Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Night Photography-Curtis Hixon Park Tampa

  Last night I went with some fellow photographers to practice some night photography at Curtis Hixon Park
This is a beautiful new park that opened earlier this year on the river across from the University. It is located next to two museums including a new children's museum that just opened last week.  I have not done much night photography yet and had a lot of fun. We arrived shortly before sunset with the sun shining on the building above.

  This photo is of the view across the river. It rained earlier in the evening and there were still a lot of clouds around. We have a lot of beautiful sunsets in this area!

  I really love this image. The river is on the left, the Tampa Museum of Art on the right. There is some mist rising from the ground where the lights are. I believe there are usually jets of water shooting up here during the day.

   When it gets dark the museum puts on an amazing light show!  This park is beautiful both during the day and at night!

  I love the way palm trees look lit up at night. I love the art on this building but it is getting faded, I think they need to rehab or replace it soon.

  This is the kind of fountain that I believe normally flows in the other photo where the mist was. 
I really enjoyed wandering around this park at night. Very peaceful and beautiful. I will  photographing someone here soon and am now very excited about it, there seem to be unlimited possibilities for some fantastic images. That shoot will take place late afternoon into early evening so I will have a wonderful variety of photos from the park-and my subject to show you then!

in downtown

Sunday, September 26, 2010

International Friends Profile-Alfred from New York

Last week I had the privilege to photograph Alfred or Al for short in Ybor City, one of my favorite areas to visit in Tampa. Ybor is a fantastic place to photograph people. Historic buildings, rail road tracks, and Centennial Park all make for fantastic backdrops. We began the shoot in the Centennial Park area.

Al was born in New York to Latino parents, his father from Puerto Rico, his mother from Mexico. He has traveled extensively,  working as a photo manager aboard several cruise ships. He spent 2 years in Montreal and has now lived in Tampa for 5. He loves living in the area as it is "diverse in art, culture, politics, and its people are friendly, hard working, and religious."

Al's favorite destinations include Maui, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York, Montreal, Punta Arenas( Tierra Del Fuego), and  Montevideo (Uruguay). Australia is next on his list of places he would like to visit or live in.

Al is very friendly and was fun to photograph. He has led an interesting life working at a variety of professions. These include: The Managing Photographer on board multiple Cruise ships and for a time a Wedding Videographer in Montreal, Canada. While living in New York State, Al was a manager for a T.C.Y.B. yogurt franchise, The Coffee Beanery, and Franchisee of a Gloria Jean's Gourmet Coffee Shop, in Westchester County.  Currently Al is a licensed Pre-need counselor and Insurance agent for the State of Florida.

Al enjoys a variety of music, various cuisines including Italian, Latin, and Sushi as well as all types of seafood.
He also enjoys cigars and fine wine, reading and movies-especially International films, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Political, and Docu-Dramas.   He is not fond of extremists, or anyone and anything that is negative, destructive. 

We finished out session by the railroad tracks, I love photographing people here! I always seem to get some of my favorite shots on them.

I will end this post with one of my most favorite shots. The sign, the brick wall, the sidewalk leading off into the distance just a great and fun photo of Al. Thank you Al for participating in my project!

 Next weekend I am shooting the wedding of Stacey and Greg. I look forward to sharing some of the very best photos!  The next International Friends profile will be of Natalia from Russia!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

International Friends Profile-Leslie from West Virginia

 Hello, today I am happy to post my latest in a series of International Friends profiles! Leslie was photographed in Gulfport, Florida an interesting little town on the water with a variety of colorful boutiques and restaurants. We had a great time wandering around the town and found some fantastic backgrounds as you will see! And now Leslie will tell you about herself:

I was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, and am a descendant of English, German, Irish, and Scottish immigrants. My travels began at the age of 6 months, when I first left the US for a trip to Canada. By the time I turned 11 I had traveled to 7 countries. I've always been taught to love and respect other cultures, and have now visited parts of 5 different continents. 

Throughout school I focused on sciences and languages, and had taken 6 years of French and 3 years of Latin by the end of high school. In college, I studied Biology and French, and then went on to become a physician. I completed my medical training in 2005, and have been practicing medicine since then. I truly enjoy treating patients from all parts of the world, and talking with them about their lives and travels. I also love providing counseling and medication in the realm of travel medicine (immunizations, medications, etc required for travel).

My next career move is to begin working at the Pinellas County Health Department in St. Pete. I hope to continue a career in public health from there, and eventually move on to international medicine, so that I can treat patients in all parts of the world.

I moved to the Tampa area in 2006, and have two amazing sons, Jamie (5) and Sam (3). They are each 25% Dutch, 25% Croatian, and 50% me (English/German/Irish/Scottish!). Both boys are already amazing travelers, who I know will grow up to be my best travel companions. They are already beginning to learn some Spanish and French. I can't wait to see how they develop as citizens of not just the US, but of the world!

Becoming a member of International Friends has allowed me to meet so many interesting and wonderful people, many of which have become some of the best friends I've ever had. I'm so glad I joined!

Thank you so much Leslie!
I had a great time photographing Leslie. She is friendly, kind, and funny- the evidence of which you can see here in this last photo. My next International Friends Profile will be of Al who is originally from New York. Look for that in the next week!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Natural Beauty

Today I stopped by the Florida Botanical Gardens to check out their Wedding Garden as I will be shooting some wedding photos there soon. While I was there I decided to try to get a few nice nature photos to add to my collection.  I love Water Lilies. Somehow I just find lily pads fascinating they remind me of fairy tales. I took the above photo with my 70-300mm lens which in some cases does just as well as my macro lens when I cannot get as close as I would like.

I love these grasshopper guys. For some reason I never see them in the community where I live but they are all over the place from what I am told in Florida. Often they seem happy to pose for me when I want to take their picture and they are just so funky looking! This was taken with my 100mm 2.8 lens.

Had to be quick to capture this butterfly.

Love these two. I was in the shade with some beautiful light coming from behind. 

This flower was smaller than it looks, this is where the 100mm macro really shines, love these colors!

How beautiful is this? I love flowers! Nature amazes me so much. 
Florida Botanical Gardens are free to visit. It is a nice place but it is not as 'lush' and filled with flowers as some other gardens I have been to. My favorite botanical garden in Florida is in Coral Gables, Fairchild Gardens. You can spend an entire day there and there are iguanas everywhere. Hope to get down there soon!  Tomorrow I will be posting another International Friends Profile this time Leslie from West Virginia was my subject!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At the Zoo

  This weekend I went to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. I go a few times a year and always have a good time. Getting unique quality shots of animals is not easy, it really makes you appreciate the work of wildlife photographers and the time they must put in to getting those amazing shots. My favorite animals to photograph there are these Orangutans. The photo above is of the male. He is almost always by himself away from the females and babies. Often he sits in the sun with a T-shirt on his head but on this day he was smart enough to be sitting in the shade.

Here is the mother and baby. There seems to always be at least one baby there every time go and they are a great deal of fun to watch.  At the same time they will sit still and rest on occasion so they are great subjects.
Here you see the baby one climbing around.  I could easily just stay in this one area for a few hours!

 Here is a chimp. He seemed very content sitting here with a stick in is hand next to some boxes I guess he likes to play with.

This is an ANGOLAN BLACK AND WHITE COLOBUS. They are a lot of fun to watch. They help groom each other and the baby ones are very funny looking.

Duck feet!

I don't remember what this was called but I love the photo. Kind of reminds me of an old lady with a lot of lip stick on!

This is an Emu. Emus are from Australia and can run 30MPH. They are also pretty funny looking :)

Not sure what this bird is called, but I like his look.

The highlight of the day was getting to see this elephant swimming and splashing around in the water! I had never seen that before. After this one got out he/she started playing around with a friend. At first it looked like they were fighting but they were just having fun.

Its so funny how small their tails are compared to the rest of them!

For a few minutes I felt like I was really in Africa!  I ceased to even care about how hot it was watching this, it was so much fun to see!
Hope you have enjoyed these photos. I am really looking forward to going to the Animal Kingdom in Disney this fall as it is my favorite place to go see animals. It puts any zoo to shame. Lowry Park is a nice place to visit there if you haven't been it is a great place to spend a day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Art in Motion Ybor

Happy Monday!
   I had a fun weekend but a hot one! We are still stuck in the 90s every day here in Tampa and I am SO ready for some relief from the humidity. Still I did not let it stop me from getting out and having a good time. Today I am just sharing a few shots I took when I stopped by the Red Bull Art in Motion Competition in Ybor. I could not stay long as I had to be somewhere else but had fun freezing the young men in midair there as they ran up walls and jumped off railings!
  I love freezing motion with my camera more than anything I think because it enables you to see moments that pass too quickly for your eyes to truly appreciate them.

  These guys were practicing for the competition when I was there. They each had 90 seconds on a course to show off their skills any way they chose. I think I would have truly melted if I had been able to stay for the whole thing!
Look at the muscles!
The competition was held in Centro Ybor in the courtyard across from the movie theaters. Here a few contestants are hanging out on top of the 'wall' used in the course.

These guys were doing all of this with no cushions to save them in case of error, it was pretty amazing.

Thanks to my friend Angelica for telling me about the event. Wish I could have stayed longer! 
Tomorrow I hope to post some animal photos I took at Lowry Park Zoo Sunday. I got to see an elephant swimming and rolling around in the water which was amazing. I will also be posting another in my International Friends Profile series by the end of the week. :)