Early Morning Monochrome

What better way to start a day than to walk the beach at sunrise and shoot some black and white photos? I decided, instead of shooting in color and then “monochroming” the pictures later, I would make use of this old style B&W filter on my Kodak M532 called Tri-Max Tri-X. It gives the photos that nice, grainy, high contrast look of an old photo.

I snapped a few photos of the branches that washed up, no doubt aftermath of tropical storm Beryl. I particularly like the “washed out” look of the background with this filter.

Fiddler Crabs

Today I’ll keep it simple. These Fiddler Crabs were photographed a while back while I was kayaking at Tomoka State Park on the Tomoka River. I had stopped to investigate a small beach on a strip of land separating the Tomoka River and Strickland Creek. Camera used: Kodak P850

Who Goes There?

At 3:44am on May 22, 2012 SpaceX successfully launched one of it’s Falcon 9 rockets carrying a Dragon spacecraft into orbit. This mission will attempt to be the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. The Dragon spacecraft is a capsule type craft capable of sending and returning cargo and supplies as well as up to 7 passengers, making it the leading candidate to take the place of the former shuttle program for getting to and from the ISS.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing several night/early morning launches from Cape Canaveral, which is about 50 miles south of where I live. This morning’s launch did not disappoint, casting that familiar orange glow upon the beaches of eastern Florida. Night/early morning launches also give the opportunity to catch a glimpse of  returning stages of the rocket. For this launch SpaceX did not intend on retrieving the booster stage and allowed it to fall back to Earth with no parachute.

Even with a long exposure, my camera couldn’t capture this in the way it really looked. The falling booster stage glowed a pale yellow, slowly dropping to the ocean. With the haze on the horizon and the plume of rocket exhaust between it and myself, it looked like a giant in the distance holding an olde time lantern as if to say “Who Goes There?”

A composite shot of 4 separate, 8 second exposure shots.

Sometimes…. You Just Never Know!

Photo of a photo: Original photographer unknown (at least by me). This photo of a rocket launching behind the Canaveral Light House is displayed in the museum at the Ponce Inlet Light House.

When I was trying to figure out what today’s post should be about, I figured I’d make it a lead in to what I hope to have tomorrow. Early tomorrow morning, at 3:44 am EDT the first privately built spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station will attempt to launch. I was going to use the above photo of a photo I took 4 years ago as a clever lead in. A rocket launching behind the now defunct Canaveral Light House…. or so I thought.

This is a photo I took, with an old camera phone, of a photo that hangs in the museum at the Ponce Inlet Light House. From what I remember, under the photo was a brief story of the light house and how it fell into disrepair. I decided in order to have as accurate information as I could I would do a little research before posting. I was very pleasantly surprised when I found out that, at the time I took this photo of a photo, a restoration project was already under way! This light house, and it’s grounds are being restored… much like the Ponce Inlet Light House was. This will make 3 restored light houses with in driving distance of my home, including the St. Augustine Light House.

I still intend, to have something regarding the SpaceX Dragon launch for tomorrow, but now I need to find out if and/or how I can go explore the Canaveral Light House… more info regarding it here http://canaverallight.org/ 

The Simplest Changes

Some times something as simple as shooting in black and white can completely change the way your subject looks. If you look at this photo, just taken a couple of days ago, of the beach… but think of it as if you are looking from a Mars Rover point of view. Is this what Mars looked like millions of years ago….

Beach Perspectives

I spent the evening on the beach last night, tide was higher than usual and a lot of seaweed was washing up. I snapped a few shots like above of a Pelican gliding past the setting sun.

This Ghost Crab who seemed unsure if he should fight or flee…

Looking towards New Smyrna Beach through the frayed husk of a coconut….

A tiny shell amongst the seaweed.

The surf was rough and the beach was narrow…. it was very peaceful.

Camera used: Kodak M532

The Reason Not to Feed the Birds

I live directly across the street from the beach, just south of Daytona Beach, Fl. A little over a mile north of me is a small convenience store that I like to walk to every now and then if I need to pick up something small. I use the beach as my sidewalk. Every so often, when the weather is just right… cool enough that most people don’t want to be on the beach, and a steady strong wind is blowing from the north, seagulls have a hard time fishing.

At every beach access there are signs that warn not to interfere with beach wildlife. This includes feeding the seagulls. Seagulls are master fishers and really don’t need our help in finding a meal, but they are smart enough to know that if they act a certain  way… those big funny looking primates will feed them. Which I suppose is great if you don’t live near them, and get to leave after you get done feeding them processed white bread. But, for those of us that live here…. it sucks, and here’s why.

If you are on the beach, and carrying anything that might look like food, and the weather conditions are just right. The seagulls will follow you, dive bomb you and screech in your ear because now they think everyone should feed them. On the day I took these pictures, I walked up to that convenience store to pick up a couple bottles of sports drink, on my way home the wind was at my back which allowed the seagulls to basically just hover around me, actually flying backwards with me.

True it made for some cool close up photos of gulls in flight, but trust me… walking a mile encapsulated in a cloud of hungry, squawking seagulls isn’t as much fun as you would expect. Please…. don’t feed the seagulls!

All photos taken with an LG Optimus M (Cell phone)


Supermoon 5-5-12

Click to enlarge

Tonight the moon is at its closet point to earth in its orbit, a Supermoon. Appearing 14% bigger than an average full moon, they always appear biggest near the horizon. So, I packed up some gear and hit the beach to watch it rise, and to capture some time lapse footage as well. I figured I might as well get something posted for now, if the time lapse turns out good enough… I’ll share it.