Fort Desoto

My friends’s and I enjoyed a relaxing day on Fort Desoto beach. 

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It is another beach in Florida that strays away from the typical “post card” scene you normally see. 

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I love all the details that help this beach stand out from the vacant nothingness of the more touristy spots. 

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It seems weird, to me, to have trees and stumps on a beach. 

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No life guard on duty. 

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I really didn’t run into any photography challenges (that I realize, yet.) Luckily, there was plenty of bright light.  

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However, I did finally get a monthly subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom. 

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So, these photos are my first attempt at editing. I knew the learning curve was step, but, whoa. I’m going to be purchasing a guide soon. Some people have suggested books by Scott Kelby. These look pretty promising. The next step in my adventure. 🙂

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Till then my eye is completely untrained. So, I apologize if it’s obscenely obvious how edited these are. I have heard differing opinions on Photoshop. So, maybe it is just personal preference? 

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I was pretty fond of this guy.

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This stick was very interesting. Beautiful, even.

I used the stick as a subject for a while. I received many weird looks. 

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This guy, again. 

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With school starting again, it is hard to get out and shoot like I want to. This trip was definitely well worth the drive. 

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Revisiting my Secluded Beach

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Loaded down with camera bag and tripod. Ready for anything.

I wanted to find peace again. So, I took another trip to my beautiful little spot. Last time I was here I was completely distracted by the lovely sunset. I am not complaining, but this time I wanted to focus on the little details laying around.

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The first thing I noticed was the millions of tiny crabs. As I stepped cautiously through the horde of crustaceans, I realized that my favorite problem of low light and movement were going to play a large part in this shoot.

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There were so many little crabs! All of them going about their lives, doing the most interesting little dances.

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Some were fighting, while others were…getting aquatinted.

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 I felt like a giant intruder. I’m glad they didn’t take up arms and turn on me. They reminded me of spiders, which wasn’t the best mind frame to put myself into. Alone with millions and billions of sea spiders, great.

littlecrab_Fotor_Fotor Although the crabs were excellent practice with balancing exposure, ISO, and f-stops, there were lovely little details that made me fall further in love with my spot.

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I managed to work with my camera well enough to not have to use my tripod. I’m pleased with how steady my hand is becoming with practice. Everyone’s advice from my last post has really helped. I appreciate everyone who took the time to comment with their own tips. It means a lot. You guys might just be able to make a decent photographer out of me 😉

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Being from North Carolina originally, I miss it terribly sometimes. I am so accustomed to the mountains and forests, its my home. However, Florida has been the most interesting place to explore. The contrast between the outdoor adventures there and here are delightful. I love how this mucky beach is more beautiful to me than the more touristy white sand ones.

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Plus, the crowded beaches have so many seagulls that it is almost unbearable. The few birds on this beach just add to the beauty of it.

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I decided to use the UV filter that came with the last lens I bought. I’m not sure if it really improved anything. I had to use the lens hood with it because I kept noticing a weird film, or glare, on the pictures. I’m not sure if the UV filter was worth it…

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It is hard to catch the beauty of the light around this time. I can’t wait to take a class so I can begin to learn more. 🙂

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After this shoot, filled with the same adventurous spirt as some of my other ones, I decided to explore this new spot I’ve had my eye on. This new spot was pretty similar to this one. However, it is near a bar on the beach and gives a better view of Tampa. Beer and beauty, what could go wrong? Well, I’ve been idealistically exploring all these new Florida places lately, it was about time I learned a valuable lesson.

I pulled up to the new spot, parked and headed towards the water. In my mission to catch the sunset, I barreled into the bushes with tunnel vision. After snapping some blurry pictures of a little boat that was sitting there, I realized there was a homeless man standing behind me, starring. I turned to walk the other way, there was another man standing in front of me. I smiled. Neither returned that smile.

So, after considering the last time I updated my Hobo-Stab-Insurance, I left as quickly as possible.

Nothing extraordinary happened in that new spot, except I learned that there are some places walking around, alone, with a camera is a pretty dumb idea.

Another lesson learned.

WPC: Fray on the Beach

When you think of Florida beaches, “white sand” comes to mind. The touristy places are pristinely kept for all the lovely family vacations. In the less traveled areas, however, this is more likely what you’ll find. 

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Low tide brings muck and grime. It is frayed and more beautiful, to me, than the white sand perfection that most people have come to associate with Florida. It almost feels like Fall in a place where the leaves never change. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the beautiful beaches, and how they epitomize summer. But, this little beach, off the beaten path, feels like when you get warm enjoyment out of a gloomy, rainy day. 

WPC: Feet in the Sand, Head in the Clouds.

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This is an older photo from earlier this summer. Actually, I already posted this photo in my Anna Maria set. However, I really love this photo, and it fit the theme so I figured I’d share it again.

I love it for the colors, of course. If you haven’t been able to tell, I have a thing for color 😉

More than the color, I’m obsessed with the circumstances under which the photo was taken. I wanted to capture this moment as a peaceful, photographical representation of the world’s beauty. But, the entire time I was shooting, my boyfriend was comically digging his feet into the sand, doing something that resembled The Twist (if it were done to Dub Step), all while singing some song that had me giggling.
Basically, ridiculousness. 🙂

So, I love that this photo can look so serene, but also instantly recall silly memories. It’s a reminder that although I take pictures to share with you guys, it’s still extremely rewarding for me to have little digital memories.

More silhouette memories here.

Getting Lucky on a Secluded Beach

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You know that one place you drive by everyday on the way to work? The one that you’re too busy to actually stop at so you keep telling yourself “one day?” Maybe I’m alone in this unfulfilled desire. But, this little patch of trees and sand on the side of the road has been haunting me for sometime now. Each morning as I fly by, generally doing the speed limit, I can see clearings in the trees every once in a while. Small patches with beautiful water sparkling through. I have always wanted to stop, but I was terrified of just pulling off randomly on the side of the road. However, the other day, after my Meet Up outing, I was feeling extra adventurous. So, I finally pulled off, parked my car, and ventured out through the trees.

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I was absolutely floored by what I found. If I had the skill, dedication, and general “this is something I  like doing” attitude of a someone who fishes, I probably wouldn’t have been so surprised. But, I was completely unprepared for the wide open view.

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Not to mentioned that I scored the jackpot on one of the prettiest sunsets I have seen in a while.

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The opening had a perfect view of Tampa all the way across the bay. I was ecstatic, and covered in mosquitos. So, after sprinting back to my car, ruining my tennis shoes in the waterlogged sand, and drowning myself in bug spray. I pulled myself together and set up my tripod for the very first time!

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My first attempt at astrophotography. I think I’m ready to go pro, guys.

The sun was setting fast, and I was overly excited to try some long exposure shots.

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For being as beautiful as it was I was surprised that my only company was a few curious birds and ten billion baby crabs.

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I played around forever. I couldn’t believe how lovely it was.

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This shot was my favorite. It looked like a cloud city hanging above Tampa.

As the light faded, the more beautiful it became. It is amazing that this little beach is situated right off of I-275. The most massively chaotic, apocalyptic war-zone, of a highway. The overkill of adjectives was only to demonstrate how joy-sucking my commute can be. But, this peaceful safe haven is only a few feet from the stretch of damnation. The contrast is overwhelming.

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There were so many other lovely little things in the area to explore, but the colors of the sky completely stole all of my attention.

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In fear of sounding cliche, I should stop narrating this adventure. I was completely awestruck by the beauty the world has to offer, and I may begin to gush more than necessary. If I haven’t already. 😉

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Long exposure fun.

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I can’t wait to come back to this spot a little better prepared. Industrial-size bug spray is going to be my best friend. But, my Hunter boots are what I’m really excited about. My poor tennis shoes weren’t ready for the soggy ground. This limited any ability to venture too far. I think some wellies up to my knees will do just the trick next time. 🙂

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Anna Maria Island

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For the Fourth of July my boyfriend and I stayed with his family in Anna Maria Island. This was the first time since I was young that I did a proper “Florida Vacation.” It seemed a bit odd considering I currently live in Florida. However, it becomes very difficult to enjoy Florida things when life gets in the way. After a while, the twenty miles to the beach might as well be two hundred. And, when the smoke clears, papers settle, and time off does float around, the last thing you want to do is stay in the area. But, by the end of the vacation I had re-learned the appeal of “getting away from it all,” and sitting by the beach with nothing to do. So, with my phone on airplane mode, I played in the sun and took pictures of the most relaxing weekend I’ve had in a while.