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Sanding Ovations…

I have always wanted to see the sand sculpture event at the beach, but something always prevented me from heading to Treasure Island. And it was not on my mind at 2 AM on Friday when I walked out the front door to look for the lunar eclipse and got rained on. I hadn’t seen a notice that the sand sculptures were even happening, but, lucky for me, my friend did, and off we went. You can see from the pictures that it was a perfect day, hot in the sun but with a wonderful breeze to cool you off and keep the kites aloft. Traffic was surprisingly light driving there, and I was delighted that I had easy access to the sculptures without people in the way. I neglected to notice all the commotion in the background of my pictures while I was taking them. And with the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop I could have knocked my head against the wall trying to remove them, or I could not worry about it and assure myself that I’m presenting an accurate picture of the event. But I’m sure there are lots more people and distractions going on today and tomorrow as the event reaches full swing.

You can see that this is a work in progress. I have no idea when the judging will take place, but I was blissfully unaware of the unfinished aspects of some of the sculptures while I took pictures. They will be on display through the holidays, barring weather related damage. This one is Neptune’s Organ.
Lest you worry about my hydration during this event you’ll be happy to know that we drank Liquid Death while we walked around. At one point I was holding two cans of this when a gentleman asked me how my drink was, and was disappointed to realize it was water. Not even fizzy water. Many people probably shook their heads over this old two-fisted drinker.
This ” tort-a-potty” was one of the first stops of the day.
I didn’t catch the name of this one, something about a mermaid trapped in the kelp.
The DJ was playing some really fun music as we walked around, and he announced that someone had just told him that since he was located beside a sculpture named ‘whale wash’ then he ought to play Car Wash, and he did!
This one was Pilotfish. Those portholes were actually openings to the other side, with different faces looking out on that side.
The hiney on this one caught my eye so I took this picture. As the day went on there were plenty of bikini clad gals walking around showing almost as much hiney as this.
I made it a point to take another photo of that last sculpture and totally missed seeing that he was kissing that scuba guy kite who hovered over us all day.
This is the pregnant mermaid. I love that the little toy rocking horse is actually a sea horse.
Biting the arm that feeds you.
A mighty battle…
The flip side of the battle sculpture was this fresh fish sign.
When you don’t pay attention to the activity in the background you might wind up with a picture you could title “Off With His Head”.
This castle sculpture was placed at the far end of all the sculptures, and was the biggest and most elaborate. I was happy that I could crop the photo and only have a couple of people in it. For scale, LOL, but not really.
This might have been the more interesting view of that castle sculpture, if not for the tools of the trade all on display. I’m surprised that they didn’t show when I took the picture from the other side.

You can certainly tell which photos were taken with the sun behind the sculptures and which had the sun on their faces. As usual I was happy to be out talking pictures in such a fun environment, it’s only when I look at the pictures later that the details of backgrounds and shadows really hit me over the head. But there was so much going on, rows and rows of vendors and a great selection of really good food to choose to eat, that I just happily clicked away. It might be worth another trip next Friday…

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BooTampa!

They were preparing for Halloween at the zoo the day we were there. And it was toddler day, which explains all the little kids owe saw…

Spooky garden scene for the kids.
Even spookier.
Dr. Hoo Doo.
Big blue spider
And now this. Mask or no mask?
Colobus monkey costumes?
Whoever they are they are enjoying the view.
Who would fit into an elephant costume except another elephant.
Definitely a mask!
Most colorful costume prize winner.
Really Riplee.
His antics were so cute.
I forget the full name of these guys, but Schmidt is in there somewhere.
My only shot from the safari ride around the zoo.
Just a nice flower, with a teeny tiny bee in the center,

Lightroom has added some powerful new features in this week’s update. Our Photo guru is planning on teaching a class to show us what’s available and what we can do with these new features. I will be stuck until then though because I uploaded the file but now I’ve lost Lightroom all together. These are photos I had worked on before. I haven’t resorted to total panic, yet…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, fantasy images, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, kids, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Be creative…

There was a new message waiting for me at the park this morning. I heartily agree with the message, and even the spelling was creative. I could have called this post ‘the blue hour’, or even simply, Happy Halloween, but my little creative friend won my heart today.

Yesterday I saw the family putting this display up, and when we came home last night I didn’t think a photo would work in the dark. But this morning I realized that the iPhone would work well enough, so I walked up the street to check it out.
I loved the horse best…
I guess this is why they call it the blue hour.
Still water makes for great reflections.
The few clouds that were there certainly got pretty. And the birds were arriving as I was heading back.
All in all another pretty morning.
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Black and white…

I think I liked it better when I saw life as if it was black or white, right or wrong. Of course I was just a kid then. It didn’t really take long to see the 50 shades of gray for every subject under the sun. Life was simpler then.

But in this case black and white refers to a class we took on Saturday, on black and white photography. I haven’t been drawn to that genre exactly, but as I listened to our leader Jeff, I thought of a picture I’d just taken at Bok Tower Gardens and couldn’t wait to come home and see how it would look in black and white. I was quite happy with it, and with several others I took that day. Plus, as I edited with a friend I was taught a much easier way to save my photos for the blog. It was a fun morning and I was quite pleased with myself until I realized that I’d gotten confused, (who, me?), and had put the last few days’ photos onto the ‘wrong’ external hard drive, and my new way of doing things had gotten a lot more confusing. Operator error, the story of my life.

It was a fun exercise to look for photos with a lot of contrast in them and then convert them to black and white. There will be a further class on editing said pictures, but I couldn’t resist attempting this on my own.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, turtles, weather

Third time’s a charm…

There were three potential places to go that day, all close to each other. First was going to be The Narrows, the raptor rehab facility that I’ve been to before. The turtle pond was teaming with turtles, but with no volunteers to walk the various raptors along the paths all that was left was to see them in their enclosures. So we moved on to what was supposed to be the main event of the day, Heritage Village. We had looked it up, but failed to notice that it was closed on Monday and Tuesday. Which left us at the Florida Botanical Garden in the worst of the heat of the day. We followed pretty tiles down a shady path which led us to the children’s garden, a place I hadn’t visited before. A mom was pointing out some banana spiders to a group of children who told me to be careful as I headed over with my camera. The water birds were sounding off which led us to spot the small gator in the pond next door.

If all trees had faces like these I probably wouldn’t have had as many tree-climbing adventures when I was a kid.

We heard the water feature before we saw it. And it sounded very refreshing, like maybe we should take a dip to escape the heat. But we controlled ourselves.

I can never resist a bee, even if I have to crop 95% of the picture away in order for you to see him. Or her.

We will have to be sure to get out earlier as the weather gets hotter this summer. It was nice to be out, and even nicer to stop for lunch in air-conditioned comfort before heading home.

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Things are looking up…

Things are looking up in a lot of ways right now, but in this particular case I’m intending for you to look straight up. Up onto the ceiling in a little hallway at the Chihuly Museum yesterday. The feature photo is a small section of that amazing ceiling. I resisted the idea of trying to use my camera for these shots when I knew that the iPhone would handle the issues of lighting better than my camera skills could. I had wanted to go there for quite a while, but in this case the idea of going there popped into my head at the perfect moment, so I had a friend to view this with. I have gone everywhere on my own for a long time now, but I don’t think this would have been as much fun without someone who stood there as amazed as you were at what we were seeing.

I have so many more photos but these will do as a tease to get you to go there also. There are many Chihuly exhibitions scattered all over the country, maybe there is one near you. But… bring a friend.