Kiki wakes up around 6:30am each morning wanting to go out and depending on the time of year it is totally dark or already full daylight. At this time of year, January, it usually times out so that I get a glimpse of the sunrise. Instead of just going right back into bed as I usually do, this morning I came back inside and got my camera to go and make a few photos. I ended up hand holding four consecutive shots that I later stitched together into a panorama in Photoshop.
Even though I merely observe, come the start of every October I find myself looking forward to the St. Raphael Festival that transforms a soccer field in the middle of a Snell Isle neighborhood into a carnival. What really amazes me is how fast it comes and goes. Sunday night at 8pm the festival is full of people on the rides. By 9:30am Monday morning every ride is already packed up and loaded onto a truck. It is only open for three days. How fast it appears then disappears adds a lot to its mystery for me. It just does not seem possible.
Again this year I did not go on a single ride. I did, though, continue my custom of eating deep fried Oreos. They warmed my insides for hours after.
Where does the carnival go after it leaves Snell Isle? I am very curious about that, but would not want to know the answer. It occurred to me today that this could be its last stop of the year before winter, and that is why everyone packs up so quickly because vacation starts as soon as they finish. As much as I like this annual visit, for many reasons I hope I am never here to see it again.
My after dinner twilight walk with Kiki was thwarted this evening by rain and lightning. So after going back inside I mounted my Nikon to my tripod to see if I could get lucky and capture a few bolts. Of course the lightning was striking much more frequently when I was out with Kiki than when I was actually out with my camera, but with some patience I finally got enough lightning in a shot to fill the frame. The image above is a slight composite of two images to add just a bit more lightning.
I rushed home from a networking event to pick up Kiki and get our usual evening dog park time in before an imposing storm on the horizon passed by. Basically, as soon as we got to the dog park a deluge opened up. After even a huge live oak could not provide adequate shelter, we headed back home. Naturally, as soon as we parked the rain stopped and the sun was out.
So back on went Kiki's collar and leash as we headed out for a walk. That is when I saw this rainbow appear vividly over Smack's Bayou. Still we walked on and I let Kiki run around in a soccer field (see lower right corner of the above image for where we were earlier). I just hoped the rainbow would stay visible by the time we got back.
It did. So I mounted my Nikon onto my tripod quickly and was able to make the above photos. I could see a double rainbow with my eye, but getting it to come out in a photograph was not possible due to a number of factors. Still, I was glad that even though our usual plans got washed out, at least I was able to add another rainbow photo to my archives.
I once again woke up early to photograph the first sunrise of the new year, which is somehow already 2013. Last year was a little more spectacular as I made the big effort to drive out to Ft. Desoto and use the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as a background. This year I just took a few steps off my back patio to make these images of the sun rising over Smacks Bayou in the Snell Isle area of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Though there was a ripple across Smacks Bayou this morning, a decent reflection from the rising sun could still be seen. There were only a few low clouds in the sky, so in this case I found the water to be more interesting and made the foreground dominant in the framing of this shot.
It is always worth it to wake up early and photograph the sunrise. Did you get up and see the first sunrise of 2013? Did you have your camera with you (I hope!!)? Share your first sunrise photos in the comments below.
This evening I finally had the opportunity to photograph lightning conveniently right from my own back patio. While I was eating dinner I watched and listened to a strong storm approach. First came very heavy rain, always needed for the flaura and fauna of the area, and it also cools things down nicely outside.
The rain for the most part ceased, but numerous lightning strikes were still visible from exiting storm. These conditions allowed me to first get out onto my back patio and then even out into the open to try and capture a few of the lightning bolts dancing all over the sky, as many bolts did not touch the ground, but rather spread like cracking ice parallel to the horizon.
I used the same techniques for photographing fireworks to make these lightning images. I detailed the shooting process here. I hope to have more chances for different kinds of lightning shots as the summer thunderstorm season continues into August.
- Inquire about purchasing a fine art print of this St. Petersburg Florida image or commercial license
At this time of year, it is no surprise when a thunderstorm rolls through in the late afternoon or evening in this part of Florida--Snell Isle, St. Petersburg. There was still a light rain falling when I went out with my Nikon D300 mounted on my Induro CT214 tripod. I was drawn outside by the golden light I saw coming through the sliding glass doors of my back patio. I set all the gear up inside so I only had to spend minimal time out in the rain to make the shot.
I kept the tripod legs fully closed to shoot from this low, about 2-foot high perspective. I used a cable release as I knew some of the 7-exposures required to make the HDR image would be at least 5 seconds long, far too long to leave one's finger on the shutter for and not shake the camera, even on a very stable tripod.