Walking along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk I realize this is where my element is. I shoot concerts and portraits and I’m quite busy at it, but this is where I readjust, realign my thinking, learn how to shoot better and get creative. I arrived early in hopes not to come in contact with too many other humans. I enjoy interaction, but this morning I need quiet. I am going to be extremely busy for the next couple of months and I will be running non stop with events, concerts, band shoots, portraits and weddings. I needed to simply walk and to be quiet. The silence is golden, there is no one else except for me and an occasional woodpecker singing with many other birds and insects. I watch the leaves drift from the trees; fall soon will be here. It’s amazing to just be quiet for a while, to take it in and to learn from nature.
The noise level I experienced with a group of people makes me wonder why they come to a sanctuary like this, where the quiet is what you absorb. If you plan on seeing anything, you need to be quiet and sadly they will leave the sanctuary thinking there is nothing there. My morning was quite productive with many wonderful photos taken; not all wildlife, but the flora which is quite beautiful. However it was the sounds of quiet, the gentle breeze, the buzzing of the bees and the singing of the birds that I took away with me this fine morning.
I get out into the wild as often as I possibly can. I lived in the Swamps of Fakahatchee Strand for 13 years and even though I no longer live there I still love being there and enjoying the outdoors. As a photographer it helps me keep focused and to enhance my creativity.
Today I visited another swamp area called the Babcock Ranch Preserve and took their swamp buggy tour, well worth the trip. This area is a working ranch and contains cattle from the days of the conquistador.
Wildlife abounds in this rich environmental area and they don’t seem to have the surge of exotics that have invaded other areas of South West Florida.
I have passed the genetics of photography to my youngest son, who lives in the heart of the Everglades. They are constantly battling exotics such as the snake he encountered in April of 2013; check out the article from Huffington Post below.
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What a fabulous place the Naples Zoological Park is. Such a treasure near the downtown area of Naples. This is my second time since the purchased of my year pass. I really didn’t take a lot of photos this time, because I wanted to enjoy the zoo.
It was such a lovely day and I enjoy being out in the sun and feel the warmth on my face. The primates were really active and so much fun to watch and quite vocal.
I think my favorite area is the giraffes. What unusual animals they are, straight out of the strange and unusual.
I also love the big cats!
I would encourage you to get to your favorite zoo, not only do you support the effort of breeding for endangered species, but you also give support to wonderful research and study of some of our planets great animals. For many people the only place they will see some of these species is at a zoo. Take your camera and visit your local zoo today. I know I will be back. Thank you Naples Zoo for a wonderful day.
There are times when I feel I need some sort of inspiration to keep my creativity up. I love going to the local park and walking through the wonderful fragrance gardens, but I end up getting the same photos over and over; boring! So today I decided to set my camera on monochrome and shoot away. Normally if I want something in black & white I simply turn it in post production. Doing it in camera is a bit tricky and not as easy, because the lighting and contrast have to be almost perfect for it to work. I also worked on angles. Not the hold the camera up and shoot sort of photos, but getting down on my knees, laying on my back in the grass and pulling out some really creative images. When I work this way, it opens my vision to angles and things I normally may not see. My beginnings as a photographer was in black & white, my father whom I’ve mentioned was a black & white photographer and I loved those images and still have many of them today. I want to get back to my photographic roots and take more in that medium. It’s good to work differently, and it’s good to stretch your creative imagination, so go out and enjoy your camera and open up your mind to doing something different.
Jack in the Pulpit
I had some down time prior to my photo session with my son I knew where I was going to head to. I wanted something specific and I knew the Fakahatchee Strand would yield the photo I was looking for. I have a friend who is wanting an alligator photograph. I’ve been commissioned of sort to photograph the perfect photo as he’s already hanging one of my photos in his living room and has asked for another. It is my pleasure to provide what he is looking for. I began my walk toward the boardwalk and had not traveled far when I came upon a very large alligator sunning himself up on the edge of the water. Several people were walking by and I warned them to walk carefully. It’s surprising how many people will walk past and not even see what is right in front of them. Sometimes I’m so amazed by this, they walk out thinking they never see anything and here it was right under their noses. I shot off a few photos then continued my walk down the boardwalk. Stopping to see what may be hiding. The deer flies were hungry and were gnawing upon my legs with a fervor.
As I arrived at the end of the walk I could see how shallow the water was and mama gator was doing her very best to keep the water within her pond. Rainy season will be her soon and the pond will be full once again and eggs will be laid and a new generation of alligators will be hatching in the early fall. The cycle of life is so amazing, as I have watched several generations within that pond. It was great to see momma out there working to keep her pond alive. Such are the seasons of the Fakahatchee Strand.