Sunday, May 30, 2010

The scientific name Magnolia granidiflora aptly describes these large incredible creamy white flowers. These three images were made this month in the Wakulla Springs State Park this month.

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Mashes Sands Sunsets

The following two photos were taken on Thursday and Saturday of this week at Mashes Sands. I almost always arrive at Mashes Sands as the sun rises; these two very different images were taken as the sun set.

For this first image, I bracketed (under-and-over) exposure in four photos. Four more photos at each exposure were taken with my hand held over the sun to minimize lens flare. Using photoshop, it took about 20 minutes to combine all eight photos into this reasonably realistic image that is close to what I saw on this glorious evening.

These 'summer' clouds rising over the Gulf were amazing ... the deep blue sky was augmented with a polarizer filter on the camera lens.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Palmetto Spring Run

Palmetto Spring is a tiny spring that flows into McBrides Spring Run within the Wakulla Springs State Park. Here is a black and white image of a verdant green swamp which is now populated with hungry mosquitoes and yellow flies.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Walk'in the Florida Trail

These were taken Sunday morning with a Canon G11 during an hour walk west from the Purify Creek Road along the Florida Trail.

These flowers look like fuzzy seals ... I tentatively identified them as helmet skullcap.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lizard's Tail

Lizard's tail is a common perenial plant growing in freshwater wetlands throughout Wakulla County. The photo below was taken on Saturday south of Medart, adjacent to Purify Creek Road.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sand Patterns at St. George

Trudy, Amanda, Keith and I had a delightful walk along the Gulf shoreline in the St. George Island State Park last weekend.

The photos of this post are as minimalist and simple as recent photos of the floodplain swamp were complex and busy. The relatively small viewing size of these images on this blog may not show the subtle patterns of sand. I hope it works and that you enjoy.

(Optionally click on an image for a larger view)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spider Lilies and Irises are SOFINE

These images were taken while paddling Cow Creek yesterday afternoon.

The creek is a short, narrow tributary of the Ochlockonee River. I launched at a boat ramp at the end of Rio Vista Drive (CR 370) located just south of the US 319 bridge over the Ochlockonee River. Cow Creek is an easy, short paddle up a narrow creek lined with wild rice and cypress. The creek is identified on the web page for the Big Bend Scenic Big Bend Scenic Byway

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Technical Stuff: I took multiple photos of all these flowers, using the 3-shot bracket (-1 stop, 0 stop, +1 stop) feature of the Canon G11. None of the photos were acceptable because of the bright sun and high contrast. Because the canoe drifted too much in the water while bracketing exposure, I couldn't use photomatrix software to automate making high dynamic range (HDR) photos. So I manually blended exposures using Adobe Photoshop CS4. For each of the photos posted above, an individual raw photo file was opened two to three times with different exposure, black, and brightness settings for the bright flowers and for the green foliage and dark background. These were placed in layers, layer masks were created, then a brush was used to 'blend' one to three versions into single photos.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Indian Pink Flowers

Inidan Pink flowers are blooming on the left side of the nature trail before Sally Ward Spring Run in the Wakulla Springs State Park.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

There Is Magic In Water

Wakulla River

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Short Walk From Home

These photos were taken with a Canon G11 camera along the Florida Trail and in our yard after a brief morning rain shower.

The tiny white gooseberry flowers were laden with water droplets.

And the bark of pines further down the trail was saturated with water and color.

Smilax is sprouting everywhere.

Check out the water droplet on top of the head of this southern toad.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

May Day

The photos below were taken May 1st, in the floodplain forest near the entrance of the Wakulla Springs State Park.

I LOVE FLOODPLAIN FORESTS. These wetlands are so biologically productive, with a multitude of compositional elements: Bright sky, expansive green leaf overstory, large trees with butress bases, cypress knees, decaying logs, green wetland plants, bright water reflections, and intricate detail in the rich dark brown submerged leaves. My search for visually pleasing images takes me to many remarkable places. I hope you enjoy the view.

Because of the overcast sky and the green leaves overhead, I took a proactive approach for achieving reasonably realistic color. I periodically photographed a "Digital Grey Kard" shown below. Later on computer, the white balance eyedropper of Adobe Photoshop ACR was used to sample the color of the grey card in the raw file. That color balance was applied to subsequent photos taken during similar lighting conditions. I would appreciate anybody providing me with a better method for custom white balance via an email to me at

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Later this month I will be 60 years young ... How time flies when you're having fun!