Tag Archives: Everglades

My Favorite Photos from 2013

Happy Holidays!  I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy holiday season!

The end of the year is a good time to review results and contemplate how to improve any endeavor, and photography is no exception.  I’ve put together these “Favorite photos of the year” posts since 2009.  This is a hard process for any photographer.  For me, it’s difficult to separate my opinion about a photograph from emotional connections that I might have with the subject, scene, or situation.  But making this effort is important and part of the learning process.  I don’t claim to be objective –  these are simply the photos that I like best.  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 view the complete set on Flickr.

My number 1 favorite photo of 2013:
A dream, gone

 A dream is gone, in the harbor, at dawn; Cocoa, Florida; October.  

I have a thing for sunken boats and when I briefly glimpsed this one while out with a group, I had to go back later and make a photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 2 favorite photo of 2013:

Cloud Gate (AKA "the bean")

 Cloud Gate (AKA “the bean”); Chicago’s Millennium Park; Chicago, Illinois; September.  

I made many photos that I like during my first visit to Chicago last September.  This one is my favorite from that trip.  See this post for more info.

My number 3 favorite photo of 2013:
Partial eclipse of the sun

 Partial eclipse of the sun; Cocoa Beach Pier, Florida; November.

I almost didn’t get to make this photo since I was late finding out about the eclipse.  It’s a bit different from most sunrise photos I make because I used a long telephoto lens to emphasize the sun instead of a wide-angle lens.  The three people watching with me from the end of the pier were a bonus.  See this post for more info.

My number 4 favorite photo of 2013:
You otter not interupt me

You otter not interrupt me; Viera Wetlands, Florida; November.  

This river otter was having a morning dust bath on the dirt road through Viera Wetlands.  It stopped and watched me for a bit when I got out of my car to make this photo, but then ignored me and finished before sliding back into the water.

My number 5 favorite photo of 2013:

Brewing storm

 Storm clouds over the Everglades; Everglades National Park, Florida; April.

We had a wonderful expedition to the Keys, Everglades, and Dry Tortugas in April.  This photo of a pine tree and grass reflecting from the inches deep water in the Everglades “river of grass” is my favorite landscape from that trip. See this post for more info.

My number 6 favorite photo of 2013:
Reading

Reading; St. Augustine, Florida; August.

St. Augustine is full of photo ops.  I really liked the symmetry of the columns in this scene and how they led my eye towards the man reading on the bench.  See this post for more info.

My number 7 favorite photo of 2013:
Sea oats

Sea oats; Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, Florida; August

I noticed this scene while wandering around not expecting to find anything to photograph.  Another lesson in “keep your eyes open”.

My number 8 favorite photo of 2013:
Resting behind mom

 Resting behind mom; Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, Florida; March.

We spent time in “Primate World” watching the family of Orangutans.  The young one (I think this is RanDee, born in August 2008) was full of energy, swinging all around on the platforms and ropes.  The adults watched her with very human-like  ”where does she get the energy” looks.  Finally, RanDee rested for a bit behind her mom (DeeDee) and I was able to make this photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 9 favorite photo of 2013:
The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel)

The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel); Allenspark, Colorado; July.

This is south along Route 7 out of Estes Park on the grounds of the Saint Malo Retreat.  We had no idea it was there, but when we drove by and saw the scene, I had to stop and photograph it.  It’s a multi-photo, hand-held panorama processed in Photoshop and Lightroom.  See this post for more info.

My number 10 favorite photo of 2013:
Not sleeping

Not sleeping; Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary, Tampa, Florida; August.

To me, this photo symbolizes what we learned about the plight of captive large cats and primates while visiting two rescue organizations near Tampa.  See this post for more info.

If you’d like to see my favorite photos from earlier years, click on these links: 200920102011, and 2012.

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2013 too. If you send me a link or leave one in the comments, I’ll be sure to take a look at your favorites.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – go make some more favorites of your own!
©2011 – 2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

South Florida, the Everglades and the Florida Keys

First, an apology:  It appears that a couple of the species names for birds we observed in the Dry Tortugas triggered some people’s spam filters.  So if you’re an email subscriber and didn’t get the email with the Dry Tortugas post, please check your spam folder or click here to open it in your browser.  Sorry about that.  Although there’s not much I can do about it.  And it is funny.

Second:  Happy anniversary, blog!  The first Central Florida Photo Ops post went up on May 7th, 2007 – 6 years and 270 posts ago.  Thanks once again for  all your encouragement.  I enjoy writing the blog, but I don’t think it would have lasted this long if not for the occasional comments and questions from readers.  Please keep them coming!

Third: Here’s some info on the rest of our South Florida trip.  The Dry Tortugas were the focus of our expedition, but we also visited Blowing Rocks Preserve, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Largo, Everglades National ParkJohn Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Brian Piccolo Park.  Since these were such short visits, I can’t really provide detailed reviews of each.  Instead, I’ll show sample images to give you some background and an idea of  what you can see in each place.

I’ve heard that Blowing Rocks Preserve in Jupiter Florida is an awesome landscape place under the right conditions.  The morning we were there, the light was harsh and the  weather wasn’t ideal to show off the rocks.  I think studying the tides and winds (and some luck) are required to make the most of a visit to this place.  Here’s one photo I came up with.

Blowing Rocks Preserve
Blowing Rocks Preserve – Sand steps, Three sets, Two close, No return? 

We stopped at Bill Baggs to look for a couple of birds that had been spotted there.  We didn’t have much luck with the rare birds, although I enjoyed seeing the light house and this awesome lizard.

Cuban Knight Anole
This Cuban Knight Anole was over a foot long, much larger than the anoles we see in Central Florida

We spent a day driving through the Everglades, stopping at each area along the main park road and side roads.  It was very overcast, and I found it tough to compose landscapes.  I’m sure there are some great spots that people more familiar with the area know about.  I guess I need to go back and find them.

Brewing storm
Brewing storm, Everglades National Park  – A pine tree and grass reflect on the inches deep Everglades “river of grass”

We made it all the way to the end of the road in Flamingo.  I was very excited to see a couple of American Crocodiles in the marina there.  Only about 2000 of these remain in the wild.  They look different and somehow even more menacing than the alligators we’re used to seeing in Central Florida.

American Crocodile
American Crocodile

We had tentative plans to find some night-time / star trail photography dark sites in the Everglades, but with the long days and cloudy weather, we never got to it (another reason to go back).  While in the Everglades we saw Purple Martins (rooming with House Sparrows), Shinny cowbirds, Brown Cowbirds, Spotted Sandpipers, Red Headed Woodpeckers, Swallow Tail Kites, Red Shouldered Hawks, an Anhinga rookery, Black Vultures (that were eating rubber off of cars!), the American crocodiles, and of course Alligators, Turtles and many other common birds.

The place we were staying in Key Largo had a private beach and boat ramp, and we spent one sunset there.  It was pretty – the rocks in the foreground look like a Japanese garden.  So much so that I wonder if someone arranged them.

Gulf view from Key Largo at sunset
Gulf view from Key Largo at sunset

On our way home, we stopped at Brian Piccolo Park to see the Burrowing Owls.  They were easy to find in their marked nests and fun to watch.  We also saw a few Monk Parakeets there.

Burrowing Owl guarding nest
Brian Piccolo Park:  Burrowing Owl guarding nest

Other wildlife seen on the trip included Loggerhead Shrikes, Ground Doves, Eurasian Collard Doves, White Headed Pigeons, a Great White Heron, Cardinals, a Northern Curly Tailed Lizard, and Iguanas.

It was a fun but exhausting trip!  For more photos, please look at this set on Flickr.

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

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.