Category Archives: Photography

Flash Experiments – The Obligatory Ybor Night Time Photo Shoot

Last evening we visited Ybor City.  Aside from having a good time, I wanted to experiment with my remote flash unit.  Nikon’s creative lighting system is excellent, and the SB900 flash is a fun toy to play with.  The flash unit can be fired remotely and wirelessly, with no need to be tethered to camera.  The flash is triggered by the pop up flash on the camera.

My method was to place a Gary Fong Lightsphere collapsible diffuser on the SB900.  And since the flash unit is triggered by the pop up on the camera itself, I used a Gary Fong diffuser on the pop up, as well.  I shoot with a Nikon D90 which can be placed in “commander mode” which allows for the remote triggering of the external flash.

I had fun with the project.  You can set the flash unit on the ground or on a table, or even give it to someone to hold and aim it like a flashlight.  It made for some interesting effects.  All night, I experimented with getting the flash as far away from the camera as possible or aiming it from odd angles to play with shadows.

While in Ybor, we shopped, ate, and strolled around, just snapping away while my friends took turns holding the flash unit.

We hit a store called Agora which had everything from old antique tabernacles to candles and incense. The inventory was stunning.  Small, reasonably priced gifts from around the world were everywhere.  You could easily go in and spend $50 and come out with quite a haul.  On the higher end of the inventory you” find everything from furniture to unique, salvaged items that have character beyond belief.  Any decorator or designer looking to find something unique should check it out.  Agora’s website is down for redesign, which is disappointing considering their amazing inventory.

We also hit up New York New York for some pizza.  Even though it was busy night, the service was great.  It was fast and courteous.  The crust was superb, and the toppings fresh.  I whined a little about wanting more sauce but, overall, a very good joint to pick up a pizza. We also went in to Buddha Lounge, but just to take pictures of the gorgeous decor.  If we hadn’t already stuffed ourselves silly on pizza, we probably would have had a go at their menu.

I’d like to do some more experiments with maybe more flash units and diffusers.  Much fun, more to come.

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Beach Wedding at Howard Park

Recently I photographed a beach wedding at Fred Howard Park Beach in Tarpon Springs, Fl.  Its another of our favorite beaches as it makes for some spectacular sunsets.  The wedding was perfectly timed and the sun fell into the water on a warm, breezy day.  The sky was a canvas of warm reds, golds, oranges.  The whole ceremony was punctuated by the songs of sea birds, the rolling of the waves, and the sweet, salty breeze tussling the tops of the palm trees.  It was small, intimate, and absolutely full of magic.  Not a thing was out of place.  Everything from rose petals in the sand to the torches flaming on the beach set the stage for romance, love, and memories to last forever.

The wedding was arranged by wedding planner Abby Allison.  She is available at dreamstooreality@yahoo.com or 813-376-8754.

The officiant of the wedding was Adrian Robins, who offers officiating services.  She can be reached at 727-564-1893.

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Our favorite things about Tampa Bay: Caladesi Island

Come visit our state. Come to Florida. Come to the Tampa Bay Area and experience the best of our state. If you plan on going anywhere in the next few weeks or months, come see why we love our land.  Florida has over a thousand miles of beaches that are safe and welcoming. Come visit and see why Floridians love it here.

And, although I might be a little on the biased side here, I encourage you to specifically visit the Tampa Bay area.

A few weekends ago we visited Caladesi Island in honor of Natalie’s birthday and to have a test photo shoot, with Natalie acting as her own model.  Micheal went with us to enjoy the sunny, sandy day, and also to help steer the rays of the sun with our large reflector.

To get there, you have to first go to Honeymoon Island and park your ride and then hop on the ferry or rent a kayak to go over to the island. Being that the forecast called for rain later in the evening, we chose the ferry.  The admission that day was $12.00 per person and $6.00 for kids. I assure you that the price is well worth it.  What you end up with on the other end of that foamy, misty,  ride is genuinely priceless.

It was a quick, breezy ride to a long wooden dock. We stepped out into what is a strange little nexus of gift shop, restrooms, boat dock, and the awesome beauty of raw, nearly pristine nature.  Right behind the most excellent concession stand that carries a surprisingly large menu just hidden behind the restroom and a thick tangle of trees the view opens up into an expansive, lush 661 acre park.  “Breathtaking,” is the most apt way to describe this beach.  It is raw, primal, and still very much under the control of Mother Nature.  There are clearly marked areas that which a human foot simply cannot tread.  Every step you take on this sand is magic, and the air shimmers with gold and blue, and the song of the sea alone is enough to make you fall into a dream state, contentedly walking to the rhythm of the waves running up to embrace the shore.

We either swam or just laid back in the sun most of the day. Wildlife is incredibly varied and abundant, and very vocal.  We lounged on the sand, listening to the birds sing, or bobbed up and down in the warm, clear water.  We took a few photos here and there but spent most of the time just being silent, taking in all that we could of the jewel that is Caladesi Island.

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