New Adventure: Sunken Gardens in St Petersburg, Florida.

Don't let the blue sky fool you, it was pouring rain five minutes before this.

Don’t let the blue sky fool you, it was pouring rain five minutes before this.

A new adventure to another place I have driven by, for what seems like forever, and always wanted to stop. I have had my eye on the Sunken Gardens for almost two years now. I’d notice its lovely retro sign (which I regret not snagging a photo of) flashing as I drive by. I would tell myself, and others, “I’m going to go there soon.” Never did it. But, after starting this blog, I began thinking of all the beautiful opportunities waiting, and the challenge of shooting in such a shadowy place. So, visiting it became my number one priority.

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I have no idea what these are. But, I like to call them “doodley bits.”

The photo below is a far away view of the same tree from my Zigzag Photo Challenge post. A new perspective 🙂

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When I bought my camera I was afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb. I have always starred at people with large cameras. I love to look at what they’re looking at in hopes I can see what they’re seeing. But, I have no interest in being starred at by a stranger. Funny how that works? So, I built it up and psyched myself out about being in public with my camera. I was very timid at first. However, now I feel liberated. 

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Having a camera has given me the personal reason I needed to get out there and do all the “I’m gonna do that one day” stuff.

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So, in my new-found boldness, my boyfriend and I (I’m not that bold, yet) ignored the rain and set off on the most humid day, ever. 

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The gardens were absolutely beautiful. However, after getting there, my idealistic attitude crumpled as I was hit with a new wave of photography issues. Like, the light rain getting on my lenses and into my camera bag. This, of course, made them slippery and terrifying to handle. Also, in my panic, I kept thinking, “how much water can these cameras really take. Am I ruining it?!” 

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The colors ^_^

But, my most favorite panic-inducing, arm-flailing melt-down had to be when I took the lens cap off and the lens glass fogged so thick I face-palmed. What was I supposed to do?! I had no cloths. The lovely little ones that came with my newest lens? Yeah, left those right at home. 

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So, I wandered around helpless. Trying with ever fiber of my being to not wipe the fog off with my obscenely abrasive shirt. 

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Obviously, I got it under control. But, that was after five minutes of mentally coaching myself through the largest test of self control I’ve had in a while. Interesting how five minutes can seem like eternity, right? 

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After my melodramatic episode had concluded, I focused on my surroundings. I loved walking through the gardens. There were so many different plants to see that were completely new to me. I was shocked by Florida’s ability to grow some of the weirdest little plants. Kind of makes you wonder what this area would look like without all the buildings and highways. 

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I’m still working with trying to get the exposure I want in unevenly lit areas. I have really gotten the hang of manually picking the point of focus. Even though its a little time consuming at first, I love the control it gives you. The one thing I regret about these photos was that I kept it at a very low aperture, about f/4.5. I was having trouble getting a crisp photo with a higher stop with all the shadows around. I haven’t quite mastered, or even been able to achieve this, yet. Lower lighting takes some work. I know fiddling with ISO should help. But, does anyone have any tips for situations like these?  

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Despite my setbacks, I still had a great time. The birds were a nice surprise. I wasn’t expecting animals, too. 🙂

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They didn’t bite. Just a lot of singing. 

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Even though everything was beautiful, it was so humid and so dense in the gardens that it was almost miserable. It is funny how having a camera and a purpose completely engulfs my attention. It allows me to ignore the worst conditions. Basically, I didn’t whine half as much as I would have in the past. 😀

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Chris made a friend. 

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Along with bird whisperer, he doubles as a pretty good photographer. 

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Me

Exciting things are coming. Another blogger told me about a monthly subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom. This is awesome news! This means that you guys are going to get to join me while I learn how to overcome photography challenges and witness as I stumble my way through editing. Stay tuned 😛

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

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This weekly challenge was, well, a challenge. I wanted to find something that was truly a step away from the straight forward. However, everywhere I looked this week, I saw nothing but manmade symmetry. Everything around me was straight lines and perfection. So, my solution was to go outside, and visit the Sunken Gardens in St Petersburg. I knew I would be able to find the zigzag chaos that only nature could provide. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge