Lightning Across a Pink Florida Sky

Lightning Across a Pink Florida Sky

Pink Lightning over Florida

With all the storms across the midwest, it made me recall the storms that would strike Florida, some of which allowed me to still take my camera out and capture how they transform the sky into, in this case, a palette of electric pink. This is the view along the seawall of the apartment complex I lived at in St. Petersburg, Florida. On calm days manatees and dolphins could be seen from this spot, but this evening a powerful and beautiful thunderstorm dominated the horizon.

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Lake Worth Pier Florida

Lake Worth Pier Florida

Kiki and I took a weekend trip over to the West Palm Beach area of Florida to check out a dog beach near Juno.  The night before we happened to come across a scenic ocean park that lead to a pier.  Though this is officially the Lake Worth Pier, it is most know for Benny's on the Beach restaurant.  I liked how this pier retains the classic look of old Florida from the 1960s.  It suits the beach scene well better than modern looking piers and structure on piers.

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Thistle Lodge Sanibel Florida Candid Engagement Photography

Thistle Lodge Sanibel Florida Candid Engagement Photography

It is thought that Craigslist does not have much legitimate content with regards to work.  Yet, I still give a check almost every day just in case there is a legit photo need posted by someone.  Such was the case with Pat who put up an interesting post looking for help with making a surprise proposal to his girlfriend on Sanibel Island at the Thistle Lodge.

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Dixon Hughes Goodman Accountant Headshots Clearwater Florida

Corporate accountant headshot in Clearwater Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/6.3 1/200th ISO 200 - Strobist: SB-800 in 43" brolly to frame left 43" reflector to frame right & SB-600 in shoot through umbrella on background

An accounting firm in Clearwater, Florida that has offices around the country needed new headshots.  They had hired a marketing firm to take charge of this and from them I was given very specific requirements for making headshots in the exact style they wanted.  This included being as specific as getting a particular "TV gray" background from BH Photo!  This was fine with me as the more details the more I can deliver exactly what the client wants.  Yet, despite all these guidelines, the final style of the headshots allowed for a good bit of creativity as the person being photographed could choose from one of 12+ different headshot poses!

The most complex setup I have used for a headshot yet. From left to right: SB-800 in 43" brolly on light stand, SB-600 in shoot through umbrella on light stand, 9' wide TV gray paper background, posing stool, 43" reflector on light stand

This is the setup I used.  I had to order the TV gray background of course since I did not have one lying around already.  I also bought the large stand to hold the background, which in this case was 9 feet wide.  The stands can hold up to a 12 foot wide background.  

Using a posing stool for the first time for a headshot at Dixon Hughes Goodman accountants Clearwater Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 1/200th ISO 200 - Strobist: SB-800 in 43" brolly to frame left 43" reflector to frame right & SB-600 in shoot through umbrella on background

This person used the stool for resting his arms upon, which was one of several posing choices the marketing company offered.  In another first, I had not tried this kind of composition before and now have it as an example I can offer to my own future headshot clients.  You can see how the marketing company used another headshot of this person in a final version on the company website.

The client wanted empty space to the left of the subject for these business headshots in Clearwater Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/6.3 1/200th ISO 200 - Strobist: SB-800 in 43" brolly to frame left 43" reflector to frame right & SB-600 in shoot through umbrella on background

Another requirement for all the headshots was to leave a lot of space to the left of the subject.  The marketing company would then crop the headshots to how they wanted.  I had great help from a staff member of the accounting firm in both setting up the photography gear and in choosing what poses worked best for each person.  It turned out to be one of the most fun headshot shoots I have had!

Nikon D3200 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson Honeymoon Island State Park Florida with Karin

Karin framing a shot with her Nikon D3200 during our 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson at Honeymoon Island State ParkI had not been to Honeymoon Island State Park for awhile, but on a Saturday back in November I had first a 1-on-1 DSLR Photo Lesson with Karin and her Nikon D3200, then a maternity shoot with a former photo student.  I met Karin at the park's visitor center which provided a comfortable place to first discuss my 5-step process for getting a well expososed and sharp photo in any given shooting situation.  

After that the grounds around the visitor's center itself provided enough variety to put into practice how I had instructed Karin, step-by-step, to shoot in manual exposure mode.  The variety of shady mangroves and bright sky provided a good contrast for learning how to quickly change between shooting conditions.  About 7 to 10 seconds (or faster) is the time range I set for students to get to for changing all 5 settings as need be between shooting conditions, and then even less than that for adjusting in the same conditions.  Of course I do not expect such quickness during the first lesson!  In time with experience and becoming more familiar with the Nikon camera body, Karin will be able to minimize the time getting settings right allowing her to maximize the time to get a shot in the first place and then compose it as desired.

Bilmar Beach Resort Sunset Portraits Treasure Island Florida with couple from Utah

Visiting all the way from Utah, Matt & Shanna have fun at Bilmar Beach Resort during our sunset portrait session - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 to frame right front & SB-600 to frame right rearIt would seem the Bilmar Beach Resort is a popular hotel with out of state visitors as the last time I did a sunset beach portraits session there it was with someone visiting from Chicago.  This time, a couple all the way from Utah was staying on Treasure Island and met me for a candid couples beach sunset portait shoot.  There are few things I am lucky with in life, but having good weather at sunset time is one of them.  Just the night before it was raining all evening.  As you can see, no rain in sight thankfully!

Twilight beach portrait at Bilmar Beach Resort Treasure Island Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th - Strobist: SB-800 to frame left front & SB-600 to frame right rearBeing a Tuesday evening in September as well, there were few people on the beach allowing for wide shots like the one above to not require any tricky people removing editing in the background.  The twilight sky was also very beautiful.  We stayed a little extra longer to get the above shot.

Leaning in for a kiss at Bilmar Beach Resort Treasure Island Florida during sunset portraits - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5 ISO 200 1/200th - Strobist: SB-800 to frame right front & SB-600 to frame left rearIt was a fun session with Shanna and Matt and I am always glad to be able to help people remember their time in Florida through photographs.