So what else did I photograph during this particular sojourn to Florida? Plenty. I admit much of it was for a special Mars and Darwin book I plan to give to my parents this year, but there were still moments worthy of sharing here.
(As a matter of fact, that is my husband being silly at a playground. Why do you ask? :-))
We explored new places this time around, including DuPuis Nature Preserve in western Martin County. I drove by the place many times in my late teens and early 20s but never actually visited. I finally got there on our last full day in the wang. I also took my husband to the Port Mayaca Cemetery to show him the mass grave for the victims of the 1928 hurricane. I had been there a few times before and was kind of surprised at the changes I saw with the place. It was my husband’s first time there, though, so I set aside my surprise to show him around. By that point, though, I’d already been handed a couple other surprises.
During this trip, we discovered a park in Sewell’s Point that I had no idea even existed; stoppedd by Bayside Marketplace only to find it way more crowded than I expected; and tiptoed around at least a dozen Portuguese Man O Wars. These new adventures provided contrast to revisiting some of our old haunts. We probably won’t return for at least two more years, and that’s a trip I expect to have a lot of new adventures. Until then, enjoy these slices from South Florida.
My husband made the suggestion that we revisit Bok Tower and Gardens. We were last there in 2012, but I think he really wanted to go back so he could take lots of pictures. I can’t say I blame him.
Even though we’ve been to Bok Tower in December a couple times before, the sun has never been this bright. As a result, my pictures are sharper than usual. I’m not going to complain since this gave me more opportunities to photograph the tower while emphasizing contrasting colors. Granted, the reduced cloud cover allowed for much deeper blue skies. Even when there has been sun on previous trips there has been enough cloud cover to mute everything.
We wandered a good portion of the grounds, including the Pinewood Mansion in all its holiday glory. While snowmen were next to nonexistent, there were lots of other splendid subjects for still life and even action photography. So let’s take a trip into this Central Florida dreamscape.
As expected, I photographed things besides the livestock at the fair. Whenever we go, I always make sure to at least stop by the Ag-Hor building for some shots.
This year’s visit was a little disappointing in the fruits department, but I am generally happy with my vegetable photos. I also got to see dahlias instead of bonsai/orchid exhibits, which was a nice change of pace. Dahlias are fun to photograph. Their blooms can vary drastically, so I get to experiment with capturing a variety of patterns and textures. Aside from that, I didn’t get as many good photos in other exhibit halls this year as I have in the past. My stomach problems got worse during the times we were in the halls. I got some good pictures, but I didn’t get great pictures. On the other hand, said problems did eventually resolve themselves as the sun went down. That means some awesome nighttime shots! Hopefully next year I’ll be in better shape and will remember to get photos of things aside from the animals and Ag-Hor exhibits. 🙂
Are you ready for some more fair photos? Of course you are! If you’re in Minnesota and debating on going, I have a few (visual) reasons as to why you should at least consider attending.
The fair may be all about food, but it’s also cool to see the raw ingredients for meals as well. The vegetable area certainly whets my appetite. 🙂 Beyond that, there are plenty of other carbon-based lifeforms that are worth a visit. They’re not all in the ag-hor building, to boot! The last few years we’ve seen the bonsai and orchid exhibitions, and I saw a bunch of African Violets the first year I attended the fair. I’m hoping to see them again for a couple reasons. One, I’d like to have another chance to photograph them. Two, they remind me of my aunt. She cared for African Violets when I visited her during my childhood, and I remember my first greenhouse visit being to pick up some of those plants. Outside of plants, I did get a few photos of the animalia kingdom that I felt were worth sharing. Hopefully going earlier in the day on Labor Day will provide me more animal photography opportunities and a chance to capture the fair in a different light. I can’t wait to go!
As the weather takes its time warming up in Minneapolis, I have been doing a bit of spring cleaning in my photography world. I’m coming to find that even in the winter months there was a great deal of vibrancy in my photos. That’s kind of ironic given my emotional state over being fired and struggling with money for a while. In any case, when I have been taking photos, plants and animals have been my main subjects (although it was mostly animals for a while). Funny how that works.
Let’s be fair. When you’re on a budget like I’ve been these days, you’re going to seek out places that don’t charge much for admission (if they even charge at all). So I decided one day to take a break from job hunting and go to the Como Park Zoo. I figured since I’ve been there before numerous times it would be a good place to take Rigoberto. With it still being cold, damp and gray, my colors were tempered a bit. That’s okay, though. It meant I could practice indoors a little more, something I’ve come to enjoy since getting a DSLR. That being said, I wasn’t completely happy with my results. I rushed a bit to avoid having to pay rush hour fares, which meant I couldn’t spend as much time as I wanted taking pictures. I intend to go back to Como Park with Rigoberto to get more photos to compare my camera handling skills over a period of time. We’ll see how that pans out.
While I spent a lot of time in Lake Wales during my winter break, I visited other places in Florida as well. My husband and I wandered around and stopped by a few locales in South Florida. Some were familiar ground while others were new territory for me. There were also moments to honor long-held family traditions and ponder what has changed in my hometown. Every time I go, I realize that Florida is nice to visit, but I was not cut out to live there (even though I was born and raised in that state). Here are some slices of the more ordinary details of the state. Are they really that ordinary? I’ll let you decide.
Believe it or not, there was more to my vacation than photographing birds (although I did quite a bit of that). The majority of the trip was spent in Florida. My parents reside in South Florida, but my husband and I did venture a little ways north one day. I was really eager to get to Lake Wales because I had never taken photos there with Cameron. My previous visits involved my old Fuji compact digital and Kodak APS cameras (which I promise I will discuss one day). Given that I had a camera with more controls, I was eager to revisit a spot and take new pictures. Of course, with it being December, the lighting was rather muted on the hill, and the dense vegetation in many part of the gardens cut down the light even further. I also went into the Pinewood Mansion, which was decked out in holiday decor during my time there. It was a great time to get in some more low light work (which netted some good results even without flash). Other photography endeavors (namely plants, architecture and animals) were also productive even though the number of plants in bloom was somewhat limited (mostly poinsettias and camellias). Since a lot of photos were taken, I decided that an entry devoted entirely to Bok Tower and Gardens photos was in order. Since I already showed off some bird photos from this visit, feast your eyes on some of the other offerings that caught mine. 🙂