close to Old Town, the accommodations I chose at the time were lacking in everything but price. I decided to do much better for this trip.

I started off pricing B&B's. That did not last long. As much as I wanted to be right in the action and enjoy that personal touch, I just could not fit that option into my budget. Local hotels that were priced better were too far from where I wanted to be. The Bayfront Hilton was just about right but already booked, a little too pricey, and in the end just a hotel.

The only accommodation that fit everything I was looking for was the St George Inn and with one room left I had a very short time to contemplate. I took the chance and booked it.

One thing that concerned me was there is no parking at the hotel. You are required to drop your bags at the front door and head over to a nearby garage. Normally that would be a deal breaker for me but I took the chance.

When I arrived after a non stop 5 hour drive, two lovely people were at my trunk before I was even out of the car and whisked my luggage inside and apparently all the way to the room. They even knew my name and acted as if they expected me. The walk back from the garage was short, I received the tour, the keys, walked to the end of the property and was instantly engulfed in Old Town. Elapsed time - 15 minutes. The hotel is one of the attractions I think. Our stay was three days and I enjoyed every moment. I even got to chat with the owner on the last day and he helped with the bags as I reluctantly prepared to leave.

My experience in St Augustine was memorable but this hotel made it something special as well. If I get the chance to return, there is no question as to where I will be staying.

To see a few more photos of the St George Inn [click here]