a second look, Florida landmarks, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, photography

Howard Park…

This post has been sitting as a draft for months and months.  Written long before I ever thought about making the changes in my life that are now a done deal.  I left it there so that one day when I didn’t have a post to write I could use it.  So today’s the day evidently.  Now I’m nostalgic for the photo ops in Florida, not unlike how I was feeling about needing to get back to the people and places I loved in my long ago youth.  I think of my ex-husband telling me that I’d never be satisfied.  I think he was talking about my never-ending list of home improvement projects, but no matter what he meant at that moment I suspect that it was truer than I ever thought…

Long ago my friend had mentioned to me that their favorite place to go when she used to visit this area was Fred Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs.  Thinking of that I brought two of my grandchildren there quite a long time ago now, but I didn’t look at a map and had no idea that there was a causeway and a beach there.  That fact came to me recently when I saw a wonderful photo posted by a new photography friend, and it featured a lifeguard chair with sunset colors. It was wonderful.  And in my photography group it’s been said that studying others’s photos and trying to emulate them is a learning tool, so off I went.  I found the chair, and had to wait while beach goers were rousted off of it by the ranger who was there, and even then it was a challenge to compose a shot because the sun was setting to the right of the chair, darn it.  I did post some shots from that shoot, but I have found more, some on the iPhone.  I need to go back again, it’s a pretty park.6-7howardparkchairHDR6-7howardparkpalms

And from the sponge docks on the way home…6-7teaexchange

'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, learning, memories, on closer examination, photography, road trip

Heritage Village…

On Saturday three of us club members from Hernando County made the trek to Clearwater to have our camera sensors cleaned.  A wonderful perk of club membership.  Florida Center for Creative Photography, or FCCP, for those who may wonder.  Haveing made a bit of a trip we asked where we might go to take some pictures while we were out, and we settled on Heritage Village.

On a sunny day the colors were vibrant, and it clashed with the notion of seeing those days of old in sepia tones.  In truth I looked to see if I could tint the pictures that way, but I grew impatient, so you are seeing what we saw.

The general store came first…12-3generalstore12-3shopping

Then the train station…12-3crossing12-3allaboard312-3allaboard2

And, of course a garage.  It even smelled like a garage…12-3outtolunch212-3outtolunch12-3heritagegarage

How about a barber shop, complete with a photo bomb by Natty Boh…12-3nattyboh12-3barbershop212-3barbershop

And a one room schoolhouse…12-3schoolhouse212-3schoolhouse

I’m not squeamish, but the doctor’s office blew me away a little.  Instruments displayed under glass, and numbered so that you could find out what they were used for.  I’m sorry, but they looked brutal.  I wonder what the survival rate for surgical patients was back then.  I did take a photo of the first dental X-ray machine, and the birthing chair which was surprisingly short, and complete with a sink for the baby to be delivered into. Again, brutal.  Next time I’ll concentrate on the instruments more.12-3openwide12-3birthingchair.jpg

And some scenes of everyday life in the village…12-3kitchen12-3heritagespinning12-3office12-3redwheels12-3bedtime

Seems appropriate for the outhouse to be the grand finale of the visit!  It was a fun day!12-3outhouse

fantasy images, Florida landmarks, fun, history, learning, photography, special effects, technology

The ‘atmospheric’ style…

When the Tampa Theatre was built in 1926, the movie studios controlled the production, distribution, and venues where their movies were played.  John Eberson was the most sought after movie house designer of the times, and he pioneered the ‘atmospheric’ style, of which it was said that the Tampa Theatre was his favorite design.  Movie goers were to be transported, for several hours at least, to exotic courtyards, under moonlight skies complete with stars.  The theater survived the  Great Depression and WW2, but by the 70s it took a monumental effort to rescue this theater from becoming a parking lot.  Today the Tampa Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places, and hosts more than 600 events each year.  Tours are held several times a month and the one I attended today was quite informative and entertaining.  And I learned that a silent film is scheduled to be shown on June 2nd, complete with a live orchestra.  There aren’t many people with the skills to play the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, and we were treated to a few tunes played for us today.

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Even with the new camera the size of the spaces in the theater were a challenge to photograph.  Even in the theater itself it’s hard to get far enough away to see it all in your viewer with the balconies overhead.  The starry, starry sky effect is quite lovely, and the photos don’t do it justice.  This was a fun way to spend a rainy day.  Thanks to the photographer friend who suggested this as a photo op.  I looked it up this morning and found I had just enough time to get myself there for the tour.  Must have been meant to be!

P. S. Love the new camera!

adventure, Florida landmarks, go with the flow, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, weather

Talking photography…

There are days, like my big Friday photo safari, where you find yourself taking photos all day long.  Then there are days, like today, when you wind up doing a lot more talking about taking photos, and editing photos, than you do taking new photos.  But if you are lucky, like me, you were out for the sunset at Fred Howard Park on Wednesday night.  Followed by a quick trip to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs for a few night photos.  But it was odd to not be surrounded by lots of tourists on the street, and lots of the shops weren’t lit up as late as I was there, so I headed for home and waited to work on the photos until today.  After all the rain we have had lately it was so nice to be outside in the sunshine, and then a pretty sunset to boot. This weather cycle is going to be with us a bit longer, and there is more thunder and lightning out there even as I type.  I’m thinking an Ark might be in order…5-23Rustybellies5-23beachHDR


Florida landmarks, learning, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Sacred Heart Catholic Church…

When I saw that there was going to be a photo opportunity at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa I signed on right away.  At that moment I didn’t know that it was one of the oldest churches in the city of Tampa, built in 1905, and I certainly couldn’t have known how incredibly beautiful it would be inside.  There were about 30 photographers in the church, and I’ve already seen some truly wonderful images that they have posted after the shoot today.  One person chose to shoot close up details of the simplest things, things I never noticed at all.  Someone else posted wonderful photos of the windows and structure of the church itself, similar to these but better composition.  But this is how you learn, seeing things from another person’s perspective opens your eyes.  Just keep shooting they say…



Florida landmarks, friends, fun, history, old dogs new tricks, photography, technology, Ybor City

Historic Ybor City…

Ybor City was founded by immigrants in the 1880s by Vincento Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers, and for the next 60 years thousands of immigrants from Cuba, Spain, and Italy made a living rolling fine cigars there.  The city was unique in that it was founded and populated by immigrants, who prospered and helped grow Tampa into a bustling city in only 20 years.  But the Great Depression reduced the demand for fine cigars, and by the 1970s parts of the area were completely abandoned.  The area has since been deemed an historic district and 7th Avenue has become an entertainment and night club hub, and in 2008 7th Avenue in Ybor City was designated as one of the 10 best streets in America.  We visited on Wednesday night for some night photo ops, and a stop at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company to fortify ourselves for the drive home.  We were only a few of the people who were enjoying ourselves in Ybor City last night.