Monthly Archives: January 2009

Driving home from the Leo Kottke show

We had tickets to see Leo Kottke at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart Florida on Friday night. It was a wonderful show – the first time I’ve ever seen him live, although I’m long time fan. In addition to some great guitar music, he told a few very funny stories and we were both sorry to see the evening end.

On Saturday morning we took our time coming back and drove the first part home on A1A up the Atlantic coast, stopping at a few places to look for pictures. I had my photo backpack and tripod with me, and Lynn was a very good sport and even carried tripods and lens hoods for me and helped me scout for photos. She noticed this interesting tree (I think it was a seagrape ) along the beach at one place we stopped at.  The early morning sun shining through the combination of new and old leaves and branches on this seagrape tree against the bright blue sky was very colorful. (You can go to my gallery to see a larger version of the photos in this post.)

Colorful Seagrape Leaves

On the other side of these trees was a little play ground with what I think were some Parrot Fish toys to play on. They were also very colorful in the early light.

Colorful Playground

Further on up the road, nearer to Port Saint Lucie we stopped at another little park called “Bear Point Sanctuary ” and walked out a dirt road along a canal. This little park is along the Indian River lagoon, and I didn’t realize it stretched this far down the coast. We saw several birds – even though it was almost lunchtime, some calm, scenic water, and some pretty mangroves:

Canal, mangroves, sky (with polarizing filter)

There are a lot of little parks like this in Florida, and if you have time when you’re driving around, it’s worth stopping and wandering around with your camera. You can almost always find a photo or two hidden away.

I used my polarizer filter to make the photo above. One of my friends asked me why they should get one and I wanted to show the effect, so I made a second version with the polarizer rotated 90 degrees. That’s my shadow at the corner of the dock. You can see a pretty dramatic difference between the two versions. Carry a polarizing filter. It’s one filter effect that is very hard to duplicate in post processing on the computer.

Canal, mangroves, sky (without polarizing filter)

The birds were pretty shy and flew off whenever we tried to get close enough for a good picture. (I just had my 16 – 85mm with me).

Shy bird

All in all, a pretty nice photo excursion, and an unexpected bonus well worth the little time we invested.

I posted these photos and a few more on my web site here .

©2009, Ed Rosack.  All rights reserved.

Black Point Wildlife Drive – Friday, January 2, 2009

Ansel Adams said: “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.

Birds at sunrise

For me, last Friday was one of those times. When I find myself in in a situation like this I have to be careful not to be overwhelmed. It’s too easy to start clicking the shutter and forget many things I’ve learned about photography. I have to slow down, concentrate on the basics, make the best images I’m capable of, and capture at least a little bit of what it was like to be there. Of course, we all know that Ansel Adams would have made better photographs than I did. But I was the one there with my camera and so maybe you can look at the images I made and get some idea of how beautiful this place is, how nice that sunrise was, and something of how it feels to experience mornings like this. Black Point Wildlife Drive (http://www.nbbd. com/godo/ minwr/BlackPoint /index.html ) is only about an hour away from my house. I haven’t ever been there in January, and I was curious about how active it would be in winter. I had Friday off, so I left at o-dark-thirty to get there before dawn. It wasn’t as active as it is in spring time – there were only about 5 other photographers there. In the spring the photo flock can number more than 30 and it can actually be hard to find a spot to put your tripod up. On Friday there were many birds around (egrets, herons, ibis, ducks) and although I usually see spoonbills I didn’t find any this time. I also saw a gator or two, a wild pig, and some kind of feline (a bobcat?).

And I was treated to a wonderful sunrise. All in all, well worth the drive.

If you’re from this part of Florida and you haven’t been to this place, you’re really missing out. Plan on being there for dawn. In addition to a chance for a good sunrise, the wildlife is more active and the winds are calm, which will give you some good reflections in all the water.

Mangroves in calm water

If you’re from out of state and in Orlando with your family, you should think about a visit too. You could make a pilgrimage at dawn and be back before ~10am. They might not even miss you.

I posted some additional photos from this trip here.

©2009, Ed Rosack.  All rights reserved.