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. 

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. 

Meeting up with Meetup.com

Carillon Tower and Nature Preserve.

Carillon Tower and Nature Preserve.

I, hopefully, have made it abundantly (redundantly) clear that I’m a newbie at this. So, after multiple Facebook posts, my boyfriend’s lovely mother took pity on me, and suggested I check out Meetup.com. I was completely terrified by the idea of meeting up with strangers. But, boredom, I mean, curiosity, got the best of me and I decided to check it out. After a bit of browsing, I found this interesting photography group that had an outing I couldn’t resist.

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So peaceful

The group was set to meet in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel next to the tower. So, naturally, I showed up on time. Then, sat in my car like a weirdo until I was completely sure it was a gathering of photographers, and not well dress serial killers with cameras.

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Considering I am still alive, it would seem like they were not serial killers. More like a very nice group of people willing to help me with any questions. 🙂

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We set out walking around the boardwalk area. After the introductions, everyone seemed very intent on capturing some of the wildlife. Minimal talking with a focus on the beautiful things around us? Perfect.

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I got very lucky a few times with some awesome animals.

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The little creatures in the area were especially hard to shoot. The mixture of the shade and patches of sunlight slicing through the trees made finding the right exposure a challenge.

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Overall, I really enjoyed being in a group of photographers. It made it seem less odd to be wandering around brandishing an enormous camera.

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I learned a lot by just watching others, while seeing the different things that interested them enough to stop and take a picture.

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At first, the whole group was clumped together. But, after a while of each person going at their own pace, everyone eventually spread out and had their own experience.

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It was nice to have the tranquility that taking pictures brings added with the company of having others nearby that share the same interest.

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I eventually fell so far behind that group that I began to have to take little sprints to catch back up. But, every time I did there was a group of smiling faces ready to point out something wonderful that I missed.

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I’m actually not quite sure how long we were there. I really lost track of time, which is something I generally have trouble doing. It was nice having something to completely immerse myself in.

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Between carrying my camera bag and periodically switching lenses, my full attention was taken. I didn’t check my phone once. 🙂

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I’m glad I swallowed my antisocial tendencies and joined in this adventure.

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It really was a lovely day.

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