Tag Archives: Florida

Mangrove Reflections

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

I’ve been finishing up some of the photos from our first trip this year, the one to Captiva and Sanibel Islands, Florida.  These are a few more from the mangrove swamp at Ding Darling NWR.  Not all of these are of mangroves per se, but you get the idea.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

I felt like these needed to be in black & white.  Partly because of the weird color of the water due to the brackishness (is that a word?) of the marshland water but also because of the patterns themselves.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Birds, Birds, Birds!

White Ibis at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Kathy & I spent the day yesterday exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.  I was channeling my buddy Don Brown just a little bit, as he is one of the best bird shooters I know.  I was handicapped a bit by a 200mm lens on my Fuji, not really long enough for serious wildlife work.  But I came away with a few shots that are reasonably well exposed, acceptably sharp and representative of what we saw.

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

The most amazing thing we saw I wasn’t even able to record!  we walked back a trail into a wood, and soon found a group of egrets lounging in an area well off the beaten path.  There were easily a hundred or more there, but the brush was so thick that there was no way to make a photograph.  But the sound!  I said it sounded like the morning after a frat party – lots of guttural sounds and weird noises.  It was quite an experience, but you’ll just need to take my word for it!

White Snowy Egret at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Little Blue Heron at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Chasing Train Stations in Florida

Train station in Lake Wales, Florida

I’ve written previously about how Kathy & I like to seek out train stations on our travels through different areas.  I hadn’t paid too much attention to train stations when we planned this trip to Florida, but almost by happy accident I realized that southern Georgia and Florida contain many examples of train stations.  Here more so than in other states they seem to generally be in pretty good shape, many of them currently used as museums, social halls or offices.

Train station in Homerville, Georgia

While we were visiting the station in Avon Park, a volunteer at the museum there told us that the Silver Star passenger train passes through there daily, and that it would be there within the hour.  He also mentioned that there is a station in Sebring that hadn’t come up on my search, even though the Sebring station is an active Amtrak station.

Train station in Dundee, Florida

While we were in Avon Park, a CSX freight train came through, then we drove to the Sebring station in time to catch the Amtrak train making its stop there.  We aren’t usually fortunate enough to actually see trains while we are at these stations, so to catch two on the same day was a real treat!

CSX freight train passing the train station in Avon Park, Florida
Amtrak’s Silver Star arriving at the train station in Sebring, Florida
Amtrak’s Silver Star arriving at the train station in Sebring, Florida
Train station in Trenton, Florida
Train station in Trenton, Florida
Train station in Trenton, Florida
Train station in Homerville, Georgia

Gone Fishin’

Gone Fishin’

Kathy & I are in Florida for a few days trying to escape the (relative) cold of home.  We’re currently in Captiva Island waiting out a wet and windy day.  But I’m not looking for sympathy – even at a chilly 62 degrees it’s a lot warmer here than at home, and even warmer than those of you farther north!

Streamlining The Process

Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida
Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida

Ever since I started using Lightroom to process and manage my photos, I have continuously updated and improved my workflow. I’ve used my workflow as the basis for teaching Lightroom classes, individual tutoring and consulting. I carefully devised a workflow that suits my needs, primarily of organizing and identifying my photos, as well as using the various tools such as Pick flags, color labels and star ratings to tell me exactly where in the process a given photo or group of photos was.

Nightlife on Duval Street in Key West, Florida
Nightlife on Duval Street in Key West, Florida

 

Something for everyone in Key West, Florida
Something for everyone in Key West, Florida

As efficient as my workflow has been, one of the big downsides is that I was spending a lot of time in the Develop module for each of my photos, even those that were mostly “snapshots” and would probably never be printed or posted on my website. What eventually happened was that I only had a small percentage of photos that were marked as “finished” and had thousands of photos that had not been processed. These files are ones that I had marked with a Pick flag – meaning that I thought there was some merit to the photo that warranted further processing. And that backlog was getting larger and larger, to the point where I thought I would never get them caught up.

Scenery, Key West, Florida
Scenery, Key West, Florida

Part of my workflow over the years has been to create a group of Develop presets to apply to these photos when I import them from my card. I have a set of presets that take care of 90-95% (or more) of the work I do on a photo. But as good as these presets are, they won’t address things like dust spots and crooked horizons, so I would still go in and spend countless hours tweaking and fine-tuning all of those photos, regardless of whether or not they will ever see life beyond my hard drive.

Front porch, Key West, Florida
Front porch, Key West, Florida

 

Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida
Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida

One of the many lessons from my recent experience with dipping my toe into the mirrorless camera pool is the realization that the files from the Fuji X-T1 hardly needed any follow up tweaking. I was so impressed with the files right out of the camera that in many cases I didn’t do a thing to them, and anything I did do was purely aesthetic, or “because I could.” It was playing around with the files from that camera that made me take another look at my regular workflow and realize that the files from my Canon cameras were also really good, but that I had gotten myself in the habit of working with all of them that I had lost sight of the fact that all that extra work wasn’t really doing anything significant toward improving the photographs, but it was taking an enormous amount of time!

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

I have had a really difficult time letting go of the idea that every photo had to be “completely done” before I marked it as done. Since most of my files never go beyond my own computer, it’s been my own personal hang-up, and I decided that if I wanted to change it I could, so I did. For the last month or so I have been trying really hard to “trust the Force” and let the presets do their work. I still review each individual file for level horizons, dust spots or other things, but have been working really hard to only make those few corrections and to – as much as possible – leave my hands off of those other controls. So far it has worked pretty well. I can get through a lot more photos at one time, and the extra efficiency leaves me the discretion to spend more time with a particular photo or group of photos when I want to. And gradually my backlog is starting to recede, and that is a really good feeling.

Mom & the Kids, Key West, Florida
Mom & the Kids, Key West, Florida

In an upcoming post I will talk about some of the benefits of processing old photos with the new software and will show some examples. Sorry, but that will have to wait while I work on some more photos!

Shadow of our plane and contrail on the clouds during our flight from Key West to Charlotte
Shadow of our plane and contrail on the clouds during our flight from Key West to Charlotte

Some More Photos From Key West

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

Not much time to write this week, but I have been processing photos.  Here are a few more to look at.  Be sure to read some of the captions! 🙂

Coconut disposal, Key West, Florida
Coconut disposal, Key West, Florida

 

A group of bicyclists celebrate at the Southernmost Point marker after riding from Miami
A group of bicyclists celebrate at the Southernmost Point marker after riding from Miami

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

US Coast Guard Cutter Ingham on display at the Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida
US Coast Guard Cutter Ingham on display at the Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Statue in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History, Key West, Florida
Statue in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History, Key West, Florida

 

St Paul's Episcopal Church, Key West, Florida
St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

My new boat, bought it in Key West, left it in Key West
My new boat, bought it in Key West, left it in Key West

 

Kathy's new boat.  She got the better end of the deal.
Kathy’s new boat. She got the better end of the deal.

 

Around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida
Around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida

 

The original Sponge Bob, around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida
The original Sponge Bob, around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida

 

Around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida
Around the marina at Key West Bight, Key West, Florida

 

Evidence that Kathy did indeed go to the top!  Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida
Evidence that Kathy did indeed go to the top! Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida

 

Fresnel lens at the Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida
Fresnel lens at the Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida

 

Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida
Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida

 

Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida
Key West Lighthouse, Key West, Florida

 

Today's Educational System at Work
Today’s Educational System at Work

 

Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida
Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida

 

The Conch Tour Train in Key West, Florida
The Conch Tour Train in Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Birthplace of Pan American World Airways in Key West, Florida
Birthplace of Pan American World Airways in Key West, Florida

 

Marina at the Westin Resort in Key West, Florida
Marina at the Westin Resort in Key West, Florida

 

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

 

Many forms of transportation on Duval Street
Many forms of transportation on Duval Street

 

Many forms of transportation on Duval Street
Many forms of transportation on Duval Street