My Day Off

Blue SpringI took the day off work Friday. The long hours and stress are wearing me down like never before. I woke about 4:30 am and drove down to Blue Spring State Park with a friend. They have a wonderful boat tour that takes you along the St. Johns River. They basically take you in search of wildlife for a little over 2 hours. The trip did not disappoint. There was wildlife everywhere. I’ve already begun going through my captures for the morning and I can see now that I will be busy in my off time posting images. I have several captures that I already love and I have not even taken the images off the other card. It was a wonderful day for shooting. I hope everyone else has a great day behind the glass as well.

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Day at the Beach

Coral and ShellsSo, we went to the beach over the weekend. It was the middle of the day and the lighting was extremely harsh as you would expect. Harsh lighting will work to capture family snapshots for the photo album. But, with camera in hand, I always want to grab a gallery image for my website. Looking around, I saw an opportunity to get an interesting macro shot. But, how could I possibly get a gallery shot with the impossible lighting and all of my “assistants” looking for shells and shark’s teeth? Easy. I simply sat down in the sand between my subjects and the mid-day sun. My shadow allowed me to shoot in nice even light without using a stand and diffuser. I was able to get several shots for the photo album and some interesting shots for my website. A very successful afternoon. This shot was captured using my 105mm VR micro lens handheld. As always, you can see more of my macro images on my website at http://www.tobygant.com/macros#h2772249a.

St. Johns River

The St. Johns RiverLeaving work the other day, I stopped by the river to enjoy a bit of serenity. It was a beautiful afternoon on the St. Johns. Other than a few squirrels and a shorebird there was no wildlife to be seen. But, it was an interesting sky and I enjoy the Spanish moss and cypress trees. I tend to avoid sepia images. But, in this case I think it works well. I am not in love with the composition of this image. But, I do find it to be an interesting image all the same and feel that it “works”. Please share your thoughts. The image was captured with my 16-35mm f/4 VR lens tripod mounted. I used a 10x ND filter to smooth the water. You can see more of my landscape images at http://www.tobygant.com/landscapes.

Cityscapes at Night

Downtown Jacksonville, FL at NightAlthough my first choice is nature and landscape photography, I must say being captive in a city does present opportunities for creative photography. The cityscape at night brings challenges not faced while enjoying the outdoors. Mostly due to overzealous security guards and local police. Living in a post 911 world, you obviously must be a terrorist if you have camera and are photographing such things as bridges, buildings or traffic. I could go into more detail, but the stories would probably require a book instead of a blog. I first saw this image after being asked to leave a public parking garage by a security guard that he was calling local authorities. It took me multiple attempts before the stars aligned, weather conditions were right, and I was able to avoid the guard. I captured the exact image I had in my mind for weeks. The image was captured with my 10.5mm DX fisheye lens. You can see more of my night photography and cityscapes on my website at http://www.tobygant.com/cityscapes#h334e0abe.

Treaty Oak

Treaty OakI’ve still had no success with my “osprey shot”. I though it would be easier to shoot something with less variables. A tree is a nice stationary subject. So, hear it is. I only had a limited window of time to shoot as usual and this day the lighting was horrible. I managed to get a usable result thanks to the power Lightroom 3 affords us. Treaty Oak is estimated to be between 150 and 250 years old depending on who you ask. There is an interesting story behind how it acquired its name. If you are a historian, researcher or just curious, you might want to look it up. The tree is located in downtown Jacksonville just off the east bank of the St. Johns river. Beware of the homeless man that is guarding the tree. He was screaming at me for several minutes. But, he moved on when he saw I was not going to move. (I had to get my image after all.) This image was captured using my 10.5mm DX Fisheye lens. You can see this image and many more on my website at http://www.tobygant.com/jax#h360771c0.