This was taken on my Florida trip over the summer of 2011. I have been wanting to post this for a while but never got around to it. I probably re-edited this one 3 or 4 times before I got it to where I liked it. Any time my family travels down to Florida, we take one day out of our vacation and rent a pontoon boat and ride along this river. It is a great day of photography, cigar smoking, beer drinking and fun. We see manatees, turtles and best of all, alligators. I really look forward to this trip anytime we go. It was especially fun this past year because of photography adding to the list.
I’ve been to New Smyrna Beach, Florida eight or ten times now. I can’t remember just how many at the top of my head. Every time my family and I go, we take a ride in to Daytona Beach for one night (it is only 30 minutes away from our condo) for the “boardwalk” and dog races. I remember Daytona beach being the coolest place growing up. There were neat surf shops, all kinds of restaurants, arcades and more. Now that I’m an adult, it isn’t so great… It was actually quite boring. There are a few restaurants (if you like Bubba Gump Shrimp), a few shops (if you like junky souvenir/beach shops), and a few arcades (if you like Cruisin’ USA from the ’80′s). It is kind of strange how you see things as a kid, and your perception of things change as you get older. This is one of the few good shots from Daytona Beach.
The most frustrating part about being on this vacation was the lack of a vehicle. We rented a van for the week, but only being 24, I am not insured when renting a car in the United States until 25…Less than 4 months away. So anytime I wanted to go shooting, I had to bring the matter up to my dad.
The second night we went to this restaurant to snap some sunset shots. That was the night I was bit up by mosquitoes. I told him, “we need to come back here for a better sunset toward the end of the week.” So Thursday night we loaded up with bug spray and drove down here for sunset. This is the only photo I took while waiting for a table at the restaurant. I guess since I was here earlier on in the week, the novelty wore off.
Heading back to Florida, this was a shot that was taken from JB’s Fish Camp; a restaurant that offers spectacular sunsets. This was taken moments before I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. I have been wanting to post this for quite some time now. I could never get it the way I wanted. I would open the photo, look at it, think about what needed to be done to fix it, decide that it required too much work, and close it back down. Finally, I sat down and edited it. I had a TIFF already saved, but it just didn’t look right. So I trashed it and started fresh.
I have always wanted to take a shot like this but never had the opportunity to do so. Every time I am go to the airport, I find myself running around like a chicken
with it’s head cut off. This time was different…
It was the night before our flight back to Pittsburgh, I went to bed at 12:30 to get a good four hours in before our long day of traveling. I fall fast asleep to be waken not an hour later by my frantic mother, rushing into my room to wake us up…at 1:30 am!
It turns out, my sister’s boyfriend’s wallet was stolen down by the pool while doing a last night swim before departure. With my parents freaking out about how he will get home and the police at the door, all I wanted to do was sleep… as did everyone else. To make a long story short, you can fly without an I.D. We figured that out when we arrived at the airport five hours before our scheduled flight!
While waiting in the terminal, I snapped these three exposures during sunrise of another plane leaving much earlier than ours.
Wednesday night of my trip, I thought that it would be time to get up for sunrise with only two days left of my trip. So Thursday morning, my alarm went off at 6:15; just before sunrise. Unenthusiastically, I got out of bed, turned off my alarm, and walked over to the window to see the sky. I was very disappointed to see that the sky looked dull and grey. I decided to press on anyway though. I figured, I’m already up now, so what’s the point of going back to bed? So I gathered my camera and tripod, threw on a shirt, and woke up my girlfriend to join me (she’s a trooper). I walked outside the condo to see a very pleasant sunrise.
Here is a shot just before the sun came up above the horizon. It was quite tricky to capture an interesting foreground with nothing but smooth sanded beaches. I did my best to capture a fast moving tide rushing in with a longer exposure to make up for the lack of foreground interest. I am glad that I got up that morning.
I’m back from what seemed like a very short and relaxing vacation. My family, girlfriend and I stayed at a small beach just South of Daytona Beach, Florida. It is a very beautiful place. It has many restaurants, including this one – JB’s Fish Camp. It sits along the bay side where guests can listen to music, dock their boats, and drink while waiting to be seated. I shot this the second night of our trip, and forgot bug repellant – not remembering how bad the bugs are here. Needless to say, I had about thirty bug bites on my legs, arm, and neck. I’d say it was worth it!