Black Point in HDR

Here’s a view of Merritt Island as seen from Black Point Wildlife Drive. I used the LREnfuse plugin to combine 4 separate exposures of the same image. After making some minor changes to temperature and contrast in Lightroom, this is my final result. The appearance is almost identical to what I saw looking through my eyes. HDR is an amazing tool when applied with some restraint. Please share your thoughts. Do you think this image is overstated or natural? Hope to hear from you.

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Black Point Wildlife Drive in Black & White

Black Point Wildlife DriveI took the day off work today and an went back down to Black Point Wildlife Drive. It was an incredibly beautiful morning. The water is higher than I have seen it. As always, it did not disappoint. I arrived well before sunlight to find that the gate would not open until well after sunrise. That aside the lighting was incredible early on. It inspired me to stay with my black and white theme. I have yet to look at all of my captures from today. But, this was the first one I wanted to look at. It is just as I visualized it when I squeezed the shutter. I hope everyone gets a chance to get outside this weekend and grab a few captures of their own.

Big Talbot Island in Black and White

Big Talbot Island State Park - Florida

Image of a marsh at Big Talbot Island State Park

I recently found an opportunity to visit Big Talbot Island State Park again. My favorite photography is black and white photography. I know opinions vary drastically on the topic. Personally, I feel that black and white images are far more revealing than their color counterparts. Please don’t take what I am saying the wrong way. I truly love color photography. But, black an white images to me represent a truer form of our art. Please share your thoughts. You can see more images of Big Talbot Island State Park on my website. www.tobygant.com/bigtalbot

No Travel Required

So, just like so many of you, I still have a day job. Mine requires me to be “on call” every three weeks. Just like my photography, I take my day job very seriously. Therefore, I try to stay engaged and never venture far from home when I can be called at any moment to

Tree Frog

Tree Frog

engage with work. That said, I often find myself wanting to pursue my passion while captive at home. So, I’ll search around the yard for a willing subject. Today I had some luck finding this incredible little tree frog. I think he made an interesting subject. Please share your thoughts. Image was captured with my 105mm micro VR lens handheld.

The Important Things

Today is a big day for me. It marks the tenth anniversary of my marriage to Melba Jean. It’s incredibly hard to put into words. But, I am fortunate that she has allowed me to share the last decade of her life. For those of you that know her, you already understand. For those of you that do not, she’s an incredible wife, partner, person, and most of all mother. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next decade holds for us. Happy anniversary, MJ!

Rainbow Springs State Park – Florida

Rainbow Springs State ParkOur family adventure this week took us to Rainbow Springs State Park near Dunnellon, FL.  Florida is not known for it’s waterfalls and unfortunately these are “man-made” falls. However, it was a great opportunity to be outside and try to get some fun shots. This capture was made with my 16-35mm f/4 VR and B+W 1000x ND filter. It was a 69 second exposure at f/13 in the middle of the day. If you don’t own a good ND filter it is worth the investment. There were so many people struggling to photograph the falls today. (Mid-day light and a hand-held camera just will not do if you’re trying to make the water “flow”.) However, with a sturdy tripod, a good ND filter, and a little patience, you’ll be surprised at just what kind of image you can manage even in mid-day lighting.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

Our weekly adventure took us down to Palm Coast, FL. We went to Linear Park. It is a small public park that is extremely well-maintained. Our mission was the same as it usually is. First, to get outside and enjoy some sun and fresh air. And secondly, to try to find some interesting wildlife along the way. We were successful. Although the park is located inside the town of Palm Coast, there is still wildlife to be found. Today’s surprise was a barred owl. It was an incredible creature. It would not allow us to get terribly close. But, it seemed to tolerate us from a distance. This image was captured with my 70-200mm f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

Lucky or Good?

I’ve always loved the old expression that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good. We went out tonight to watch the fireworks on the St. Johns river for the Independence Day celebration. While running back through my captures, I noticed the reflection in the water on this image was red, white and blue. Just dumb luck. Maybe there is something to the expression after all. Happy Independence Day to you patriots that are out there.