Monday, April 26, 2010

Just for Fun-Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales, Florida about 90 minutes from Tampa. I have been wanting to go there since I moved here but just never felt like making the drive. Last week I had a free day and figured since it has not gotten too crazy hot here I should just go for it! I am glad I did. I love going to Botanical Gardens but some are better than others. This one did not disappoint! Larger than I expected the gardens feature a beautiful bell tower as seen in the first photo perched upon a hill looking over orange groves and farm land.

Two beautiful swans grace a small lake that runs behind the tower. I do not know if I have ever seen such large ones before.

Flowers are everywhere as well as many beautiful paths winding around the property. There are many benches scattered about when you want to have a rest. I was especially excited to find the cool looking bugs on a particular kind of flower and took my time taking many Macro shots of them.

Snapdragons have always been one of my favorite flowers so I just had to take some nice shots of them!
Bok Tower Gardens also features a cafe for lunch and a nice little gift shop. There is an estate next door you can also visit but I didn't make it there this trip. Great to have a reason to go back-as if I needed one! I highly recommend this attraction to everyone. Beautiful, serene, peaceful all of these things. It costs $10 to get in and I feel it is worth it!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well tomorrow I turn in the best photos I took this past week and put together my first official portfolio that will be submitted to a panel of 3 then next week I receive my grade and hopefully am told I have earned my degree in photography!
The photos here of my neighbor Victor are some of my favorites. I photographed Victor last year for another class and he has completely changed his look since then. His hair is now dark instead of blond and he now has a beard, I think he looks great!

These shots were taken around my neighborhood in the late afternoon/early evening when the natural light is so amazing. Most were further enhanced by the use of a gold reflector and/or on camera flash.

I LOVE this shot has a very movie star portrait look about it. Though it looks as though I was very close to him to get this I was using my 70-300 zoom from several feet away.

I am especially proud of this shot. It was taken in a wooded shady arena under a beam of sunlight shining down through the trees. You cannot tell when looking at it though if it was taken outside on in a studio. It makes for a very dramatic image. Thank you so much Victor for being a part of my portfolio I think this is some of my best work yet!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have been shooting a lot the last week to get the final images for my first 'official' portfolio. The best photos from those shoots will be featured on the next several posts. Today I am featuring the photos I took of my friend and fellow photographer Jessica the same day as I took the photos of Katie the horse featured in the last post. A while back I featured some photos I took of Jessica taken under studio lighting. This time I photographed her outdoors where I am most comfortable and it was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day!
The photograph leading off the post was obviously taken towards the end of the day and is one of my favorite shots ever! Silo's are something I would really like to practice because when you get a winner like this one they can be breathtaking!

I like this photo because it is fun and also has a great background.

Love it! I am working on becoming more creative and when you have a beautiful horse on location that is a whole lot easier. This is just a lot of fun.
Okay so this shot is a little odd with her trapped in the corner of the barn but still I kinda like it. What is coolest about it is that most of the light is coming off of a round gold reflector with a little on camera flash-otherwise it was pretty dark in there.

This is another favorite, just has a classic sexy look to it and I like the composition.
My next post will feature some new photos of my neighbor Victor, his look has changed since the last time I photographed him and I am very pleased with the way his session went. One week of school left!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Some more horse photos.

I have been very busy shooting as much as possible for my portfolio class so lack of new photos have not stopped me from updating the blog it is just that between shooting and editing and spending time with friends I never seem to have the time!
Last week I had 2 more opportunities to photograph the horses I photographed once before Apache and Katie. Hopefully I learned something from my first experiences. It is harder to get a unique quality photo of a horse than I had imagined but I have a few here I quite like.

This is Patti and Apache. I was able to both of my horse shoots in the late afternoon/evening which boosted the quality of the resulting photos. The color of the light in the evening cannot be beat!

While I really wish there had been a field of flowers in which to photograph Apache these few little wild flowers still contribute to the photo a great deal.

Then there is Katie. I LOVE this shot. In the orgininal photo the background was off white-the color of the building in the background I changed it to blue which really takes it to a whole other level.

I gave this one the black and white treatment and tried to give it a bit of a magical quality, something white horses just seem to have by nature anyway.

Then there is this amazing shot. I took quite a few of Katie in motion but this one turened out the best. Not only was the light amazing but there is the perfect placement of the red building on the right and the dust floating up in the air near her feet. Then to all that add the look in the horses eye. Love it! I also took some great photos of my friend Jessica during this shoot that will be featured in my next post. I cannot believe it is less than 2 weeks until I finish school! I will be updating/revamping my website and this blog and getting everything ready to offically launch my business. I will also post my 'official'portfolio that is being put together now.