I was hoping to be alone…

Yesterday morning was interesting. I was up at 5:00am and made coffee and quickly gathered my gear to take some photos. When I arrived at the beach the only visible lights were on the pier; otherwise the sky was dark. As my my eyes adjusted I noticed something approximately 20 feet in front of me. I assumed it was a patch of seaweed. As the sun was rising it became evident the vegetation, rocks, etc. was actually someone who was sleeping on the beach.

And I thought I would be the first one on the scene?

My goal was to take shots without any people in it. How did that work out up ask? In utter failure!

Instead the result was the following:

1. Sleeping person
2. Couple in the water
3. Man texting while holding a fishing pole
4. A boat which pulled close to the shore during the shot

All I was missing was a hot air balloon, blimp, :fill in the blank:

Maybe next time…

Looking back just prior to Sunset

This shot was taken after 8:00pm the other night when the sun was already below the horizon. I decided to look towards the east and noticed this varied cloud formation. My biggest regret when taking landscape photos during sunset is leaving too soon. The sun is great and all, but the real magic happens just after it is gone.

I snicker when I see other photographers leaving before the sky reaches this dramatic peak. It’s a gamble; never knowing when it’s going to occur. It can change from one minute to the next in the most unbelievable way.

There is something to be said about having patience…

Looking back just prior to Sunset

From wiki: As a ray of white sunlight travels through the atmosphere to an observer, some of the colors are scattered out of the beam by air molecules and airborne particles, changing the final color of the beam the viewer sees. Because the shorter wavelength components, such as blue and green, scatter more strongly, these colors are preferentially removed from the beam.At sunrise and sunset, when the path through the atmosphere is longer, the blue and green components are removed almost completely, leaving the longer wavelength orange and red hues we see at those times. The remaining reddened sunlight can then be scattered by cloud droplets and other relatively large particles to light up the horizon red and orange.

Out of Memory

Sadly I have a dozen memory cards in my camera bag and too many other adapters… well me and every other photographer on the planet… It occurred to me. If you think your desktop is clean just take a shot at a very narrow aperture and you’ll see everything.

It’s hard to believe how inexpensive memory is compared to 1984 when my parents purchased a Commodore 64 for me. I just pulled the cost of memory that year and worked with looking at how much our current common memory sizes would have cost back in 1984…

Out of Memory?

“The Neighborhood Floozy”

Meet Persia! Micaela and I have officially adopted her as our outdoor cat. Who could blame us? She greets us daily. She acts like she loves us. More on that later. She patiently waits on top of the recyling bin or just outside the neighbors stairs directly across from the front door.

Recently my neighbor Steve remarked that she is exhausting his tuna supply. Tuna?! I thought we were the only ones generous enough to feed her Tuna?! I thought Persia’s love and affection was only aimed at us? Albacore at that! Not the grayish typical smelly tuna that the likes of Subway serves. The expensive white, flakey, meaty tuna!

A couple weeks ago she was “allowing” us to pet her. She had just been fed and was strolling back and forth rubbing her head on as she passed. It looked like cat nirvana had been reached. It was evident the fondness towards her was being reciprocated.

"The Neighborhood Floozy"

Here is where it gets interesting… Minutes later when the neighbor who lives across the street parked on the curb Persia abruptly left without the slightest hint of a goodbye. It was so painfully obvious like bringing your child to school that has reached that age where it’s no longer cool to acknowledge your parents. “PSSSST, can you drop me off at the street before school”. THAT bad!

Picture this… Persia is walking by, tail up, life is gravy, car parks, and she just keeps on walking! Right up to this neighbor! What the heck does the neighbor have that we lack? Is our love not well endowed enough? YOU WERE JUST FED! Micaela and I felt so understandably inadequate at that moment.

Does Persia really like us? It’s painfully obvious if she treats the 2 neighbors closest to me with such reverence there are bound to be others! Have we been duped? Using her looks to take advantage of giving individuals?

Oh poor pretty kitty!!! Quick go grab the Tuna! Little do we realize she has conned countless others of their hard earned tuna fish and miscellaneous sundries.

Persia…we love you… even though you toy with our hearts.
Signed, Your Loving Parents – Roberto & Micaela

Don’t play Chicken with a Semi

‎Taken on November ‎17, ‎2012 at ‏‎6:31:18PM on Connors Highway approximately 1 mile from the 20 mile bend bridge in Western Palm Beach county. Anyone familiar knows the road curves for the first mile and then it’s a straight line which is shown in the photo.

The road is in horrible condition. A combination of heavy use by semis and dump trucks and a total lack of maintenance.

It was an effort that reminded me of musical chairs. The biggest difference is instead of children getting up and moving about I was grabbing my camera equipment and quickly moving to the side of the road!

Nothing good can occur from playing chicken with a semi.

20 Mile Bend

Mars Convergence

In my opinion some of the most spectacular sunsets occur just minutes after the sun disappears below the horizon. Under the right circumstances the sun illuminates the clouds and turns them into the most spectacular backdrop. This was taken on 11-26-2014 at 6:42pm at the Arthur R Wildlife Refuge.

I shot other photos beginning 45 minutes prior that I also enjoy. Place them side by side and the difference is staggering. It’s amazing how much our surroundings change in a matter of minutes.

The sky reminded me of Mar. It was as if I was this awestruck 5 year old. The enthusiasm. I was fumbling with my phone to snap pictures. I was nervously trying to study my camera settings to make sure everything was perfect. It was one of those moments that I had to act fast and I knew I only had s small window of opportunity.

If you look just above the silhouette of the land you will notice what looks like wavy plumes of smoke. It reminded me of the Aurora Borealis! It was dancing as I stood taking pictures. Taunting me to take more – so I did!

I think this was my closest experience to visiting another planet…
Mars Convergence

The Smallest Damsel

Damselfly
Order – Odonata

I have never seen a Damselfly this small. I have always enjoyed photographing them because they never seem to sit still enough to capture anything worth keeping.

This was the smallest Damsel I had ever seen and it clung to the tiny branch and didn’t seem to care about my inspection. It was as if the animals had mentioned that I am a regular and harmless.

The Smallest Damsel

When you are able to land a keeper it makes the entire process more satisfying.

Nothing that comes easy is satisfying to me…Especially when I shoot photos. There has to be an obstacle involved. There has to be a race of sorts or some proverbial monkey wrench or hurdle that takes effort to pass.

It could be purely logistical in nature. Having to race to beat the sun to shoot a sunset shot in a distant place. Like the time I had to race west close to Belle Glade because I had a particular shot in mind. When you have spent as many hours in nature as I have you start to understand the timing of the sun. This insight made things more urgent because I knew I had little time.

I finally found an area out west, but now I needed to travel parallel with a field to look for a clearing. The sun was getting low at this point which means my window of opportunity was running out. I still had to stop in a suitable place, erect my tripod, mount my camera, figure out how I would compose the shot, and other decisions only a photography would understand. So here lyes my obstacle. As far as the eye could see I was surrounded by mature sugar cane serving which only served to obstruct my view. I was beginning to think my frantic journey was in vain until I finally stumbled upon a clearing without a moment to spare. My celebration was short as I rushed to setup my gear. The photos that day were some of my favorite landscape photos.

Disciples of Light

Or the time I had envisioned a bumble bee. The angle on the flower, the composition, it was etched in my mind ahead of time and I knew exactly what I wanted the photo to look like. I don’t know if any of you have had much experience with bumblebees, but I assure you they do not take orders and could care less about your desire to photograph them. I spent a month going to a particular bush day after day trying to land this shot. It took an entire month, but knowing what I went through to get it always puts a smile on my face.

Bumblebee Closeup 2

Today was wet, windy, and cold. It was difficult to operate my camera because my hands were painful. It was tough to walk. Every year of my 40 years was reminding me of it and keeping me woefully honest… The experience today was a good one. We had to cover a lot of ground in the cold.

Riverbend Landscape 2/14/15

Riverbend Dew

For that I am grateful.
“When something comes easy, you usually let it go the same way.” – Nora Roberts
http://www.robertoaloiphotography.com

Capture before the sun takes it away…

We traveled to a section of the park that is typically ripe with insects for macro shooting. Instead this area just adjacent to the battlegrounds looks like it was sprayed with pesticides and run over with vehicles in the process. The bushes now lay flat and are dying. Luckily whoever administered the poison missed some sections.

There were small spiderwebs riddled with dew that were parallel to the ground. Here is an effort to capture the web prior to the sun evaporating the dew

Riverbend Dew

Valentines day at Riverbend Park

Jim and I met at Riverbend park at 6:30am just as the sun was making an appearance. We took the usual walk to Cow Pen Lake. Fog was slowly rolling off the lake and provided additional interest.

This perspective is from the South section of the lake facing West. Just to our right were more than a dozen whistling ducks wading in the water in tight formation. I have never seen so many in one place. We didn’t spot any deer or turkey this visit. Despite the painfully cold weather Riverbend was ripe with photo opportunities and the chance to converse with my old friend.

Riverbend Landscape 2/14/15

Marley – You talkin’ to Me?

Marley - You talkin' to me?

Marley is the typical bully breed. You don’t feed or walk him at specific intervals. He just doesn’t allow it. Instead Marley puts on a show of theatrics that would leave any seasoned thespian feeling somewhat inadequate.

It begins with a sigh. A very faint one. This is the stage of protest that makes it difficult to discern between the early evolution of his temper tantrum or his perpetually putrid case of the winds.

His plea starts innocently, but quickly escalates to an ear piercing bark that will have you up and ready to cater to his every need.

“Cappuccino Marley?”
“Filet Mignon?”
“Massage?”

I’ve often wondered how we can break him of this nasty little habit; one of dozens.

I took this photo with my newly acquired 50mm 1.4 Super Takumar. I quickly knew his demeanor was perfect to portray him as the gangster he has become.