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Crystal Beach…

I’m afraid that the feature photo gives this whole post away. You’ve already seen just how pretty the sunset got. But I’m ahead of myself. When I arrived at Crystal Beach ahead of my friend I was happy to see a somewhat promising scene for our sunset shoot.

A potentially decent sunset in the making, I thought.
As I watched the clouds seemed to be moving, creating a bit of drama up there.
I kept taking pictures, becoming more excited as the sky continued to develop.

But as much as the sunset was the goal, the real excitement was that my friend, Maryann, was bringing the drone(s) she had been flying for the last few months. DroneS, because apparently you can’t have just one, or so she tells me. I’ve been amazed from the first time I’d seen drone photos, wondering how the heck you point them at what you want them to ‘see’ and then hold them steady enough to take a decent photo. Just handholding a camera can be a challenge at times. And then she arrived, and I became torn between getting shots of the sky as it got prettier, and then resetting the camera to shoot the drone itself, which turned out not to be a challenge at all because it just rose up in the sky and stayed put. Went up straight, no guesswork there, so avoiding trees and power lines isn’t really an issue. Then she showed me her phone screen, which showed the drone view, and she could take pictures at will. The controller looked like a video game controller, so that took care of aiming her. And before you take the drone up you ‘pin’ the spot where she started so that when you call her she comes ‘home’.

The drone view.
Hovering completely still, but sometimes up over 100 feet and it wasn’t so easy to see her.
Maryann had drawn a crowd and she was explaining things to them more than she was to me. I was eavesdropping as I dashed around getting photos with the camera and the iPhone.
It was hard to turn away from the sunset to pay attention to what the drone was doing.
This, I thought when I took it, would be my ultimate picture of the night.

We were about ready to call it a day when I happened to glance over and saw that behind some trees another whole cloud bank was ablaze with color. I had to go back out onto the pier to get that feature photo. It was quite the finale of the evening. And what I failed to explain is that I drive past the turn off for this beach every time I go to Clearwater for a class, and many times for the photo shoots also. But I had never noticed the sign for Crystal Beach, just another one of those details that seem to escape me as I go about my days.

PS. Maryann was happy to point out that no rules of flying drones were broken in the making of this blog post!

PSS: You can check out Maryann’s stuff at MaryannMiller.com. Also look for her at

http://www.marymiller.zenfolio.com

a second look, adventure, Bayport, Florida landmarks, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Bayport was calling my name…

Actually I’d been hearing that call for a while now, so it was silly of me to wait until daylight savings was in effect making me rush more than I’d have had to just the week before. The weather report said cloudy all day, but I walked out my front door to check for myself and saw that there were breaks in the clouds, so off I went. I guess it goes without saying that I was glad I rousted myself out. It was a beautiful morning.

Sunrise was in full swing when I parked and got out of the car with my cell phone to get a quick picture. I never did remember to get the camera out, there just wasn’t time.
I hurried onto the dock to position myself to get this shot of the fishing boat crossing the water in front of me.
I’ve lost track now of just how long it took for this dock to be rebuilt, but it’s a boon to the fishermen and the photographers too.
It kept getting prettier.
And, as always, the pastel clouds behind me caught my eye.
The sun peeked above the trees and that seemed to be the cue for the grackles to fly in. Several of them watched the sun coming up with me.
I had expected to head to the car after the last shot, but I heard the motor of one more fishing boat heading out so I stopped for one more shot.
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Quiet sunrise…

I missed a very pretty sunset the other night, which may be why I rousted myself out the next morning for a walk at sunrise. The feature photo is the view as I arrived at the park a half hour early for the sunrise. It was still dark, but the lights in the houses looked so pretty, especially the ones directly across the water. The broken clouds in the sky gave me hope that the sunrise colors would show up, but they didn’t. What I did see out there were upside-down birds. Reflections in the water, of birds that I couldn’t see against the shadows of the weeds behind them. But the refections were clear as a bell. So that amused me. I was disappointed not to see chalk drawings on the pavement. If there had been some the rain overnight had washed them away. I’m thinking of getting some sidewalk chalk and leaving messages of my own…

I walked for a half hour and returned to the park. The sky was getting light, and an egret caught my eye.
I stuck around in case the sky lit up, but it never did.
Maybe it was the Halloween season that made me feel like the bird reflections were a bit spooky
.

I’m happy to say that my Lightroom problem was operator error, pointed out to me by my friend. It was fixed with a simple click. It’s good to have friends who know their way around a camera, and/or Lightroom.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, exploring new places, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, sky, travel

Mountain views…

A friend has now arrived in The Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and found quite chilly morning temperatures. I’m wondering how this will affect the color of the foliage so I decided to put up my pretty, but not peak, foliage pictures before I see hers. We were quite happy with our taste of fall, but I might be jealous once I see her pictures. I’m sure it’s a lovely place to visit in any season, but displaced New Englanders seem to miss the fall display more than any other season of the year.

I know we tried more than once to get the morning clouds sitting in front of the mountain views. This was my only successful attempt.
I had a polarizer filter on the camera for this picture. It will help enhance the sky, or so I was told. To be honest my iPhone pictures were just as good. I find that annoying in a way, like using the phone is cheating since it does all the work. But it is a more expensive camera than my Canon, so why am I surprised?
These are from Clingman’s Dome, just the parking lot level, we didn’t climb to the observation tower. I will find out what I missed when my friend posts her pictures since I know she’ll be up for the climb.
I would look at a view and think how pretty it was, and then if I looked again I thought it was prettier the second time. Hence so many similar pictures.
From one of the observation stops along the drive through the park.
Every stop was beautiful when shared with a friend and while enjoying perfect weather.
Endless views as you drive through the park.
Those hillsides will be so gorgeous soon.
Another stop for lunch with a rocky stream to photograph.
There are many waterfalls in the park but most of them requite an uphill hike to get there, so we didn’t attempt them. But this little one was right on the roadside.
I imagine that there are times that a lot more water is tumbling down that hillside.
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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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Right under my nose…

In exploring this new-to-me neighborhood I had spotted this park a while ago. I immediately imagined positioning myself on the far side of the park trying to shoot the sunset. And I tried to do that exactly once, but it would only work if I walked onto people’s property, and I’m still a bit chicken to do that. And when I thought about sunrises I’d been on the lookout for places I could drive to in less than 45 minutes that would include a good view to the east. But on Sunday morning I decided that I needed to take a walk, and much to my surprise look what I found.

A view to the east! And judging by the clouds it would be a good sunrise. I continued my walk for a bit and then circled back.
It was going to be a good morning.
I had noticed the paved area before, but it took walking onto it for the sake of the view for me to see the permanent hop-scotch all ready for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Apparently they still play.
And some charming artwork also. My kids, plus lots of neighbor kids also, once drew on the sidewalk with some kind of pods that had fallen off of the tree up the street. It turned out that they were walnut pods, and the resulting artwork wasn’t easily washed away. And I had a fuss-budget neighbor. Need I say more?
As I watched the colors come up I began to notice the birds flying in.
They were ibis, and they marched up the embankment towards me.
They didn’t seem to mind me and my iPhone taking their picture.
The colors were fading, it was time to head back.

I have admitted that I have sunrise/sunset envy, but it seems I may just need to open my eyes and look around a bit more, and appreciate what’s right under my nose.