You may wonder what I do
when I'm on vacation. You guessed it--take pictures! Memories
are made from snapshots like these that I created recently on a trip
to Florida's Keys. Now, when I look back at my vacation memories
I realize that of all the countless people visiting the Keys that week,
I was the only one who saw these things. But through the wonders of
photography I'm able to share them with you and keep them alive
in my memory forever.
Visiting With Friends
I started out by staying with some friends. No way was I going to do
portrait sittings when I was off duty, but how can you not take pictures
when you see sweet little faces like these? Ingrid and Amelia were the
granddaughters of one of my friends. I first photographed Ingrid--a
natural. I simply opened the doorway to a covered front porch and put
my white background behind her inside the condo to get rid of some of
the clutter. A quick snap and it was done.
Amelia, however, was quite self-conscious in front of my camera. She
really relaxed though when silly grandpa, Chuck, came over and I captured
the moment for posterity.
That same afternoon we drove from Key Largo to Key West. We arrived
in time to join the crowd watching the sunset and the activities that
followed at Mallory Dock.
A Bit Of Wildlife
The bird in the picture actually came from another shot I got there, but
it looked so good I thought I'd play around with it and put it into
some of the other pictures that I made that evening. I simply touched
Photoshop's Magic Wand to the bird to get the selection and then
scaled it up or down wherever I decided to place it.
As the sun sank slowly in the west the entertainers and the hucksters
vied for everyone's attention. Here, a tightrope walker was balancing
himself (and a couple of my same bird) over the dock's edge.
On a second day's travel to Key West I photographed Chuck, Jerry,
and Fred when we stopped for a little bit of nourishment. The shallow
depth of field was created by putting a heavy Gaussian Blur over the entire
photograph and then erasing the blur from the three of them and the tabletop.
As we were walking down Duval Street I noticed a mural painted on the
outside wall of one of the buildings. The light was so beautiful there
I just couldn't resist making this picture. What a perfect backdrop
for a fun "portrait" of Jerry.
Found Still Life
If you've ever walked Duval Street in Key West, you know the fantastic
number of souvenir shops and art shops that are there. I went inside many
of them with my Canon D60. I photographed from the inside out toward the
light. The first is a picture of some ornaments that were hanging in the
window of one of the shops we visited. The second is a small section of
one of the many gorgeous glass bowls that were on display in the window
of one of the finer art galleries.
Off The Beaten Track
As in all places you really have to get off the main roads to find much
of the beauty that prevails at vacation destinations. When I stopped at
a roadside hotel I went behind it to the coastline and created this silhouette
on the beach. The camera exposed for the bright sunshine in the background.
The man standing in the foreground created wonderful depth in the photograph.
On the same beach I found this little fellow playing in the water. By
cropping the photograph to a narrow composition I got rid of the distracting
elements and kept the interest focused.
From the beach I walked through a narrow, winding path into a forest of
vegetation that brought me to some of my favorite photographic spots of
my vacation. The first thing that really caught my eye was this tree overhanging
the water's edge. When I looked at it I knew that I was lacking
a focal point of interest. That didn't bother me, because I knew
that I could add that in later.
It was a natural to scale down
the image of the little boy from the previous picture and place him into
the water beneath the tree's branches. Besides, he looked better
in this spot than where I found him.
As I turned to walk on farther my eyes focused in on the root of one of
the trees. The backlighting here seemed to bring out such incredible texture
I couldn't resist photographing it. I took several pictures of it,
cropping differently each time and tilting the camera to various angles.
When I finally chose this one I found myself distracted from the root
by some of the brown leaves around it. It was a natural, then, to convert
the picture to black and white in Photoshop.