Worldwide Photowalk Day

Scott Kelby, a well-known photographer, has spear-headed an annual event known as Worldwide Photowalk Day. This event is designed to do two things; help photographers meet each other and raise money for orphans in Kenya.

I recently learned of this event, and signed up for the walk scheduled in Gainesville, Florida, about an hour and a half drive from my house. I could have chosen a closer walk, but this walk was on the University of Florida campus, and I love visiting University campuses (even if they are one of my teams biggest in-state, out of conference rivals), plus, I have only been to Gainesville a couple of times, and neither time I had my camera, so what better way to explore a new location and meet a new group of photographers??

Both of my daughters joined me, not because they are into photography, but because they play Pokemon Go, and wanted a new place to get Pokemon (but, hey, we spent the day together walking around the University of Florida campus, I will take it as a win). The walk itself was only supposed to be a couple of miles, but my feet said it was way more.

I haven’t yet edited any of my photos, I glanced at them and nothing jumped out at me as great, but once I have some time to really look at them, I am hopeful that I will find a few salvageable ones and will post them throughout the week.

This first photo was taken with my iPhone right after we caught up with the group, and then got separated from them again, near the Century Tower, which I will write about in a later post.


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Sunrise Over the Matanzas River

Here’s a shot of the sunrise over the Matanzas River in St Augustine, Florida. You can read more about my day and the history of St. Augustine in my previous blog post found here.

st-augustine-004Nikon D7200
ISO 100

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America’s “Oldest City”

Marketed as America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida is a small, historical city lying just south of Jacksonville. It’s long been one of my favorite cities in the state and a place I frequently consider moving to.

According to Wikipedia, it was founded in 1565 by the Spanish conquistador, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and has been ruled by the Spanish, the British and the Spanish again. It was pillaged by pirates and even burned to the ground by Sir Francis Drake (the bastard!).  Today, the city is a tourist destination and home to Flagler College, a four-year, private liberal arts school.

Tourists and locals can be found traveling St. George Street,  the heart of the historic city, enjoying numerous shopping opportunities, plenty of restaurants and even a musician or two — playing for tips, of course!

I ventured out to St. Augustine this weekend to shoot the sunrise over the Intracoastal waterway and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and stopped to grab this shot of St. George Street; dark and quiet. st-augustine-001Nikon D7200
ISO 100
.8 second

It’s drastically different from the streets walked by loyalists during the American Revolution, but if you ignore the 21st century tourist trappings, you can feel the the soul of the city with it’s deep determination for survival and strength to endure the hardships of the environment.

As a side note, if you are interested in historical fiction, I recommend you check out Eugenia Price’s Florida Trilogy consisting of “Maria”, “Don Juan McQueen” and “Margaret’s Story”.

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Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier

Even though I grew up just outside of Jacksonville, I am not very familiar with the area of Jacksonville Beach (known to locals as Jax Beach), it wasn’t the beach that I usually went to with friends when I was a teenager, we preferred Anastasia State Park, in St. Augustine because at that time, you could still drive on it which meant your music and your snacks were always close by.

Jax Beach is just one of a community of beach areas in Jacksonville, it has the typical laid back, beach vibe that you would expect from any beach-side community, and even though the boardwalk is nothing like the one my husband took me to at the Jersey Shore, you will find your typical beach shops, restaurants and bars. According to the City of Jacksonville Beach web page, it was quite the entertainment destination after it was built in the early to mid 1900’s.

One of the most notable icons of Jax Beach is the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, not only is it a great spot to fish from, is a very popular spot for folks to take photos of the sunrise over the Atlantic ocean. Remarkably enough, I had not been among the masses to shot at this particular spot, at least not until this weekend.

A friend and I headed out early Saturday morning to make the 30-40 minute drive to Jax Beach to capture another beautiful sunrise. The tricky thing about Jacksonville is that it can be beautiful, clear weather in one area, and just a few miles away, the weather can be completely different. This was definitely the case this morning. When we left our neighborhood, the skies were clear and the air was calm. Upon our arrival at the beach, however, we noticed the winds were severe and there was a thick blanket of clouds just along the eastern horizon – guarantying our inability to capture the sun as it was rising.

We decided to make the best of it, because I can certainly use the practice and, no day at the beach or with the camera is a bad day. Besides, I am NOT a morning person and I certainly didn’t want to feel as if I woke up at 4:30 am for nothing!

Jax Pier Sunrise-001-2Nikon D7200
ISO 100
1/1000 second

Jax Pier Sunrise-001-3
Nikon D7200
ISO 100
1/60 second

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I am assuming that someone or something knocked this hive down from the gazebo at the shopping center near our favorite Starbucks. 

Taken with my iPhone 6

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