Tag Archives: beach

Melbourne Beach Turtle Walk

I didn’t put much effort into this photo of last Saturday’s super moon  – so the result isn’t that exciting.

Super moon over Melbourne Beach

Super moon over Melbourne Beach – The full moon and sparse clouds helped get our shutter speeds up just a little during the turtle walk.

What did excite me was what the super moon illuminated.   Kevin M. and I attended a turtle walk led by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Melbourne Beach, Florida – what an incredibly awesome experience!

Loggerhead sea turtles are endangered in the US and many other countries.  They seem to be making a comeback recently since “turtle excluder devices” were required on fishing nets starting in the late 1980s.  They’re found over most of the world, although the east coast of Florida is a prime nesting area.  Nesting season peaks here June and July.  Last year, Florida recorded 58,000 nests with many of them in Brevard County.

I’ve spotted sea turtles  off shore on the surface before, but until Saturday I’d never seen one on the beach.  Since they’re endangered, it’s illegal to approach or harass them in any way.  But there is a way to see them up close on shore.  The Sea Turtle Preservation Society has a Florida State permit to conduct Turtle Walks for the public several nights a week during nesting season at three different locations in South Brevard County. They give a presentation with lots of good background on sea turtles.  During the presentation, people from the organization scout the beach looking for a nesting Loggerhead. When they find one, they lead the group out to observe.

Loggerhead sea turtle laying eggs
Loggerhead sea turtle laying eggs – The guides keep everyone behind the turtle where she can’t see them and put a small red light in the nest to illuminate the eggs.

There are some rules for the walk:

  • Stay with and obey the guides.  They’ll lead you to the nest along the water line after she starts laying eggs.
  • No lights at all are allowed, including cell phones and especially flash photography.
  • No noise.
  • Everyone is kept behind the turtle out of her line of sight.
  • When she’s done, the guides will move the group to one side away from her path back to the ocean.
  • Stay off the outgoing turtle tracks.  Researchers use them the next morning to count nests.
  • If you go, check with your group for their rules.  They may be different.

This is very tough photography assignment.  In fact it’s much more of a Central Florida Nature Op than a Central Florida Photo Op.  But if you want to try to make some photos, here are some hints:

  • The group we went with says they see turtles on 90% of their walks.  I’m not sure what it’s like with other groups.  You might want to ask before you go.
  • Check with the leaders of the group you’re going with about photography.  Rules seem to vary and some groups don’t allow any photography at all.
  • Schedule your walk to take advantage of conditions.  The beach is very dark.  Hotels and homes in the area are even required to keep their lights off during nesting season.  You’ll have a bit more light if you go during a full moon and when there’s minimum cloud cover.  Also, The turtles seem to prefer coming ashore at high tide.  Our walk was just after.  We were also fortunate to have a 10 mph east wind that kept us very comfortable and insect free.  I wasn’t even sweating at the end of the walk – and this is Florida – in late June!  But if the wind is too strong, you’ll have to watch out for tripod vibrations.
  • Other than the small flashlight in the photo above, all the other photos in this post were made with just ambient light well after sunset.  You’ll need a tripod and fast lens.
  • Be careful with your tripod.  The group was pretty large the night we went and I worried about hitting or tripping someone in the dark (I didn’t).
  • Bring a fast lens.  Kevin and I both used 50mm f/1.8 lenses and shot with them wide open.  This was a pretty good focal length for the subject distances.
  • The moon was very bright – I shot at ISO 800, f/1.8 and my shutter speed varied around 1 second.  If you go at another time of the month, your shutter speeds may be even slower.
  • Your tripod will help stop camera motion, but you’ll need to time your shots to minimize turtle motion.
  • The crowd was pretty large and I had to maneuver to get a clear view with my camera.  Be courteous.
  • Make sure you can work your camera controls in the dark.  You need to know how to at least change to manual focus and adjust the ISO without a flashlight.
  • Turn off your auto focus assist light and auto photo review – no lights, remember?
  • Auto focus was very difficult.  The only time it worked at all was on the guide’s red flashlight in the nest.  The rest of the time, I used manual focus and guessed since it was so dark.  You’ll need to take your chances and hope for some sharp shots.  Since it was so dim, I found the optical view finder on my Nikon easier to use than the EVF on my Olympus.  Your mileage may vary.
  • Depth of field will be very shallow.  Try to focus on the middle distance of your subject and if possible compose with the long axis of your subject parallel to the camera.
  • Surprisingly, shadows can be an issue.  There were times when people blocked the moon and shadows on the turtle were pretty dark.  Move around to find a better point of view.

Turtle walk crowd

Turtle walk crowd

When she’s done laying her eggs, she buries them and disguises the nest.

Loggerhead sea turtle laying eggs

Loggerhead sea turtle covering nest

And then heads back out to sea.

The Epic Journey Continues

The Epic Journey Continues – Loggerhead Turtle returning to the ocean.  Photo by Kevin McKinney (used with permission).

As you can probably tell from my write-up, I really enjoyed this outing.  It was wonderful to witness a natural event that’s been on going for 165 million years.  A big shout out and thank you to Kevin’s wife Traci.  She’s the one that recommended we go on the turtle walk.  And thanks to Kevin for scheduling it on the perfect night.

If you want to know more, here’s a couple of links to recent sea turtle news:

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130624/NEWS01/130624007

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-loggerhead-turtles-thriving-20130623,0,6384714.story

As usual, you can see a few other photos from the trip in my set on Flickr, and in Kevin’s set.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go witness some nature, and (if you can) make some photos!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Fort De Soto Bird Migration

It’s April and birds are heading north again through our area.  Fort De Soto south of St. Petersburg, Florida is a “migrant trap” because they stop there on the way.  If you’re a photographer or birder and you’d like to see many types of birds – now is the time to visit this wonderful place.

I went over last Saturday with Kevin M. and Lutfi E.  There were a lot of other birders there as well as a few photographers.  It was fun talking with the birders.  They’re all helpful and I learned a lot from them.  If you’re just starting out in birding, go with a knowledgeable friend (thanks, Kevin!), or check with your local Audubon group.  They often organize field trips with an experienced leader.  The Orange County Audubon Society has a trip planned for next weekend.

Migration at Fort DeSoto
Migration at Fort De Soto – As a beginning birder, I was excited to photograph these 11 life birds on Saturday: Chimney Swift, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Merlin, Black-throated Green Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, and Orchard Oriole.

In addition to the 11 life birds I managed to photograph, we saw many others including:  Worm Eating Warbler, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow Throated Vireo, Northern Parula, European Starling, Black and White Warbler, Common Ground Dove, American Crow, Magnificent Frigate bird, Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Laughing Gull, Sandwich Tern, Caspian Tern, Brown Pelicans, Eastern Kingbird, Ospreys, Cormorants, Anhingas, Vultures, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Snowy Egrets.

If you go, plan to get there early and stay all day.  Fort De Soto is a big place and we couldn’t get to all of it on Saturday, so I’m sure there were many other species we missed.

You must be patient and quick to photograph these smaller birds.  They move fast and flit in and out of trees and bushes so catching them out in the open is tough.  A  long, fast lens helps too!

This is also a beautiful place for landscape photography because there are both sunrise and sunset views. Here’s a photo I made last year:

The end of the day at Fort De Soto
The end of the day at Fort De Soto – Looking southwest toward Egmont Key from the base of the bay pier. The ferry to the Key is on the left.

You can see larger versions of these images on Flickr by clicking on them. And I have a few more photos from Fort De Soto in this set.  You can also see Kevin’s Fort De Soto photos in this set.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Fort De Soto

Season’s Greetings!  The holidays are here once again and many of you are traveling to visit family and friends.  Please have a safe journey and enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Well, I think I now have another favorite photo-op!  I’d heard many things about Fort De Soto and a couple of my friends had great experiences there, but it’s a ~2.5 hour drive from Winter Springs – so I’d never gone until last week.

Lynn, Mike, Sara, and Mary got me a wonderful birthday present this year – a 1 on 1 photo workshop with Jason Hahn of Outdoor Photo Workshops.  I’d been waiting to use it until the weather cooled off a bit and I finally scheduled it for last week.  Jason lives in the Tampa area and he’s an expert on Fort De Soto, so it seemed like a great opportunity for me to visit with a local guide and learn more about the place.

Since we were meeting at 6:45am for sunrise, I went over the night before to make sure I knew the way and to try to get a sunset shot.  Before I left, I used the Photographer’s Ephemeris app on my phone to do a little virtual scouting and noticed that the setting sun would be in nearly perfect alignment with a section of beach near the Bay pier at De Soto.  If you don’t have this app or another like it, get it.  It’s extremely useful when planning photo-ops.  This setting looked like it would be different from the sunrise and sunset geometry I usually get, so that’s where I ended up on Thursday evening.  I was blessed with some very nice clouds and light, and the geometry led to this composition.  What do you think?

The end of the day at Fort Desoto
The end of the day at Fort Desoto – Looking southwest toward Egmont Key from the base of the bay pier.  The ferry that travels back and forth to the Key is on the left.

Fort De Soto park is south of St. Petersburg, Florida and is run by Pinellas county.  It’s made up of a number of islands (keys) and the location and geography make it very unique, especially from a birding perspective.  It lies along the migration routes and is a landing-place for birds flying across the Gulf of Mexico.  If the conditions are favorable, a knowledgable birder can see over a hundred different species here in a single spring-time day.  I’m definitely going to keep an eye on the birding lists and plan to go back next April.

It’s also quite diverse from a landscape photography perspective.  The Sunshine Skyway bridge can add to a scene, and the tides cover and uncover shoreline features that can vary the foreground interest in your photos.  Storms also come through occasionally and these can cut new channels or shift sand to change the layout of the smaller islands.  So it’s possible to see changes on both a daily and seasonal basis.  When I arrived there Friday morning, the light wasn’t good for a typical sunrise shot, but I set up anyway and made this photo.  I think the reflections from the bridge on the low clouds and water add a lot to the image.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay Florida, before dawn
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay Florida, before dawn. From the East Beach turnaround at Fort De Soto

Jason showed me around, and was quite knowledgable about the site, the wildlife, and how to photograph all of it.  He was also patient and easily dealt with my many questions.  It was interesting to hear him talk about the behavior of the animals and how they interact with the terrain and tides and then explain how to use the knowledge to make better photos.  It was a greatly enhanced scouting expedition and  I only hope I can remember half the things he told me!

The wind was blowing at 10 miles an hour or more, so many of the normal birds were hunkered down out of sight, but we did see Laughing, and Herring Gulls (including one with its breakfast), an American Oystercatcher, a family of Raccoons, Common Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Ospreys, Tri-colored and Great Blue Herons and maybe a few other species.

American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher – a very cooperative bird. He strolled right by us, leaving a wake.

There was a pretty interesting scenario with the Herring Gull below.  They catch crabs and then fly them up to 40 or 50 feet above rocks or hard sand before they drop them to crack the shells open. This particular gull was going to crack his crab, but another gull came close, so it flew off somewhere else to dine in private.

Herring Gull flies off with crab
Herring Gull flies off with crab

On this trip, I met a fellow photographer for the first time, scouted a new place (which definitely made the “must do” list), learned lot in the process, and had a great time.  A pretty fine photo-op, in spite of the clouds and wind.

As usual, you can see larger versions of these images on Flickr by clicking on them. And I have a couple more photos from Fort De Soto in this set.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

The year in review – My favorite photos from 2012

Happy Holidays!  Once again the season has snuck up on us.  I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy season!

Photographer Jim Goldstein has an annual tradition of organizing a “best photos of the year” listing.   I’m very glad he started this, since it’s a good reminder for each of us to take time to review results and contemplate how to improve our photography.  And also to put together an annual “Favorite photos of the year” post.

2012 was another good year for me photographically.  The 2012 folder on my hard drive takes up about 284 GB of space – almost double 2011.  There are 80 folders, and each one represents a separate “photo-op”, with a total of  over 6200 photos, so it does look like I’m trying!  I had a lot of opportunity to make good images this year, and I’m pleased with the results I achieved.  But it doesn’t seem like my ability and skills have grown as much this year as in the past.  Perhaps I’ve plateaued.  Maybe I don’t know what I don’t know about getting better.  Maybe I’m just getting more picky and critical.  Regardless, I think I need to make a stronger effort in 2013.

I’m still using the following system to rate my photos.  The numbers in parentheses are the counts for 2012.

  • 1 star   – The photo is interesting (174)
  • 2 stars – The photo is worth showing to others (396)
  • 3 stars – The photo is the best of (or one of the best of ) any given photo shoot (68)
  • 4 stars – My favorite photo of a year (1)
  • 5 stars – My favorite photo ever (still none, I’m not finished making photos yet!)

The rest of the photos don’t have stars and are seconds or not so good versions. I usually keep them, but they probably won’t get any more attention. This system seems to work for me and I’ve reviewed my 2012 photos and selected my favorites.  This is a hard process for any photographer.  It’s difficult to separate my opinion about a photograph from any emotional connections that I might have with the scene or situation.  But making this effort is important and part of the learning process.  Still, at the end of the day, I don’t claim to be objective about my photography.  These photos are the ones that I like best, so feel free to disagree – but I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the ones I’ve picked.

You can click on each of these to go to Flickr and see a larger version.  Or you can click on this link to go to the complete set on Flickr.

I have 1 miscellaneous subject, 1 mammal, 1 bird, 3 people photos, 7 landscapes, 3 sunrises, 0 sunsets, 6 color, 4 Black and White, and 4 Infra-Red photos.  Definitely a trend away from wildlife and toward landscapes and infra-red.  Here we go…

My number 1 favorite photo of 2012:

Many cypress trees
 Many cypress trees, Blue Cypress Lake, near Vero Beach, Florida, June.  

I have a thing for Cypress trees anyway and when I made my first and only visit to Blue Cypress Lake this year, the natural beauty of this place overwhelmed me.  I’m planning to return early next year when I can also see many nesting Ospreys and other birds.  See this post for more info.

My number 2 favorite photo of 2012:

Pre-dawn Jetty
 Pre-dawn Jetty, Jetty Park, Cocoa, Florida, October.  

When I saw this scene, I really liked the way the light on the walk drew my eye to the bottom left and then the rail and the jetty lead to the sun rays coming up from below the horizon.  So I straddled the rail with my tripod and made this photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 3 favorite photo of 2012:

Keb' Mo'
 Keb’ Mo’ in concert, Plaza Theatre, Orlando, Florida, February.

I like The Plaza and they often bring in acts that I like too.  We were lucky to get seats up front and when the spotlights lit up the smoke, I made this photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 4 favorite photo of 2012:

Water Dragon Sunrise
Water Dragon Sunrise, on board the Carnival Paridise in the Gulf of Mexico, April.  

I stalked this sunrise for about 45 minutes before this scene developed.  I’m happy I waited for it – sometimes patience pays off!  See this post for more info.

My number 5 favorite photo of 2012:

Submarine sunrise
 Submarine sunrise: The British Trident ballistic missile submarine HMS Vigilant leaving Port Canaveral, Florida just after dawn, October.

This was a bonus photo when the sub turned south after leaving the inlet and posed for us under the rising sun.  See this post for more info.

My number 6 favorite photo of 2012:

Cocoa Sunrise
 Cocoa Sunrise, North of the Hubert Humphrey Causeway in Cocoa, Florida, August.

This is an infra-red, fish-eye photo (an “IRFE”).  It’s a really good combination to shake up your photography and inspire some creativity.

My number 7 favorite photo of 2012:

Play time at Union Station
Play time at Union Station, Cincinnati, Ohio, December 2011

This photo missed the deadline for last year’s favorites – so I included it here.  I usually wait for people to clear out when I’m trying to make a photo. This time I went ahead and made it while these two girls played around the fountain. Since this is a stitched panorama, they show up multiple times, which I think adds to the image.  See this post for more info.

My number 8 favorite photo of 2012:

Cruising White Pelican
 Cruising White Pelican, Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida, December.

White Pelicans are winter migrants to our area, so we don’t get to see them very often.  This one cruised right in and posed in the middle of my viewfinder.  I couldn’t have arranged it better!  See this post for more info.

My number 9 favorite photo of 2012:

On the beach
 On the beach, Venice Beach, Florida, September.

We were wandering around exploring the area near the Venice Pier. Since it was close to mid-day, I didn’t expect the light to be good, but I took my IR camera in case something came up. I think the IR characteristics add a lot of interest to the photo. And it makes a great example of how “playing around” can lead to good things.  See this post for more info.

My number 10 favorite photo of 2012:

Late night?
Late night?, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida, May.

This photo was difficult to make since the lighting was challenging and I had to photograph the Gorilla through glass.  But it’s a great pose and expression and I was able to clean the image up considerably in post processing.  He looks like I’ve felt a few times.  See this post for more info.

And here is one last photo that I care a lot about:

The Senator
The “Senator” – a 3500 year old Bald Cypress tree, Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida.

I made this image in September of 2011, so it doesn’t officially qualify for a 2012 favorite.  The reason I put it in this post is because in January of 2012, the tree caught fire, burned and collapsed. The fire was at first thought to have been caused by lightning, but later was determined to have been started by a woman inside the hollow tree so she could see the illegal drugs she was using. Now no one else will ever make a photo of this, so it became a lot more important to me in 2012.  What a crazy, sad event.  For more info see this post and this post.

If you’d like to see my favorite photos from earlier years, you can click on these links: 20092010, and 2011.

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2012 too.  Thanks for stopping by and looking at my 2012 favorites.  Now – go make some favorites of your own!
©2011 – 2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Three more from the beach

We’re busy this weekend with computer and roof problems, so not much time for photography. Here’s a few more photos from our beach trip last week.

Venice Pier at Sunset
Venice Pier at Sunset

The mermaid in the garden by the sea
The mermaid in the garden by the sea – From the patio behind the hotel.

Morning shell-scape
Morning shell-scape – Casey Key is a prime spot for shell and shark’s teeth collectors.  Hurricane Issac passed off shore and stirred things up, resulting in lots of shells on the beach.

You can see some other photos from Casey Key in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Happy Labor Day!

Like many people in the US, Lynn and I headed to the beach for Labor Day.  We really like Casey Key on the Gulf Coast of Florida just north of Venice.  Like always, it was very relaxing.  We swam, shelled, ate, walked the beach, and got plenty of sun.  I also had a little time for some photography.

Jetty Sunset
The north jetty at the inlet in Casey Key Florida is full of people fishing and watching the sunset. I watched from the south jetty in Venice. The sail boat was a nice bonus.

Willet on the beach
Willet on the beach – This bird was very cooperative.  When not fishing in the surf, it would occasionally come close.

On the beach
On the beach – We were wandering around exploring the area near the Venice Pier. Since it was close to mid-day, I didn’t expect any good light but I took my IR camera in case something came up. I think the IR characteristics add a lot of interest to the photo.

You can see some other photos from Casey Key in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Cocoa Sunrise

Keith H. wanted to try out his 10 stop neutral density filter, so we rode over to Cocoa Beach to make some sunrise photos. It was very clear when we left around 5:30 am, but by the time we parked next to the pier, a few clouds had appeared to make the sunrise more interesting.

Atlantic sunrise
Atlantic sunrise.

A neutral density (ND) filter reduces the amount of light entering your camera.  This gives you greater flexibility to adjust aperture and exposure.  They’re often used to show motion blur with a slow shutter speed, or reduce the depth of field with a wide aperture.  Ideally, ND filters are color neutral – although both Keith and I noticed some color shifts with ours.  I was using two stacked 3 stop NDs and this set up worked pretty well to slow the shutter speed and blur the water, especially before sunrise.  Keith’s 10 stop was a bit too much before dawn, but would be great after sun rise.  Overall, we spent an hour or so working the scene and both came away with photos we like.

That's pretty, lets make a photo
A bird flies above a couple making a photograph by a woman walking through the sun.

You can see more photos of Cocoa Beach in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Memorial Day Weekend, 2012

Florida and Florida beaches are a great photo-op, especially at sunrise or sunset – and Casey Key on the Gulf Coast seems to have a unique color pallet. It doesn’t hurt to have some stormy weather around to add drama to the sky and clouds. I saw the beach chairs sitting empty and pointing toward the setting sun and felt compelled to make a photo.

At the end of the day 2
At the end of the day 2 – On Memorial Day Weekend 2012: The empty chairs in this scene made me think about past and present members of the military that can’t be with family to celebrate the holiday. To all those that serve or have served, thank you for your service.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now, go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Jetty Park, Cape Canaveral

Intro / Description

Happy New Year!  Back to basics with my first post of 2012:  A photo-op review.

When I was in the Navy, I was stationed at the Naval Ordinance Test Unit at Cape Canaveral for a while – so I’m familiar with the port and Jetty Park.  But I’d never really investigated it as a photo-op.  I had some time last week, and decided to visit.

Jetty Park is located on the south side of Port Canaveral in Brevard County.  Depending on where you leave from, it’s a little over an hour from Orlando, basically a straight line along the Beachline Expressway (528 toll road).  In addition to the jetty and 1200 foot fishing pier, there’s also a 120+ site campground and beach (with lifeguard) at the park.

Info for Photographers

Photo hints:

The rocks, pier and seaside vegetation can provide some interesting foreground for sunrise landscapes.

The sun rises every morning...The sun rises every morning…But no one know what it will look like. This was the view before dawn from the beach at Jetty Park.

You can also see a variety of shore birds.  I saw Brown Pelicans, Northern Gannets, Ruddy Turnstones, Royal Terns, various Seagulls and others that I haven’t identified yet.

A place like this is also great for practicing your BIF (birds in flight) techniques.  Pelicans make especially good subjects, since they tend to glide in a predictable straight line, but other birds are also flying in and around (see the last photo, below).

Tripod/Monopod:

No restrictions, so bring yours and use it.

Lenses:

This will depend on your subject.  I used my tripod mounted Nikon 16 – 35mm f/4 VR Wide angle for landscapes and sunrise.  When the light got a little better, I switched to hand holding my Sigma 150 – 500mm f/6.3 for birds.  You can get up close to some of the birds, so a shorter telephoto might come in handy too.  For example, this Brown Pelican wouldn’t fit in the field of view at 500mm.  Since the bird was so still, I made a multi-shot panorama.  I like to use this technique when I can since the result can be a  higher resolution image (this one is 18.5 Megapixels, un-cropped).

Posing Pelican Pano

Best time to visit:

Day visitor hours are 7am to dusk.  Take this into account if you’re planning to make some sunrise photos.  I didn’t and the morning I went, sunrise was at 7:15.  I arrived about 6:45 and the gate was still closed, so I drove around a bit to see if there was somewhere else to make a sunrise photo (I didn’t find one).  When I returned at about 6:55 they were unlocking it.  I had less time than I wanted to find a good spot and setup, but I did manage to get some photos I like.

Winter is probably a good time of year to go.  It’ll be less crowded (with people) and more crowded (with birds).  Many of the birds could be winter visitors too.

Northern Gannet in Flight

Northern Gannet in flight:  This Pelagic species is a winter migrant to the waters off of the Florida coast.

Other:

There’s a $10 per day usage / parking fee.

The morning I was there I saw a young man land a large fish from the end of the pier.  This might be a good place to combine your interest in fishing, camping and the beach with a photo side excursion.

There’s a lot of shipping activity at the port.  Cruise ships and fishing boats enter and leave regularly.  I think you can still occasionally see a submarine that’s visiting too.

Jetty park is close to both Viera Wetlands and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  If you have time for a little longer trip, you could combine a visit here with a second stop at one of those places.  The morning I went, I also stopped by Viera to see what was going on there.

Summary

I added a few birds to my life list and a few photos I really like to my archives.  You can too. Check out the other photos I made there in this set on Flickr.  Let me know how your visit to the park goes.

My Gallery / Flickr photo set:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/sets/72157628638922015/with/6606239041/
Their Website:  http://www.portcanaveral.com/recreation/beaches.php
Address / Phone: 9035 Campground Cir, Cape Canaveral, FLView in Google Maps
Central Florida Photo Ops Rating:  A sunrise and shorebird showplace!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Before and After, Again

This is another entry in my occasional series on reprocessing photos. You can see the other posts here, here, and here. You can also read the original blog post about this image here.

Post-processing skills as well as taste develop over time. New tools come out or get updated.  Reviewing your image library for things you may want to change is a good idea.  Just don’t spend too much time on post processing – leave enough to go out and make new images too!

This is one of my favorite photographs and one that I’ve even sold, but re-looking at it I saw several things I thought I could make a little better.  Here’s the updated version after all my re-edits (which are described below):

Ponce Inlet light, sunset, bird (re-do)

After: Ponce Inlet lighthouse, sunset, bird, Final Edit

I started over from the RAW file (you do save your RAW files, don’t you?) and re-did the basic adjustments in Lightroom (color balance, initial exposure adjustments).  Then I moved into Photoshop and cleaned up distracting elements (tire tracks, poles, the tip of the cloud just right of the lighthouse, …).  I then added a duplicate layer and ran that through Topaz Adjust using the “Spicify” preset to bring up structure, detail, and color saturation.  I don’t usually like applying this filter all over an image at 100%, so once back in Photoshop I added a hide all layer mask and partially painted in the  effect, using a higher opacity brush for the sky to let more of the filter show and a lower one for the rocks and ocean to mute the filter effect.  I then took the result  back to Lightroom for final tweaks to color balance, sharpening and a crop to remove part of the sky.  I thought that the colors of the sky and rocks were still a little off, so as one last tweak I added graduated filters to help adjust their tints.

For reference purposes, here’s the old edit of this photo:

Ponce Inlet lighthouse, sunset, bird

Before: Ponce Inlet lighthouse, sunset, bird, Initial Edit

Note:  you can click the two versions above to go to my Flickr account, where you can view larger versions.

And also for reference, I uploaded the original RAW file (with default development settings in Lightroom) below.

Ponce Inlet lighthouse, sunset, bird, RAW Capture

Would I go to this much effort for every image?  No.  But sometimes a photo really appeals to me and I want to get the absolute best I can from it.  It helps that I enjoy working in Photoshop and learning about new techniques.

So what do you think?  Quite a few changes, some more subtle than others – but overall I like the new version better.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved