Last year when we visited our friends Fred and Grace in Venice, FL, after the Sebring race, Fred took me on a morning photography expedition to the Venice fishing pier. Although he is not a photographer, he has a photographer’s eye, and he thought I would be interested in the site. I came away from that shoot with several pictures that I was pleased with, but not satisfied with, if you know what I mean.
This year we are in Venice again, and I made a trip back to the pier to see if I could get rid of the nagging dissatisfaction left over from last year’s shoot. As before, I got there well before dawn, waiting for those magic moments on the Gulf when the sky is only subtley different in color from the sea. My first shot replicates the scene I captured last year, but I am much more satisfied with this year’s result.
After the “blue hour” (a few minutes, really) was past, I spent some time at the water’s edge photographing at the tide line. Just as I was packing up to leave, I noticed the sun had begun to illuminate the underside of the pier with a golden glow. I quickly set the camera back on the tripod and shot several 3-shot HDR sequences, the results of which I submit for your approval, below.
For the past several years I have been heading to Florida in the middle of March to attend the annual Sebring 12 hour sports car endurance race, and to take lots of pictures. This year, I hooked up with my nephew Garrick, and his friends Sebastian, Jason, Paul, and Rob. Sebastian and Jason had set up a camp site late Thursday evening, so we had a place to crash and hide out in the shade during the hottest portion of the day. The great thing about these guys was that everyone except Garrick was a photographer, so we spent quite a bit of time comparing photos and talking gear.
This year, I wanted to shoot primarily with my Tamron 200-500mm lens (with a crop format sensor, this equates to 300-750mm in 35mm-speak). The lens is plenty sharp for most purposes, but it is very slow to auto focus. To get around that, I pre-focused to approximately where I intended to trip the shutter, meaning the lens did not have to do too much mechanical adjustment when the time came.
Also, shooting with a lens that long is like trying to look at the world through a straw. The work around I developed for that was to actually keep both eyes open, with the camera’s viewfinder to my right eye, while my left eye gave me a broader view of approaching action. Most of the time I use this lens mounted on a tripod or a monopod, but some situations call for handholding the lens, like the closeup of the cockpit area of this car leaving turn 5.
Unlike prior years, I stayed at the track for the entire race. Dusk-into-night racing presented some unique photo opportunities, and I think I got one of the best shots of the day at nearly 8pm between turns 5 and 6. This time I shot with the Nikkor 70-200mm and the ISO boosted to 600. Notice the light reflection on the driver’s face mask.
Well, this is my first, halting step into the Blogosphere. I have been trying to get this site up for some time, but being ignorant of most things “web-ish”, it has taken me over a year to get this far. I have been working from a book by Rafael ‘RC’ Concepcion, tiltled Get Your Photography on the Web, but even that was a pretty heavy lift for me. I hope that in the very near future, my friend Brian will be able to spend a couple of hours with me making the site more presentable.
In the mean time, I have set up a Gallery tab from this page, from which you can access three initial gallery collections. I will be adding new materials directly to this blog page, and will be assembling new galleries as I get new images to show.
So, welcome ….