Sunset on Palm Beach HDR
The Everglades begins just below the sugar cane fields in Palm Beach County and runs over a hundred miles to the south where it ends up in Florida Bay just below Everglades National Park. Many people think that the entire Florida Everglades is a National Park but only a small percentage is actually owned by the Park Service. Most of the Everglades meander west of Palm Beach, Boca Raton, metro Fort Lauderdale, and past Miami before it feeds into the National Park just below and west of Homestead. Actually, thousands of square miles of Everglades feed the National Park part of the ‘Glades before it meets the National Park.
I’ve been fortunate to drive around and through much of the ‘Glades outside the Park while inside is another matter. Much, if not all, of the area outside the park is regulated by either the State of Florida or South Florida Water Management, a government agency, to manage the habitat and “hurricane proof” it against a major storm. The great hurricane of 1928 killed over 2,500 people to the north and south of Lake Okeechobee. The cause of deaths was not due to high wind destruction but from the failure of the dikes around the lake to hold the water back. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_Okeechobee_hurricane
In the past year or so I have spent about 20% of all weekends taking pictures somewhere along the edges or through the center of the Everglades, either in the western part of Broward or Palm Beach county or even in the National Park. The sheer beauty of the ‘Glades makes any photographer snap away at either wildlife or scenery. There is plenty of each to capture.
One spectacular place that Jo, my wife, and I seem to visit regularly is a state park called Holiday Park. It’s at the far west end of Griffin RD west of US 27 and it is beautiful. The sunset is usually spectacular from the edge of the waterway as it was the evening I captured this picture. The sun was glowing from behind the sawgrass reflecting the warmth of the evening on the shimmering alligator filled waterway. I say that because just 10 feet to the right was an 8 foot gator lazily swimming toward the far shore just out of sight.
The photograph alone is beautiful but I’ve added an extra touch of art by processing this sunset photo with a “felt tip” process using the Mediachance DAP2 software which actually re-draws the picture using techniques from artists using the media of choice.
This picture will be further processed on canvas for a hand painted look and hung on a wall. I hope you enjoy this picture as much as I enjoyed taking and processing it.
Here is my 10-10-10 contribution, a Glossy Ibis. I captured this shot in Green Cay, Palm Beach co. and rendered to a pencil drawing using Mediachance DAP2. I have included the full poster resolution so that you can check out the detailed pencil strokes. There are about 500,000 strokes to offer this detail.
As far as 10-10-10 goes I spent a good part of it in the field capturing pictures of wetland birds. There was a cool breeze offering respite in the shade. These birds are fairly rare but wonderful to watch in the wild. They are really glossy and you can see that best when their wings are fully spread as they fly from the ground. I love this shot because it shows the personality of this Ibis, large inquisitive eyes, fluffy neck feathers, clean beak – that’s unusual – and he has such a joyous face.
Usually you want a nice, clear day when you go out taking pictures. In fact most of the time I check the weather channel, satellites, radar, weather bureau forecast and connect to local internet weather stations just before I go to a shoot. If I suspect that the day will be filled with rain I change to the alternate shoot. This weekend the weather was strange in Florida and I ended up selecting the backup sites both days so far. Even with that strategy today’s site B got a little rain.
Today’s site B was Lion Country Safari just west of Palm Beach, Florida. Even though we have lived within an hour of the place for 16 years it’s been 38 years since we visited so we figured plan B was not such a bad thing.
About half way through the park it started raining. It wasn’t that little afternoon shower rain but the big, heavy tropical downpour with a lot of water and wind. Most people flicked on their wipers and drove around the park and headed out the gate. and, even though I’m not fond of these types of downpours it’s a great time to settle back and try some of the really difficult shots that you just can’t get very often. With some patience and some luck I have learned over the years that you can get some pretty spectacular shots in the rain.
After making sure the camera was safely out of the rain and stable I set out to try some new things with the settings just to see if I could make my SX1 do some of the more “artsy” shots that I used to do with my film and DSLR cameras. The SX1 went into manual mode for this experiment.
This Zebra shot is an example of long exposure to streak the raindrops. You can usually pull off this king of shot if it’s scenery but with live creatures moving around they usually streak making them look out of focus. The luck part in this shot is that all the zebras were standing perfectly still so the 1/2 second exposure actually worked and the Zebras are pretty much n focus and the background looks like it’s been textured with the rain.
This photo is textured by natural resources, no touch up.