Monthly Archives: February 2016

St. Augustine Beach Scene

Topaz Impression is my current favorite among Photoshop plug-ins. I don’t go to it all the time, but some images just cry out for it. The problem with using a plug-in like Impression is that the better one becomes using it, the more images seem to beckon toward it. Every image has a limit beyond which our taste for it diminishes. Finding the sweet spot takes time and no two images can ever be treated exactly alike. This image, taken on St. Augustine Beach in late January seemed to call for Topaz Impression. The light was constantly changing – one minute warm and lovely; the next grey and somber with a dark, threatening sky. _1260864edit6906   I was captivated by the reflections of clouds in the wet sand. After some initial adjustments in Lightroom, a few more were made using Topaz Impression within Photoshop. Lastly, I cropped the image to a 16:9 aspect ratio.  (Check the article on Aspect Ratios in Landscape Photography by Elliot Hook on the Digital Photography School website.) I’m a newbie when it comes to having my work printed.  Trying to stay within the confines of standard frame sizes has proved trying. Should I crop as each image seems to call for and deal with custom framing? Or, is the image close enough, with matting, to work it into a standard size frame? We all have to make our own decisions regarding presentation, but here is a listing of the most popular frames which FrameUSA produces as standard:

Stamdard Frame Sizes

Accompanying Article

  MatDesigners has a useful chart giving suggested Opening Size by Mat Size.  
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A Visit to Deep Hole

Those of us who have visited Myakka State Park over the years have accumulated a lot of images. I have images of trees, flowers, birds, turtles, canoes, fish, people and, of course, alligators. There was one special day back in 2013 when I decided to get a trail permit and hike to Deep Hole, a 130’ deep sink hole in the Myakka River. Getting the shots that I got that day had everything to do with being there at the right time. The river was low and the late February morning was cool.  Deep Hole provides a pleasant place for creatures to gather. I have refrained from ‘prettying up’ most of the images and, with only a couple of exceptions tried to represent the scene as closely as possible to my view of it on that day. From the trail head it’s a mile and a half walk, down this road, to Deep Hole: 20130221Myakka123313   Coming to a tree line along the river, I followed it south before turning to the dried-up river bank and heading back north along it.  Approaching Deep Hole from the south, I had to bring up my telephoto to verify that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. 20130221Myakka133120 I walked slowly toward the hole…stopping every few yard and eventually setting up the tripod, taking a couple of shots, then moving slowly forward. 20130221Myakka134057 20130221Myakka134125   The sun was well up and the day was becoming hot.  I decided to come at it from the north side and moved into the shade for a while.  I found a nice clearing in the trees, picked out a shady spot, brought out my camp stool and had some lunch. 20130221Myakka142537 Finished with lunch, I moved through the grass to the north side of the Hole. The images from the north side were the best of the day.  It’s wild Florida – 30 minutes from Sarasota. 20130221Myakka144920 20130221Myakka145808   20130221Myakka144929 20130221Myakka144632 20130221Myakka144848 The walk back to the car produced one additional images which I pushed a bit. 20130221Myakka151728 We often get grouchy when we see how the Florida around us is changing and becoming urbanized. Those of us old enough to remember, recall how tropical-kitschy Florida was back in the 50’s, how Disney changed it in the 70's, how disco it was in the 80’s and how the pace of growth accelerated in the 90’s and in the process, with popular coastal areas now teeming with human population, Florida became something different. How precious are places like Myakka. In reference to a wonderful book by Patrick D. Smith, A Land Remembered, an older Florida is only a half-hour drive from Sarasota. For more on Deep Hole see: which contains an excellent description of Deep Hole along with an aerial photo. Also included is a brief description of a diving expedition – as well as an account of paddling across the hole at night. Thank you for visiting and be sure to visit Myakka State Park.
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