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Bio for Jason

Jason spent the 00s living abroad in Asia.  He returned to the Tampa Bay area in 2009 and began Jason Collin Photography.  When not behind his camera, Jason is an avid movie watcher and enjoys being outdoors with his adopted puppy, Kiki.  Jason is left-handed & a night owl. FULL BIO

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Entries in alligator (4)

2011 Florida Calendar now available for order!

ORDER YOUR 2011 "SCENES FROM FLORIDA" FINE ART CALENDAR TODAY

$50 with free shipping!*

 

Featuring twelve unique fine art photographs, this 2011 calendar does not feature the typical images of Florida, but rather a very diverse series of images ranging from landscapes, to wildlife, to sunsets.  Orders may be placed using this form.  *Free shipping is provided to U.S. address only.

ORDER YOUR 2011 SCENES FROM FLORIDA fine art calendar today!!

  • Makes a great souvenir gift for visiting friends & family

Favorite Five Photographs from 2009

2009 was the year I really got into HDR photography -- Colt Creek State Park in summer

5 - Colt Creek State Park - category: HDR

Not too long ago I did not like HDR photography at all.  Today, I love it and will have an HDR image in a collective retrospective exhibition of historical photographs of Saint Petersburg.  This HDR image of wetlands in Colt Creek State Park is one of my top five favorites of 2009 because I felt this park was an overlooked if not ignored state park.  It is a fairly new state park, only a couple years old.  I could almost feel the lack of photographs taken at this park, which is a shame as the wetlands were expansive and white ibis and other water birds flew in and out of them in flocks.  Someday I will return to this park and camp there in order to photograph it at sunrise.

 

I photographed my first wedding in 2009 and learned it is not all stuffy formal photos.

4 - The Ring Bearer Makes a Point - category: Wedding

2009 marked my debut as a wedding photographer.  Wedding photography could not be more different than I imagined.  Maybe I have just been lucky, but all the weddings I have photographed have been fun, tension free experiences.  This candid image made in between the formal shots made this list because of the moment it froze and the smiles on their faces.  This is the epitome of my candid style of photography and the types of things I am constantly searching for when photographing a wedding, event or any other gathering of people.

 

I still feel bad about running over this alligator in my kayak, sorry again dude!

3 - Eye to Eye with an Alligator  - category: Wildlife

This alligator photograph makes this list for a variety of reasons:  the long story behind the shot, my first time to really photograph an alligator, my first time to make any photograph from a kayak, and my first real foray into true wildlife photography.  The long story behind this shot can be read here.  After literally driving by the exit for Myakka River State Park on I-75 160 times, 2009 was the year I finally turned off the highway and got out of my car and into a kayak!  Floating added to the technical challenge of making this photograph, as was having to steady my hands on the camera knowing I was only a few feet away from this sizable alligator in his (her?) natural element, i.e. water.  However, being in the kayak allowed me to get to eye level with this alligator and having the sun to my back allowed me to get this exposure in the harsh Florida sun.  The experience of making this photograph was the only one that has ever made my heart race.  I cannot wait to shoot from a kayak again!

 

Six years living in Japan allowed me some unique photography opportunities.

2 - Four Come of Age in Vivid Kimonos  - category: Culture/Japan

A friend still living in Japan recently remarked how it is almost cliche to photograph young Japanese girls on Coming of Age Day in their kimonos.  This was not really in my mind last January when I was still living in Japan and fighting the crowds to enter Meiji Jingu Shrine.  However, upon seeing the dozens and dozens of photographers (at least guys with very expensive photo gear) shooting like it was the red carpet at the Oscars, I started to think I am really going to have to dig deep to produce a standout shot, and not just standout from what others are shooting, but to be a shot that standouts to me personally, as ultimately I really only shoot for pleasing myself in these situations.  By not including the girls' heads in the shot, I thought I could put the focus on their kimono, and make an image that years later will make me think, "who were these girls?"  

 

A true candid portrait, made at pretty much my favorite spot on Earth.

1 - On Treasure Island You Can Meet Your Other Self*  - category: Candid Portrait

I differentiate myself from other photographers in the Tampa Bay area by promoting my candid style.  I do not think I will ever be able to make a photograph that illustrates what a candid portrait means to me more than the one above.  This portrait of a boy placing his palms on the shore, closing his eyes, thinking/imagining, and unknowingly making a reflection of himself is a true candid.  He was off playing by himself while I was a distance away, when I noticed he was making a reflection in the wet sand.  I bent my knees to get near his eye level, steadying my 80-200mm lens in my hands, and that's when he went into this symmetrical stance.  I pushed the shutter and made my favorite photograph of 2009.

*This photograph was critiqued by Scott Bourne himself.

Morris Bridge Wilderness Park -- a brief survey

Fingers of the Hillsborough River winding through Morris Bridge Wilderness ParkI had an old memory of seeing otters playing in a river I visited long ago.  It took me a good few minutes to recall exactly where this was.  It was after all 10 years ago.  I traced the road in my mind and eventually I remembered it was just down, down Fletcher Avenue.  Using trusty Google Maps I confirmed it visually and only upon seeing the sign on the road driving up did I think, "of course, it's Morris Bridge Wilderness Park."

These large grasshoppers move very mechanically.Unfortunately, I saw no otters this time, but a number of other forest river creatures.  The above big grasshopper was not opposed to a lens being relatively close to its face, so I made this photograph using my Nikkor 105mm VR micro f/2.8 G lens and thanked it for its patience afterwards.

This frog was only half the size of my thumb.

The above small frog was king of this puddle.  It's driving me crazy wondering if that's a bottle cap in the lower part of the shot or not?  Maybe it's an acorn cap actually, I hope.  Walking along the Hillsborough River on the Bald Cypress Trail was only in spots muddy.  Otherwise there was all firm ground on a trail as close to the river as you could get, and at the same level of the water as well.  It makes this park pretty unique to me.

cypress knees look like organic futuristic cities to me

 There was the occasional kayak and canoe passing by.  Otherwise, it was an entirely peaceful hike along the river.  The only potential hazard was when Aya and Kiki nearly stepped right onto a snake!  I saw it at the last minute and grabbed Aya's shoulder letting the snake wake up and quickly and safely slither off.  It was a harmless garter-type snake though.  I wish I would have noticed it sooner so I could have gotten a photo of it!

a lazy baby alligator

It wouldn't be a trip into Florida wetlands without seeing an alligator.  The only one of the day was the above little fella that couldn't even bother to put his legs forward after crawling out of the river.  Aya said that he stared at her with a tough look.  To me he looked friendly.  

While the first part of the trail loop was along the main fingers of the Hillsborough River and narrow and at times muddy, the return portion of the loop was high and dry with views of the surrounding wetlands.  A nice contrast actually that made for a good hour and a half of forest time with a river running through it.

The high & dry return loop of the Bald Cypress Trail

Free iPhone Wallpaper Monday: Myakka Alligator

Start your work week off with a free new wallpaper for your iPhone or iPod touch!

This alligator was photographed in Myakka River State Park.  It was the most thrilling photography I have ever made.  Why?  Because I was in a kayak just a few feet away from this smiling (?) alligator.  It was also my very first time to shoot from a kayak and I was quite concerned about dropping my Nikon D300 and Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm F2.8D lens right into the shallow Myakka River.  

After a short time, however, I was able to develop a technique of paddling toward a subject and then just letting the kayak drift past it while I wielded the D300.  I had no idea I had actually gotten so close to the alligator this time though because I was intent on getting the low angle and straight horizon I wanted.

As mentioned before, the water was really shallow, which caused a harmless accident a little bit later.  This alligator eventually slid into the river and as I paddled to see where she or he had gone off too I actually paddled the kayak right over it!  At first I felt great fear as I saw only an alligator leg over the side of the kayak and thought, will it seek revenge?  But I never even saw it surface again until I was well far away.  I related this story to the kayak rental staff person, and she told me not to worry and that this happens all the time and the alligator was no worse for wear from such an incident.  I was relieved.

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My full (and growing) collection of iPhone wallpapers can be viewed HERE and are available for just $1 each.

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 To Install the wallpaper onto your iPhone:

1. Right-click or control-click on the image.

2. Select “Save as…”

* Mac users:  save the image to a folder or add it to your iPhoto library.

* PC users:   save the image in your “My Pictures” folder.

Connect the iPhone/iPod Touch to your computer and do the following:

1. Launch iTunes, click your iPhone icon on iTunes, choose the Photos tab, and select “Sync photos from:”

2. From the pop-up menu, do one of the following:

* If your using a Mac, choose iPhoto or your Pictures folder.
* If you’re using a PC, choose My Pictures folder.

3. Choose Folder, then choose any folder on your computer that has images.

4. Choose “All photos,” or choose “Selected folders” or “Selected albums” and choose the folders or albums you want to sync.

On your iPhone:

5. Launch the Photos app. Browse through the albums or Camera Roll until you find the picture you wish to use.

6. Select the picture so it is displayed full screen.

7. Tap the icon in the lower left corner of the screen. If you don’t see the icon, single tap the picture to display the menus.

8. A menu pops up with three options: Email Photo, Use as Wallpaper, or Assign to Contact.

9. Choose “Use as Wallpaper"

Thanks to Photo Focus and Scott Bourne for the directions above.

 

All iPhone/iPod Touch Wallpapers are provided without any technical support. Each image is a 320×480 jpg file. All images are Copyright Jason Collin Photography, All Rights Reserved. You are granted a single use, non-exclusive, perpetual license to install this wallpaper on any iPhone or iPod Touch personally owned by you. This license grants you the right to use the wallpaper for non-commercial/personal use only. You may not re-sell, distribute, print or otherwise publish the image without the express written consent of the Copyright owner: Jason Collin Photography