Road Trips

Since I was a little girl one of the things I remember were road trips with my mom & dad.  We would pile into the family car and my dad would just drive.  Living in West Virginia, there were lots of scenic back roads and I would sit in the back and listen to my dad whistle.  Long stretches of roads leading to nowhere in particular….

Seems as if in the past few weeks I’ve felt a need to revisit road trip travel and have several times over this past month.    

The second weekend I had a trip with my photo group to Gasparilla Island on Boca Grande and photographed the lighthouses. It was a beautiful day.

The following weekend I visited Solomon’s Castle and vivid piece of architecture which came from the imagination of an incredibly talented and eclectic man. His art is whimsical and speaks volumes of the man he was, sadly he passed away several years back, but his home is open to the public for touring along with his private collection of art and pre – 1935 cars. Unfortunately due to his estate, we were not permitted to take photographs of his artwork (I may be able to find some from a past trip when he was still living).   

Strolling through the grounds in the Florida heat & humidity, you simply take in the beauty of the land and his gardens, along with the beauty of the structure he built.  Photos will never do it justice. The tour is funny, insightful and gives you a glimpse of what life was like for this eccentric junk collector; although to him it was art and not junk.  If you live in Florida, this is a must see place, just remember however, they close from August 1 to October 2. 

Sunday June 23 was my birthday and I decided to head over to the Avon Park area, hang out with friends at their church and be closer to attend the funeral of one of my cousins.  I was able to reconnect with his daughters whom I’ve not seen in at least 50 years.  It was such a bittersweet time.  Oliver was probably my dad’s best friend along with Oliver’s brother Rich, growing up as kids.  They hung out together and played as kids; Daddy was the oldest, however he was also the first to pass almost 36 years ago. Oliver lived to be 91. As a child I remember him being funny and always up to some shenanigans with my father. I know he will be missed.  

This past weekend I headed back over to the Avon Park area so the I could participate in the Independent Day musical of a really good friends church. It was wonderful to be able to re-ignite another passion. Music Has been in my life since I was a little girl. My soul was so refreshed.

As you can see I’ve had a busy month traveling taking day and over night trips. It’s been refreshing to just drive the country back road Florida has.

Please enjoy some of my photos.

Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande

Solomon’s Castle, Ona, Florida

Cousins!

Immortality

As I thought about this work “immortality” I am forced to think about my own.  Being a photographer my job is to capture images for people to pass on so they can in a way, become immortal.  It’s a given we are all going to pass from this world, but we can leave incredible memories for those we leave behind.  I was reminded of this just this past week, as our area suffered an EF2 tornado.  Living in Florida, they do happen mostly out in the water and are known as ‘water spouts’, but in the past week we have had some pretty severe weather which has ignited the atmosphere with tornadic activity.  In one close by neighborhood many families had devastating loss of property; everything was blown all over the neighborhood, including photographs.  Someone in the neighborhood found the photographs and posted them on Facebook to see if they could find the owners, saying “we know these mean something to someone and want to get them to the owner”.  I am hoping the family whom the photos belonged were reunited.

These past few weeks with the death of several celebrities like actor Alan Rickman, singer songwriter, performer David Bowie and most recently Glenn Frey of the Eagles, I’ve been taking a walk down memory lane looking at the photos from years past.  As a concert photographer I know when I am photographing an artist that I am one of those who will be continuing their legacy.  In late 2013 I had the honor of photographing the late Johnny Winter in concert and in July 2014 he passed away; I may very well be one of the last people to have photographed him, I have that photo printed and in a scrap book.

2013 11 23_Southwest Florida Blues Festival_7565_edited-1
Johnny Winters

All the time I am questioned as to why I don’t offer digital images and I tell potential clients it’s because you are the legacy to your children and grandchildren, without physical photographs in hand, you may not have your story visually told.  Sure I could offer DVD’s or flash drives full of photographs, but the chances of that making it out of a disaster and found or if found not being corrupted is slim; and your life events recorded upon that digital media will be gone forever. Not to mention the fast paced change we see with the way digital media is stored, there may not be a way to view those images in the future.  I suffered this loss myself when I lost my hard drive in 2005 from hurricane Wilma, the electrical surge fried my computer and all of my youngest son’s graduation photos were on that computer……now lost forever.

So for everyone who takes photographs, no matter if you use a point & shoot, dslr or your cell phone, please make prints of your work.  It does not matter if you are shooting wildlife, your pets, your family or even those selfies.  Take those digital images and print them out and put them in an album.  I have done this, I have photos of my adult children, my cat and my adventures with wildlife.  I also have a scrap book of just about all the concerts I have photographed on a professional level along with the credentials that went with the concert.  This is to preserve my legacy as a concert photographer and the personal photos will insure, my family will be remembered long after I am gone.