Southern Florida (pt.2); Big Cypress National Preserve

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As I was researching this trip to Florida I came across a photographer named Clyde Butcher. I had never heard of Clyde Butcher until I found his photographs online while searching for images of Florida. Clyde Butcher is known as the modern day Ansel Adams, and he primarily shoots in Big Cypress National Preserve. His work inspired me to learn about Big Cypress and want to make a day trip while I was there.

Big Cypress is considered the western part of the Everglades National Park and I’ve always wanted to visit the Everglades, so while getting to the Everglades was out of the question for this trip Big Cypress would do! 

Southern Florida (pt 1); Sanibel Island

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Standing on Blind Pass Beach looking out into the Gulf of Mexico. Nikon D800 + Nikon 70-200. 1/250 sec @ f9.

I have been to Florida about 10 times in my life, but it was always to the same destination, The Great Mouse House. So venturing way south of there was going to be a new experience for me and one that I hoped would offer some great photographic opportunities. I have decided to break this post up into several parts due to how diverse this trip was. Let’s begin with the main destination… Sanibel Island.

Does An Image Need A Main Subject?

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Sunrise along Highway 48 west of Moorefield WV. Taken with a Nikon D3S & a Nikon 70-200 f4. 

When I went to post this image to my Flickr page the other day I had to stop for a bit to think if this image was really worth posting. While it had a lot of really interesting stuff going on within it such as the wonderful sunrise color, the fog, the mountains, it didn’t have any one main subject.

When I was composing this image I obviously was captivated by all of the elements within the scene, but I was especially captivated by the shapes within the landscape itself. There are such strong diagonals running throughout each layer and that is what draws me into this image even without a main subject. So for me, I think this is one of those images that is a rule breaker. What do you think, does an image need a main subject to be good?

Thanks for reading!

When The Camera Is Away

Long-Winter

Since I’ve gotten older, of the four seasons winter is the one where I shoot the least and I believe this is due to two main reasons. First is that for the last 30 years I’ve worked outside in all the weather for my “day job”. So in the winter I really find it hard to motivate myself to get out on the weekends into the cold I am subjected to during the week. The second reason is due to my age with how the cold is now affecting my bones after working outside for 30 years.

Now even though I don’t shoot as much in the winter that doesn’t mean that my artistic soul doesn’t cry out to be fed. So instead of going into a funk when this happens I have learned to use these cold months to train my mind to see differently. I spend my time looking at other photographers work as to push myself outside of my own creative boundaries.

I don’t believe I have a certain style of shooting, and I think that keeps me fresh and always wanting to create. I equate it to listening to a hit song on a radio station, when it is new it is good, but then after hearing it every hour for weeks on end you end up despising the song.

I write this to encourage everyone to push themselves and discover other photographers and study their work. Learn new techniques for processing your own images. Learn your camera as well as you can so that when you do get out and put the camera to your eye you can see something today that you would have missed yesterday.

Hello Old Friend

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Over the years I have accumulated a lot of photography equipment and for a period of time while I was trying to put together my perfect “sets” for the type of photography I was doing, for example in 2000-2010 I was photographing weddings, and from 2008-current I was moving into outdoor/landscape photography. So the equipment I needed for weddings was much different than what I needed to go out in the back country hiking with a backpack of photography gear.

Good-Bye Social Media

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Image borrowed from the web

After many months of debate we here at Byrne Meadow Photography have decided to pull out of social media altogether as we found that social media was taking up way too much of our time and energy. We had discussed this thought back in May of this year when we wrote The Social Media Pool, as then our thought was we could focus on one or two sites to push our photography via online. Even two social media outlets became a burden, not only for the time it took to post on the different sites we experimented with, but we felt it way too impersonal as well.

Don’t Get Discouraged

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I would like to discuss something that I am pretty sure happens to all of us who put our hearts into our art… we get discouraged for whatever reason along our creative journey. I know it has happened to me over the years, and I know I haven’t always handled it so nicely. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better about NOT letting setbacks discourage me, and here is why.